Verdict from 13 experts and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • The majority marvel at the Giro Empire SLX shoe’s impeccable lightness.
  • Most of the wearers rave about this model’s superb comfort.
  • The design and style are aesthetically appealing, according to a lot of shoppers’ opinions.
  • Many buyers applaud the Empire SLX’s excellent quality in construction and materials.
  • The stiffness of the sole provides efficient energy transfer, according to plenty of cyclists.
  • Several reviewers have said that the shoe can withstand rough rides for a long time.
  • A good amount of users laud the pair’s lace closure for its retro look and ability to distribute pressure evenly.
  • It is well-ventilated, a few testers affirm.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Several consumers think the shoe is a bit pricey.
  • Some shoppers feel limited with this pair’s colorway choices.

Bottom line

The Empire SLX is one of the many versions of the original Giro Empire model. This model is revered for setting a standard for lightweight cycling footwear. Despite its buoyant construct, the shoe doesn’t compromise the essential support and stiffness for cycling. 

The combination of the Evofiber SL one-piece upper and the Easton EC90 SLX 2 high-modulus outsole serve as the foundation for this model’s excellent performance.

Tip: see the best cycling shoes.

Good to know

The Empire collection consists of shoes made for road cycling. Some of the shoes have been designed with feedback from American professional road racing cyclist Taylor Phinney. The Empire SLX, in particular, is favored by Sir Bradley Wiggins. He wore it in the World Championships time trial and the Tour of California wherein he won both events.

Direct connection to the pedal and excellent power transfer. Employing an Easton Carbon Composite outsole, this shoe provides an optimal pedal feel and doesn’t waste any watt exerted by the rider.

Ventilated. A pocket of titanium hardware is engineered into the sole. This pocket acts like a perforation hole to provide enhanced breathability underneath the foot. It helps keep the foot dry and comfortable, especially on warm days.

Changeable heel pads. Rubber heel pads help the wearer have a more comfortable experience while off the bike. It is also usually the first part to wear out in road cycling shoes. With the Empire SLX’s replaceable heel pads, buyers are treated with excellent value for money as it helps lengthen the shoe’s lifespan.

The Giro Empire SLX features a 3-bolt cleat design. This design is usually seen in road cycling shoes. It aims to give the rider better stability and linkage to the bike’s pedal during races. This pair is compatible with the following pedal designs: Look Keo Sprint, Time Xpresso 15, Shimano 105 R7000, Look X-Track Rage, and many more.

Repels water yet still breathable. This pair’s Evofiber upper took the strengths of mesh and microfiber and fused them. This fusion provides a hydrophobic effect and remains breathable.

Prevents hotspots and feels lighter. The Empire SLX utilizes a construction called the Synchwire. This construction makes use of an advanced composite of thermo-bonded film to create a stitchless upper. The combination of mesh and TPU provides excellent ventilation, durability, and stable rides.

Tried-and-tested fastening system. This shoe employs the traditional lace-up closure for optimized lightness and prevention of pressure points. 

The Giro Empire SLX comes in versions for both genders. The women’s version has a slimmer shape last to provide the women traditional cycling fit. This pair’s sole is perceived by users to be stiffer and lighter than previous Empire models. 

Interchangeable arch support foams. Equipped with the brand’s SuperNatural Fit System, the Empire SLX comes with three arch support foams for a more customizable fit. The foams come in three levels of arch: S, M, and L. Users can attach and detach the foam via Velcro.

It is lined with anti-microbial fibers. This pair employs X-Static Fiber technology. This technology uses natural silver for heat-conducting and anti-microbial properties. It helps keep the foot warm and odor and bacteria at bay.

  • Lace tucks are provided to keep laces in place, and not let them get caught in the bike chain.
  • A travel bag and spare laces are included.
  • The premium Evofiber SL Teijin microfiber upper along with the vented outsole and tongue provide a breathable fit to keep the foot dry even in hot weather. 
  • Logos are seen on the lateral and rear parts of the upper as branding.
  • The top two eyelets are crafted from metal for enhanced durability.


How Giro Empire SLX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 12% road cycling shoes
All road cycling shoes
Top 10% Giro cycling shoes
All Giro cycling shoes
Top 12% breathable cycling shoes
All breathable cycling shoes


The current trend of Giro Empire SLX.
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