A high quality triathlon specific cycling shoe from one of the most respected names in the biz.
A heat moldable option.
A great triathlon specific shoe that will stand up to many miles of abuse.
It would be hard to argue that there is a more dedicated, innovative, or well respected cycling shoe company on the planet than SIDI. They have been pioneers in the cycling shoe business for over 50 years. SIDI was founded in 1960 by Dino Signori (in case you were wondering) this is also where the SIDI name stems from, the first two letters of his first and last name (yes it's in reverse, and no, we don't know why). Signori was a competitive cyclist himself and decided to improve on what was available at the time. What began as a small mountaineering shoe workshop now stand as one of the industry leaders in design and innovation for cycling shoes worldwide.
It's obvious that a great deal of thought went into the design of this shoe. The SIDI T2.6 Carbon Lite is SIDI's top of the line triathlon specific shoe and it has been a true workhorse for us through many months of use and abuse.
The Soul is the Sole
The T2.6 Carbon Lite features the SIDI Carbon Lite Sole. This is the same full carbon sole used on top of the line SIDI road shoes. This sole is completely handmade using T700 carbon fiber in a 3k weave pattern. T700 (basically refers to the type of carbon fiber used) carbon fiber is a strong, high quality carbon fiber. The 3k pattern has to do with the way the carbon fiber is woven and the number of threads used. This produces a very strong, very stiff platform for putting power to the pedals. We don't pretend to be CF experts but if you feel the need to become a carbon fiber guru you can start with this link.
SIDI claims that the way the carbon sole is laid up provides maximum power transfer and allows for a controlled amount of flex in the toe. This flex is designed to relieve stress on the plantar tendon (the tendon that runs basically the length of the bottom of your foot) and promote circulation. Both of which you will appreciate when leaving T2 and heading out for the run especially if it's a marathon.
We can't tell you how much this actually contributes to overall foot health, but we can tell you we do not experience hot spots or numbness with these shoes.
Another nice feature SIDI incorporated on the bottom of the sole is an alignment scale for your cleat placement. These indicators make it much easier for mapping out the correct alignment when adjusting or replacing your cleats. The T2.6 also incorporates the Look Memory Eyelet to make cleat alignment even easier (for those of us who use Look cleats).
The upper of the T2.6 Carbon Lite is made out of Lorica. Lorica is basically a synthetic leather made from microfiber. We have found it to be a great material for this application. Our shoes have a ton of miles on them in all kinds of weather and with a bit of cleaning they would still look pretty good. Our SIDIs are still quite soft and we haven't experienced any drying or cracking whatsoever. Lorica is also water repellent (a nice feature for all the fluids that may come in contact with your shoes, bodily or otherwise) while allowing water vapor to escape. The shoes are fairly ventilated but we'd like to see, or feel, a little more air flow.
This shoe is packed with tri-specific features that you would expect from a top of the line triathlon cycling shoe. The SIDI T2.6 uses notched straps that keep the strap from accidentally coming all the way out of the shoe and the straps open away from the drive-train. The T2.6 also has a built in heel loop to help you get the shoe on a little quicker which is always a good thing coming out of T1. There are also replaceable heel pads on these shoes in case you wear them out (they are triathlon shoes though, so just leave 'em clipped in).
The SIDI T2.6 Carbon Lite is very comfortable. The inside of the shoe was designed for sock free comfort and we have had zero issues with anything rubbing or causing blisters. We also found the shoe to be very stiff with good power transfer, without causing any hot spots or numbness.
We feel like the T2.6 runs pretty true to size. We recommend trying a half size up or down in this shoe if 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. The T2.6 is available in sizes 39-48 and half sizes are available in 39.5-46.5. SIDI also offers narrow widths for skinny feet and mega size widths for Flintstone feet. More SIDI sizing tips can be found here.
The SIDI T2.6 Carbon Lite will cost you a pretty penny, but so will any shoe with comparable quality and features.
TriBomb Bottom Line
An excellent shoe choice from an exceptional shoe maker.