Originally Posted by regomatic
While I still miss my Detto Pietro cycling shoes, I reluctantly went through the paradigm-shoe shift dilemma associated with moving from quill pedals to click-in, tried all of the various brands and ultimately went with Diadora shoes in '92. They were excellent and fit as well as my Dettos.
However, somewhere around '99 I needed new shoes and discovered Diadora had changed something in their sizing that made all of their shoes either too big or too small in the adjacent sizing. So, I did the shoe-search again and ultimately shifted over to Sidi's Dominator MTB shoes for the road & off-road tandem and eventually ditched my Diadora single bike road shoes for the Sidi Genius as well. Debbie had already been using the Sidi Rampa models since '97 and has since been upgraded to the Dominators.
Over the years since, we've simply found the Sidi shoes to be exceptional quality (even the Rampa models were very good), a good fit, and a good value given their durability, noting that I only buy them when they are on sale, well below their MSRP. In fact, I recently picked up an extra set of Debbie's Rose-colored Dominator shoes when Nashbar put them on clearance which we've tucked away for the future.
The MTB / Dominator's sole seems to be just as stiff as the Road / Genius model with the biggest difference being the weight, noting that the lugged sole of the MTB shoe is clearly heavier than the non-lugged sole. The Sidi Genius that I use on my solo road bike with Campy ProFit pedals probably gets its more solid-feeling vis-a-vis the shoe-to-pedal interface than the shoe's sole. In other words, if I were to use a smaller cleat system with the Genius I suspect the shoe's sole would not feel as solid as it does with the larger Profit / Look-like interface.
As you can see in the photo below, we're fairly-well committed to the Sidi brand.
1. We use the Sidi Dominators for the road tandems with Speedplay Frog pedal system.
2. We use the Sidi Dominators for off-road tandeming also with the Speedplay Frog pedal system.
3. I have the aforementioned pair of Sidi Genius for use on my solo road bikes with Campy ProFit pedals.
4. For winter riding, Debbie has the Sidi Storm MTB shoes and I have the Freeze Road model: it's just a little more convenient vs. shoe covers. For winter off-road I use my cruddy Dominators with Gortex shoe liners and, in retrospect, I too should have gotten the Storm MTB model for both road & off-road.
5. Debbie sticks with her same Rose-colored Sidi Dominators for her solo road bike and I do the same with my fixed-gear.
The lugged sole is, IMHO, the best choice for all but no-kidding racing or time trials: they provide sure footing and are better suited for tandem rallies and tours where a lot of time is spent off the bike walking around on all kinds of terrain. I've also found that Shoe Goo can be used to rebuild the lugs to extend the life of the shoes / cleats. Counsel guy mentioned that certain Sidi models have replaceable shoe lugs: these are I believe their top of the line models.