Giro mountain cycling shoes

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    Giro Empire VR90 - Iceberg Éléments Réfléchissants 19 (GISEMV1B)
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Designed for the dirt road connoisseur, Giro’s mountain cycling shoes are equipped with the latest technologies and modern designs to aid cyclists in their off-road adventures. Generally, MTB shoes’ distinct features are its burly silhouette, protective upper, and rugged sole.

This section will dive deep into Giro’s mountain bike shoes - from general characteristics like closure systems to distinct ones such as exclusive technologies. Read on if you want to know more.

Anatomy of Giro mountain bike shoes

best Giro mountain cycling shoes

Best Giro mountain cycling shoes - April 2020

The company’s MTB shoes are one of the most mentioned shoes in various publications’ best mountain bike lists. If you’re eyeing any of the brand’s mountain models, this part could help you reach an informed decision by making you acquainted with the world of Giro bike shoes.

Closure systems

  • Laces

Most of Giro’s mountain bike footgear employ the traditional lace-up closure. Plenty of mountain riders prefer this tried-and-tested fastening due to its lightweight, efficient, and seemingly unbreakable design that can endure rough and unpredictable trails. A number of Giro’s shoes also apply either a lace shroud, a lace tuck, or a top strap to keep laces from getting caught in the bike.

  • Velcro

The second most ubiquitous closure system in the brand’s MTB shoes is the Velcro straps. This option is recommended for its easy on-the-fly adjustment, lightweight fit, and endurance in the mountain’s rugged paths. It is also usually paired with another type of closure, such as BOA dials, ratchet buckles, and laces.

  • Ratchet buckles

The ratchet buckle is the hardware version of the Velcro straps. Giro’s version is called the N-1 buckle. It works two ways: tightening in 1mm increments and instant full release. This option provides flawless and secure adjustments while on the bike and is usually complemented with the N-2 strap.

  • BOA

Although commonly seen in road shoes, the BOA dials are less spotted in MTB shoes. This is due to the wirings and hardware’s possibility of getting dismantled in the rough terrains. However, it provides excellent and accurate adjustability and feather-weight fit.

  • Techlace

Last, and certainly not the least, is Giro’s proprietary closure called the Techlace. This system has attached the good old laces with Velcro straps, resulting in a uniquely lightweight and easily adjustable shoe. It is usually paired with other fastenings such as BOA dials or the N-1 buckle.

Upper material and protection

Aside from the more pronounced rugged soles of MTB shoes, their uppers are also burlier than other types of cycling shoes. The brand's models, in particular, are often crafted from water-repellent materials. Giro uses the following textiles for their shoes' upper: Evofiber, Microfiber, or synthetic fiber. 

  • The Evofiber is a combination of mesh and microfiber, best characterized by its one-piece design. This helps eliminate irritation-causing seams and adhesives.
  • The microfiber upper, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily come in one-piece construction and has a finer thread count than regular synthetic fiber.
  • Synthetic fiber is made from man-made materials in normal thread count.

Some of the models' uppers are accompanied with toe and heel reinforcements - made from either rubber or Rockprint - for durability, impact protection, and abrasion resistance. Moreover, several shoes feature an extended collar design that is made from stretch-knit. It provides ankle protection, stability, and keeps the elements out.

Sole design

This section includes both midsole and outsole features. Not all of the brand's MTB shoes include a midsole. Those that do have midsoles usually display a sneaker-like aesthetic. They are commonly crafted from EVA for optimized vibration damping and employ an injected inner shank for better transfer power. Moreover, they could feature either a flat or a 2-bolt cleat system.

For Giro MTB shoes that look more like a beefed-up road shoe, the soles are usually made from either Easton EC90 or EC70 carbon fiber. These shoes are stiffer than the ones with midsoles. Vibram rubber lugs are molded into the soles for traction and walkability. In some cases, users can add steel toe spikes as several shoes are built to accommodate them.


Insoles can remarkably impact the fit of any shoe. Given the stiffer construct of cycling shoes, footbeds improve comfort and provide support and cushioning. For Giro mountain cycling shoes, they utilize two main insole types: SuperNatural Fit Kit and EVA footbed.

