Not me. In fact, I had to search google to find the names just mentioned. When I think of Italian shoes, I think of Sidi. And I can tell you, I love my Italian shoes.
I used to work in bike shops. I approached customer service in a pretty relaxed way; I didn't care too much if potential customers became customers proper. I prided myself on giving people all the information necessary to make an informed decision. If I didn't like something about a certain product, I'd say just as much. Personally, I can't stand slick sales people and I can see right through them. The problem with selling Sidis was I couldn't help but come across as one of those shop people I dislike so much. I'd find myself saying things like, "They are amazing. They fit perfectly from the very beginning. Sure, they're expensive, but they're worth it," and I would cringe at myself. After a time, I simply avoided serving people snooping around the shoe area.
Now, well out of the customer service game, this is no longer an issue for me. The only thing I do with Sidis these days is wear them. I have four pairs but today I'd like to talk about just one. My first pair. You could call this an extremely long term product review if you like. Or just an ode to my Italian shoes.
I bought these Sidi Eagles about six years ago. While they are definitely looking very tired now, they still do the job that they were designed for and they are as comfortable as ever.
Looking at Sidis, you would think they are made of leather. In fact, they are made of stuff called Lorica. Sidi themselves misleadingly describe Lorica as "hi-tech leather". More accurate would be "hi-tech leather alternative". The beauty of Lorica is it feels like leather, so it's soft and supple, yet it suffers none of the downsides; no problems with water, no elaborate care requirements, and kind to our furry little friends.
The Eagles, like all Sidis, have really good buckles and straps. The main buckle is easy to loosen and tighten while on the bike. It has what Sidi term "micrometric closure" which I think means you can make fine adjustments, which is true.
The velcro also has a very clever feature; little plastic teeth that lock into each other. Or as Sidi say, "High security velcro straps with integrated polymer locking teeth, that engage onto each other when the strap is closed. This feature makes the closure more secure and the strap becomes unmoveable." Or, you can make it really tight and the velcro won't slip.
The Eagles aren't the most expensive Sidi option. Far from it. But they have been great for me. Depending on where you shop, you're looking at between AUD200 and AUD350. (Don't worry, the Eagles aren't the cheapest option either). It might seem like a lot of money, but if you spend time on your bike, it is money well spent.
I love my Italian shoes. Five stars.