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SIDI Dominator 5 Review– What You Need To Know

Sidi Dominator 5 MTB shoe

This is a review of the SIDI DOMINATOR 5 MTB shoe. Click here for SIDI DOMINATOR 5 shoes.

Read some background on SIDI here.
Sizing: Check out sizing considerations here.

 38-52 Standard

 half-sizes 38.5-46.5

 40-52 Mega

 half sizes 40.5-46.5

 40-50 Narrow

 half sizes 40.5-46.5


Cleats: SPD, Crank Brothers, Look MTB compatible.
For additional information please visit


SIDI DOMINATOR 5– What is it all about?

The SIDI Dominator 5 is Sidi’s best selling mountain bike shoe and for good reason.

The shoe features the Caliper Buckle two way ratchet system and high security Velcro closures for no slip. The uppers are constructed of breathable and supple Lorica microfiber interspersed with mesh cooling panels. The Soft Instep closure system and padded tongue eliminates pressure points on the top of the arch.

SIDI toe spikesThe MTB competition composite sole accommodates optionaSIDI Dominator 5 solel toe spikes for wet or muddy conditions.  These screw in just behind the first set of knobs for added traction.

The shoe is sold in regular and mega widths


This writer has been riding the older full Lorica SIDI Dominator 5 series for some four years now and the shoes have been through pretty much all imaginable conditions from 33°C (that's over 91°F) days to cold mud and snow. I have used them for three cyclocross seasons in a row, winter road riding, and cross country mountain biking. And they are still going strong. This is a testament to their very good weather and abrasion resistance.

Sidi Dominator 5 ratchet adjust tab

I like the buckle system on the Dominator 5. The ratchet system is easy to engage and disengage for the most part and the Sidi Velcro closure system is a great Sidi innovation. The recessed polymer teeth in the strap grip very well and I have never had a problem with the straps loosening up on me while riding. Another plus is the teeth prevent continuous pressure on the Velcro while engaged and a weakening over time to the point the Velcro will no longer hold at all.

 The ratchet system is adjustable from both sides to keep the wide part of the strap even over the bridge of your foot depending on foot width.

I find there is just enough flex in the soles that running in them while racing cyclocross is still quite comfortable. My heel is held firmly by the plastic heel cup and even though my foot is a freakishly narrow size 48 (US 13) I can fit this shoe nice and firm and avoid slop.

I have ripped through the material on the instep of one of my shoes in a couple places however due to the double layer of Lorica the rip is repairable and the shoes are still very functional.

Although these are marketed as mtb shoes they make a perfectly capable road shoe as well. Though surface area is reduced between shoe and pedal, the sole is stiff enough to reduce any handicap. They have the added benefit of the recessed cleat which means walking in them is no longer a death defying exercise.


SIDI DOMINATOR 5– What I Don’t Like

On a number of occasions I have had difficulty releasing the ratchet system on my Sidi Dominator 5 shoes. Granted this has been after extremely muddy conditions (usually when I have been over my ankles in mud during a cross race) where mud and grit has lodged itself into the mechanism. This doesn’t seem to be a common complaint in the new models, but the consensus seems to be that the build quality may not be quite as good in the new model with fabric panels.

There have been a number of reports of separation of the upper from the sole and complaints of premature wear of the sole. Others report the soles have inadequate traction in wet conditions, and are uncomfortable to walk in.

I do find that cold, wet weather leaves my feet shivering and try and wear a shoe cover for extra insulation where possible when it is cold and wet.

Considering the Sidi Dominator 5 is a mid level shoe in the Sidi lineup, the price is still steep at an average $260.00. However with use as intended these shoes should last a good number of years.


SIDI DOMINATOR 5– Overall Thoughts

If used as intended these shoes do very well. By that I mean the SIDI Dominator 5 performs best in drier cross country riding conditions where you are not hiking for extended periods over muddy and slippery surfaces pushing or carrying your bike. They make a great mid level XC or cyclocross race shoe and will continue to improve in the years ahead as some features filter down from higher end models such as the rubber toe guard.

Their versatility and relatively stiff sole means they are a good solution if you can only buy one pair of shoes for both road and MTB riding. Overall, Sidi continues to impress us with the Dominator 5. I would have no hesitation in buying another pair of Dominator 5's. Sidi carries on the legacy of Italian cycling with true panache and continues to innovate with an impressive technical lineup.

Check out Sidi Dominator 5 shoe prices.

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