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Long, lengthy, expensive process arriving at a conclusion. I wanted to share my experience deciding on these two, as there was little info posted.

I have average width, no/low arch, somewhat narrow heels. 5’10” 180. FTP of around 250W Normally size 44.

During this time of limited inventory from LBSs, it’s been challenging finding the right shoe. I like to ride cross country and trail. I have both XC and trail bike. I did a lot of searching on forums for opinions and couldn’t find a lot of meaningful help.

I wore out my 8yr old Scotts that served me well. When I bought new XC bike a few months ago, I got a pair of Drako version 1, size 45. I normally ride 44, but shop said I measured closer to 45 and they didn’t have 44. They always felt big, disconnected, not that comfortable. It was like I was pedaling a stiff piece of carbon under my foot and that was pedaling the bike. I gave them enough rides that I couldn’t return them.

I then bought a pair of Shimano XC9 size 44. Felt great out of box. Very little, to no break in period. Thought I found my forever shoe until riding my first 2+ hour ride and my toes were on fire after my feet expanded and the pressure. While they are stiff, I still feel the pedal contact with shoe in a pretty direct way.

after the burning toes, I knew I needed larger shoe and specifically a 44.5 for most shoes. I had tried a 45 XC9 earlier at LBS and knew that was a little large.

This week ordered Sidi Drako 2 44.5. I rode my first major ride and felt like I found the shoe from both a size and sole stiffness perspective. Very little break in needed. Toes had room, but I wasn’t swimming or disconnected. I will still wear XC9 occasionally for sub 1 hour aggressive rides, because I like feeling the pedal. However, if I could only have one in the right size, it would be Drako 2.

I’ve tried on Sidi Dominators, Specialized Recon, Giro, etc. In general, Giro also fits my feet. Specialized does not.

I’m ultimately trying to justify the expense, as it should be cheaper than doctor visits with damaged feet…at least that’s what I’m telling myself and my wife :)
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