The Sole of the Dragon!
A couple of months ago I found a great deal on a pair of SIDI Carbon Dragon 3 MTB Shoes and I thought to myself – hey, they get great reviews, let’s dump the sub $100 shoes and try what the pros wear!
It’s been six weeks, 10 rides (4 on my Cross and 6 on my MTB) and just over 100 miles – but now a small yet expensive problem has cropped up!
As compared to…
But first, let’s back up just a bit. I have been wearing the Shimano SH-M088 MTB Shoes ($99.99) since late 2011 and until this recent purchase only had to replace them once (with the newer L version) because I wore out the rubber sole. I wore these things everywhere all the time during my cycling adventures, from the time I left the house, drove to the trailhead and even lunch after. They typically never came off until the bike was hung back on the rack. These are time tested and awesome shoes, especially for the price. Add the fact that they run a little wide (great for me) has made them a very popular choice of many a mountain biker.
Now enters the SIDI Dragon at $400, yup $400 bucks – not something that the average Joe is going to fork up for a pair of shoes. But, since I did find a brand new pair in my size on eBay for less than 1/2 retail – I figured I’d give them a try. The month wait for them to be shipped from S. Korea wasn’t too bad either, since there was still snow on the ground. And when they finally arrived – I was stoked! I can tell you there is a LOT to like about these shoes. Normally I test products much longer than just a couple of weeks but as mentioned above I have run into a snag that I felt needed some attention.
When reviewing this shoe, there are two components that need to be considered:
- The shoe itself
- The replaceable soles.
I will have a full review of the shoes at the end of the summer – but there are a few highlights that I would like to point out today. The shoes come in at a respectable 760 grams for the pair, are stiff, very comfortable, stay cool in the heat, seem very durable, dry quickly when they get wet and wash up easily with a damp cloth – most everything you would want and expect in a $400 shoe.
The Dragon’s Achilles Heel
The Sole of the Dragon is where the weakness lies. As mentioned above I only have 10 rides / 100 miles on them and it’s now time to replace the soles. At $50 a set, this can add up extremely fast over the course of a summer – moreover the life of the shoe! I have posted photos below, but let me preface this with the fact that where I ride here in Colorado, there is not a lot of “dirt”. What we mostly ride on is crushed granite and this stuff is brutal to all things MTB (including the rider). Top that off with the fact that we probably hike-a-bike a little more than say on the east coast. FYI: I did wear these the same as the Shimano to keep a fair comparison review.