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Out of the box, the first thing I notice about the Sidi Genius 7 women’s road shoe is the heel cup. Unlike the other road cycling shoes in my closet, the Genius 7 incorporates a definite curve from the bottom of the heel to the top, with a well-padded collar that looks as if it will hug my Achilles snugly. The second thing I notice is the toe cap, which can best be described as “pointy.” I’ve had problems with toe rub on other shoes, so I’m already curious to see how the Genius 7s feel on my feet.

This is my first pair of Sidi shoes, so I’m pleased to note that, once on, those two elements combine to make some of the best-fitting road shoes I’ve ever worn. As expected, the heel cup fits the back of your foot snugly, allowing you to utilize the full power of your upstroke without losing efficiency to heel-slip. Out on the road, the carbon fibre-injected nylon sole provided the stiffness I needed to push up and over long mountain climbs during a hilly stage race in Vermont, yet, at about 316 grams, still felt light and racy during a fast-and-furious criterium.

Sidi Genius 7 Women's Road Shoe Review
Sidi Genius 7 Women's Road Shoe ReviewSidi Genius 7 Women's Road Shoe Review

As someone with medium-width, medium-volume feet, I tend to stay away from wearing men’s shoes. So I appreciated the women-specific last on the Sidis (narrower across the ball of the foot, with less volume on the instep and a narrower heel cup), which was easily adjusted around my foot via the two velcroed straps and one ratchet strap. As a recent convert to boa-style shoes, I’d initially been hesitant about the ratchet closure—but thanks to a micro-adjustment that lets you dial in the fit of the largest strap (best done at home, not on the road), I was able to position the third strap exactly where I wanted it—lined up perfectly over the tongue. I also appreciated the ability to make on-the-fly adjustments via the ratchet during longer rides when I wanted a little more give. All in all, each small adjustment made the Genius 7s feel nicely molded to my feet right out of the box—a bonus, as I had a four-day stage race just a week after purchase.

Stiff, comfortable, and a perfect fit for medium-width feet, these Sidi Genius 7s are some of the best-fitting road shoes I’ve ever worn

The Genius 7s are the first road shoes I’ve every worn that came with spare parts—which speaks volumes about Sidi’s willingness to stand behind its Italian leather and microfiber upper. I’ve only had my 7s for about six weeks, so it’s hard to guess what they’ll look like after several thousand miles. But I already know I can swap out the heel pad, strap buckle and caliper buckle, which is a good thing, as friends who have been wearing their Sidis for years claim that the fit simply gets better with time. And given how well I like these shoes already, you can bet I’ll be looking to repair—not replace—them.

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About the Rider: Lindsay Warner
Lindsay Warner lives in Burlington, Vermont, where she's trying to perfect the art of riding in the snow (thanks, cyclocross!), and riding up and down mountains without incident. She likes nothing better than a long, coffee-fueled road ride with friends, and writes for publications including National Geographic, Dwell, Bicycling, EatingWell, and the Washington Post.
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