Vittoria Bike Shoes — 7 Helpful Things to Know

Vittoria Bike Shoes at a Glance

Thinking about picking up some Vittoria bike shoes? Here’s some helpful “too long didn’t read” info for you. If you want to dive deeper, keep reading past the bullets!

  • They look great!
  • The SSP dial on the Vittoria Viper mountain bike shoe is weak and feels cheap.
  • The fit is much wider than Sidi, so it doesn’t feel like a hungry octopus grabbing my foot.
  • The insert that the cleat screws into stripped immediately.
  • Vittoria fixed the problem with a new pair of shoes.
  • They have a super-aggressive tread — awesome!
  • They’re better for people with wide feet.

Before we start talking about Vittoria bike shoes, you’ll have to forgive a little digression about Sidi bike shoes. Trust me, it’ll set the situation up.

I’m a long-time Sidi bike shoe fan. I’ve used them on both my mountain and road bikes since probably 1998 or so. Every time I tried a different brand, I came back to Sidi. They simply fit better and last longer.

Sidi shoes are more expensive, but they also last a long time; I’ve gotten at least 10 years out of every pair. Recently, my old Sidi Dominator 4 mountain bike shoes reached their “end of life” — I retired them after riding in the Frenzy Hills race.

sidi bike shoes

I have some serious history with Sidi bike shoes. The Dragon 5 shoes are the ones in the center.

 

I treated myself to the fanciest set of bike shoes I’ve ever owned, thanks to the guys at Bicycle Haus in Scottsdale. The Sidi Dragon 5 is a truly killer shoe, from carbon sole to weird wire closure things.

But there’s just one little thing about them …

Why I Bought Vittoria Bike Shoes

As excellent as the Sidi Dragon 5 shoes are, their tread wears out within months. This isn’t exactly ideal for a guy who goes off looking for new-to-me terrain to ride.

Sidi sells replacement tread for about $50, which I had no choice but to buy. I don’t relish the idea of replacing them twice a year, so I decided to look for a “beater shoe” so I could save the Dragons for racing and other special occasions.

I discovered the Vittoria Viper shoes on sale. I figured for something like $60 at that time down from $200, I couldn’t go wrong. Plus, they were obnoxiously white. Yes, I like oddball shoe colors and am slightly bitter that Sidi only had my size in matte black.

First Impressions

They look good, and they use what’s called an SSP dial similar to what’s on the Sidi and also to the BOA fit system. I’m sorry to say things went downhill from there.

I noticed five things right off:

  • They look great!
  • The SSP dial on the Viper is weak and feels cheap.
  • The fit is much wider than Sidi, so it doesn’t feel like a hungry octopus grabbing my foot.
  • The insert that the cleat screws into stripped immediately.
  • They have a super-aggressive tread — awesome!

I guess I can forgive the SSP dial system for a shoe that only cost me $60. I partially compensated for the wide, loose fit by sticking a thicker insole into the shoe.

vittoria bike shoes

Serious tread on the Vittoria Viper shoes.

The stripped insert? I contacted Vittoria USA and explained the problem. They promptly responded and had me send the Viper shoes back. It took about two months to resolve the problem, which Vittoria solved by sending me a new pair of Vipers. The pair they sent was gray rather than white, but I liked them better, anyway.

The aggressive tread required some shaving away with a Dremel tool to accommodate my Crank Brothers Egg Beater Pedals.

The fit was still the same, as was the Boa system. I wonder if it’s possible to replace them.

Riding in the Vittoria Viper Shoes

Obviously, fit is everything when it comes to shoes. I can’t say that Vittoria is in any way at fault for having a shoe that’s roomier than I need. I have a skinny foot, and I know it.

Still, even with a thicker insole, I had to tighten the SSP dial to the max. Even so, I still had some issues in extremely steep bits of trail where I noticed my heel pulling up from the insole. Not a good feeling.

Compared to the Sidi Dragon 5, the Vittoria Viper just feels sloppy. If you have a wide foot, this shoe might be the ticket for you.

vittoria bike shoes

A closer look at the Viper’s Boa dial. I’ve seen much nicer Boa dials and would replace these in a second if it’s possible.

That said, you will still be stuck with the plasticy SSP dial, which cannot compare to the Techno 3 Push System on the Sidi Dragon 5.

Again, the Sidi shoe retails for nearly double the price of the Vittoria Viper.

Bottom Line

Vittoria bike shoes are pretty decent and offer a good value.

Still, people with narrow feet might want to stick with a different brand. My long, skinny, Size 47 feet felt adrift in the Vittoria shoes.

It’s also worth mentioning that many of the current Vittoria bike shoes use the BOA system instead of the SSP dial.

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