The Women's Giro Sica MTB Shoe. © Cyclocross Magazine
Editor's Note: This article is from our mud-loving friends at Cyclocross Magazine and originally appeared on cxmagazine.com. It was written by passionate cyclocross racer Molly Hurford. Visit them for your daily cyclocross fix.
I've been putting Giro's most recent iteration of their women's Sica MTB shoe through the paces, and a month and a half into the season, I've been impressed. The Sica isn't the newest shoe in their lineup: My older Sica shoes have lasted two seasons, and if those seasons are any indications of how durable the new version is, I'll have these for a long time. The $225 shoes are the highest-end women's MTB shoes offered by Giro, and come with carbon soles from Easton combined with a "breathable" microfiber for the actual shoe that make the Sica a durable shoe for a long season in the mud. The Sica is the women's equivalent of the men's Giro Gauge, so those familiar with that neon and black model won't be surprised by anything on this shoe.
The buckles and D-rings are placed in such a way as to avoid pressure points on your foot, which is something I appreciated as a person with circulation issues in the best of circumstances. The biggest shoe durability issue I've had over the years isn't from the sole or the shoe itself, rather, it's the straps and buckles that fade long before the rest of the shoe is ready to be replaced. Luckily, the Sicas have replaceable buckles in case of failure (though they haven't failed me yet), and the Velcro is standing strong despite some serious pressure washing. Because the shoes are white, I admit I treat them a bit harsher as I try to keep them clean, but if you're not into washing shoes after every race, the Sica also comes in black.
The Giro Sica does scuff noticeably, so don't expect it to stay pristine. © Cyclocross Magazine
The only problem I've had with the Giro Sica shoes is a common one: the carbon soles and stiff microfiber mean that the shoes take a while to break in, so wait until you have a weekend off of racing to ride (and walk around) in them to break them in a bit before racing. That said, once they do get broken in, the shoes are extremely comfortable, even more so since they come with three choices for your arches: high, medium or low. Most people will like the medium arch insert, but for those with weird feet, this may be a way to make running in your bike shoes a little more comfortable.
The stiff carbon sole takes some time to get used to with running, if you're coming from a rubber-soled shoe, but once you adapt to the running in carbon soles, you'll notice the stiffness helps improve pedaling power and form, especially if you use a smaller pedal like Crankbrothers Eggbeaters, which I do. Rubber soles tend to flex around the small pedaling surface, while the carbon sole of the Sica stays stiff and allows me to crank a little harder up hills. The bottom does scuff quickly, so don't expect your shoes to look pristine after being put through a couple of rides. However, the scuffs are entirely aesthetic, and the shoe holds up well.
Different inserts for the Women's Giro Sica MTB Shoe. © Cyclocross Magazine
Since we've had all warm-weather races so far this year, the breathability offered by the Sica has come in handy: the mesh by the toe keeps my feet from overheating, and later in the year, I'll break out the shoe covers for the super cold races or opt for my favorite Gore WindStopper socks.
- Bottom: Easton EC70 carbon composite is optimized for stiffness and power transfer
- Footbed: Molded EVA footbed with women's medium arch profile and Aegis anti-microbial treatment
- Weight: 305 grams
- MSRP: $225