An updated version of a classic Tri shoe.
Something other than white, especially for the sockliner portion of the shoe.
A great example of the evolution of a shoe done right.
The Sidi T3.6 Vent Carbon is the latest triathlon specific offering from the very well known cycling shoe manufacturer. We've definitely put in more than our fair share of miles in previous Sidi models, so we are pretty well versed in the Sidi department. In fact, we reviewed the previous version to this model, the T2.6 here. We've spent the better part of the year abusing the T3.6 in true TriBomb fashion.
The new version picks up where the old version left off as far as quality is concerned, as a bonus it does so in a lighter weight package. The most prominent feature is the Vent carbon sole, which is made in the same carbon factory that builds parts for Ducati and Ferrari, so that automatically ensures the shoes will be fast, right?
Well...not exactly, it is a very well executed, very stiff sole weighing in at 38g less than it's predecessor. The "vents" can be adjusted so that you can control airflow to help regulate the temperature for all season riding.
On that note, we would put it somewhere in the middle of the pack as far as ventilation is concerned. Since it lacks the mesh material that many shoes use in the construction of the upper, airflow can feel a little inadequate at times. Nothing major, as we've worn them in some of the hottest conditions, but It's really more of a trade off in our opinion, because the Sidi's seem to outlast the competition in the durability department for largely the same reason.
The integrated vents not only allow air in, they also allow moisture to drain out.
The Vent Carbon Sole also includes Sidi's replaceable heel pad.
Always a nice touch in a tri shoe, reverse straps that open away from the drivetrain.
You will no doubt recognize the signature looking Sidi upper.
The 3.6 is made of the same synthetic Lorica leather that we've come to expect from Sidi.
This material has proven to be very durable, and remains soft and supple, even after many soggy T1s. The 3.6 also features a brushed interior and minimal seams, which makes sockless riding very comfortable. Our only issue is the "gap" between the straps where the shoe closes can be uncomfortable for sliding your foot in if you leave the bottom strap fastened, as we do for quick transitions. The shape of it seems to grab the skin on the top of your feet, or maybe we just have fat feet, but we have noticed a little struggle while trying to quickly slide in our feet, especially when compared to a shoe like the new Specialized TriVent.
The heel loop is a decent size, but we wouldn't mind if it were even a little bigger (that's what she said).
The very comfy interior of the T3.6, complete with a perforated insole.
The upper also does a pretty good job of wicking away moisture. Another thing we'd like to see with the last couple of versions of this shoe would be a color other than white for the interior. It looks awesome when the shoes are new like the one above, but after a few races this is what you end up with.
Is that nitpicking? Probably, but it would also be nice to have a color that would camouflage the funk and grime that will undoubtedly reside there. While we're on the subject of color, we would love to see a blacked-out version of this shoe.
We feel like the T3.6 runs pretty true to size. We recommend trying the shoe on if at all possible. Another characteristic of Lorica is that it does loosen up a little when it warms up. SIDI recommends giving the shoe 10 minutes to "warm up" when fitting these shoes and we agree with that recommendation.
The shoe won't stretch (you know...it does have a carbon fiber sole) but allow yourself some time to get the fit right. Don't just go with your "street shoe" sizing, the fit should be more snug than that. For example, one of our testers wears a 46 in most cycling shoes including the Sidis, but in a street shoe wears a 12.5. If you look at the chart that would be closer to an 11.5 in a normal shoe, so choose wisely.
At the upper end of the range with an MSRP of $349.99. Italian quality ain't cheap. We can tell you that the various Sidi shoes we've had have held up exceptionally well, and you could easily get more than one season out of a pair if necessary.
TriBomb Bottom Line
Typical Sidi quality. Typical Sidi comfort. This is an all-around terrific example of a triathlon shoe. Outside the totally radical approach of the new Specialized triathlon shoe, and the commitment to change the game of what we call a tri-specific shoe this is about as good as it gets.