The SuperNatural Fit Kit is the brand's proprietary insole design. It features interchangeable arch support foams that attach and detach via Velcro. The system comes with three foams with different levels of support, each labeled S, M, or L. Users are given the option to explore and switch whenever they want.

Giro's EVA footbed comes in a number of varieties. They either come die-cut (has a thin composition that is anatomically shaped after the foot) or molded (this has more cushioning and support). All insoles are removable, so owners can replace them with customized ones if they want to.

Lastly, several of their molded EVA footbeds employ a layer of anti-microbial technologies. This helps keep the odor at bay by fighting microbes that induce foul smells.

Frequently asked questions

How do I get the correct fit in Giro mountain bike shoes?

Well-fitting cycling shoes offer a comfortable, supportive fit. They generally feel narrower than everyday footwear without any restrictions nor pinching. Note that not all Giro models are offered in half sizes.

Here are the steps for acquiring the correct sizing pair:

  • If you're a first-time shopper, go to the nearest retail store to get your feet measured using a Brannock device. If you're a returning customer, you can use an old pair for size reference.
  • Once you get back home, check out Giro’s sizing chart. Remember that each model could fit differently.
  • If you have wide feet, you may want to check out models with HV (High Volume) fit. 
  • Try the pair on and make sure there are no pinching sensations. There should be a half-inch gap between your big toe and toecap.

What is the best mountain shoe in Giro’s lineup?

Claiming a particular MTB cycling model is best for all types of offroad cyclists is misleading and untrue. Why? Because all feet are shaped differently and come with various necessities. But if you mean which are the top-rated Giro mountain cycling shoes, then a more feasible answer can be reached.

The following models have been mentioned in several best MTB shoe lists:

What are some of Giro’s women-specific MTB models?

Although most of the brand’s footwear can be converted to women’s sizing, the width isn’t custom-made after the ladies’ narrower foot shape. Knowing which models are created on women-specific last could help in every female cyclist’s search for their next pair. Below are some of Giro’s women’s exclusive MTB shoes:

  • Giro Sica Techlace
  • Giro Manta Lace
  • Giro Terradura
  • Giro Riela R II
  • Giro Manta R
  • Giro Petra VR

Clipless MTB shoes vs. flat mountain bike shoes

This is a standard topic most mountain riders deliberate on as it is one of the factors cyclists have to determine before every purchase. Let's dive more so we can paint a clearer picture of what each sole type is and its purpose.

Clipless mountain bike shoes employ a 2-bolt cleat system. It allows the footwear to attach to the pedal, providing a direct and stable connection between the rider and the bike. It is also said to be beneficial in power transfer as the cyclist can use most muscles in the legs. However, some mountain bikers feel fearsome since they can't easily plant their feet whenever they need to.

Flat MTB shoes, on the other hand, usually display a sneaker-like look complete with midsoles for vibration damping. This footwear's selling point is that it gives the rider confidence to go fast as they can freely plant their feet every time they need. However, down below, the outsole's grip isn't always exceptional. Some models do not have enough sticking power that it causes pedal slippage.

All in all, both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The final decision lies on the rider's preferences. Although it is essential to know that clipless shoes are discouraged for gravity/downhill cyclists due to the activity's steep trails and fast speeds.

Giro mountain shoes vs. skate sneakers

Plenty of beginner mountain cyclists go for a pair of skate shoes to bike in. They settle with the skate kicks because they think that their durable design and grippy soles will suffice. What's more, is that they believe mountain bike shoes are too expensive.

However, most seasoned mountain cyclists would oppose this notion. They attest that cycling-built mountain shoes are worth every penny as they offer so much more than what skate sneakers can. MTB shoes provide excellent protection to prevent serious injuries. They also come with rigid soles that help save precious energy by their impeccable power transfer.

Lastly, skate shoes might provide a certain level of traction, but it falls insignificant compared to mountain bike shoes' grip. Hence, if you plan to mountain bike for a long time, it is best recommended to purchase MTB-specific shoes. It is an investment.