The R320 top-of-the-line Shimano shoe is available to Ronald McDonald, the entire NBA league and myself. Fanatastic to see a company willing to offer it’s utmost shoe levels to the bigger set (49 and 50).
Whilst I have been riding in Sidi for the past 12 years, it has been using the Dominator/Genius models with the carbon/nylon ‘millenium’ sole (devised in the year 2000?) whilst watching Sidi release year after year of magnificent footwear that finished off at a size 48 (ergo, spider, wire etc). Sidi don’t seem in an rush to produce their carbon sole in a size 49/50 leaving us big footed giants with the mid-range offerings - the sales of these giant shoes must be so small as to not be worth the cost in carbon molds for the company which is a real shame (it also occurs in the motorcycle range - which is worse as you are giving up safety features and not just performance when comparing the upper Sidi boots to the mid-range models).
The Shimano shoe auditions very well, slipper like comfort as you slide your foot in with incredibly soft uppers that seem to mold to your foot shape and a noticably light shoe both in the hand and on the foot.
The custom process involves heating the shoe and footbeds and then having a plastic bag cover your foot and a vacuum applied which pulls in the heel socket and the footbed up into your arch - a parculiar sensation if ever I felt one! The results are a fantastic shoe and a real feeling of value for money - you get a lot of features and showmanship for your dollar.
The new shoes weigh 334g each vs. the 408g of the Sidi - a saving of 150grams total and it’s rotating weight too!
Possible issues: extremely well vented shoes will be a wonderful asset in the Australian summer heat - and when winter and autumn come to greet us each year the shoes will require an entire range of booties and warmers to keep out the winter chill from all those vents!
First ride: tomorrow!