Verdict from 2 experts and 64 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The majority of Sidi Defender reviews highlight the shoe's unbelievable comfort level.
  • This mountain bike shoe ticks the box for durability, according to most owners.
  • Several cyclists especially appreciate this pair's high-cut ankle as it provides excellent protection.
  • The Defender's closure system works well, say a number of users.
  • Some testers are pleasantly surprised by its relative lightness.
  • A couple of consumers find it to be aesthetically appealing.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some riders say its too flexible for their liking.
  • A couple of commenters claim that the upper stretches over time.
  • A tester finds this shoe a little pricey.

Bottom line

The Defender retains signature Sidi characteristics such as comfort, quality, and quite costly price tags. One of the most loved elements of this shoe is its high-cut build for extra ankle protection. The shoe's many tech features are recommended to technical trail riders.

If you don't mind the mentioned misfires, then the Sidi Defender might be worth the try.

Tip: see the best mountain cycling shoes.

Good to know

Who is it for? The Sidi Defender is primarily targeted at technically adept mountain cyclists who like to be clipped in. However, its build also suits riders who are after the following elements in their footwear:

  • Easy to use retention system
  • Ankle protection
  • Clipless cleat design
  • Flexible with a hint of rigidity
  • Well-built pieces

What is it for? This Sidi mountain bike shoe is mainly designed for off-road riding. But it also performs excellently in the following cycling pursuits:

  • Flowy and loose trail riding
  • Urban commuting
  • Touring

Grip and enough rigidity. The Sidi Defender employs the brand's Outdoor rubber sole. This sole is designed to provide adequate stiffness for power transfer and grip for off-bike stability.

Expels mud and dirt. This pair's tread design [is optimized to automatically expel debris, dirt and mud.

The Defender utilizes a traditional MTB two-bolt cleat system. It is suitable for the following pedal models: Superstar Nano-x EVO, Burgtec MK4 Composite and Nukeproof Horizon Pro Sam Hill.

A protective plate comes with the shoe, which can be unscrewed to reveal the cleat area. The cleat area is also recessed to make walking comfortable and natural.

Durable. This mountain cycling shoe's upper is crafted from a Politex material and mesh inserts. The Politex displays a suede effect and is made up of several overlapping layers with different properties. One of them is the compacted PVC, which is then coupled with knitted fabric and felt.

Both the knitted fabric and felt materials are then film dyed to keep the color for a long time. The end result is a material providing strong resistance against laceration, ripping and fading.

Lockdown. The Sidi Defender employs the combination of the brand's Techno-3 system and Velcro strap for its retention system. The Techno-3 system consists of a dial that tightens and loosens in increments and SIDI Wire material that is completely non-binding and goes along the length of the midfoot top foot areas of the shoe. 

Once the dial is cinched, the wire wraps the foot for a supportive and snug fit. The Velcro strap governs the fit of the toe area.

Heel retention. This pair features the Sidi heel cup, which is designed to keep the foot in place and in optimal position while pedaling. It also prevents deformation brought about by extreme performance and pressure.

Easy on and off. Pull tabs are placed in both the heel and tongue areas to aid in faster putting on and taking off.

  • A lower version dubbed as the Sidi Defender 20 is also offered.
  • The Defender's features one serviceable part, which is the Techno-3 system.


How Sidi Defender ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 50% mountain cycling shoes
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Bottom 40% Sidi cycling shoes
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The current trend of Sidi Defender.
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