Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what cyclers think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Numerous owners of the Giro Empire VR70 Knit cycling shoe confirm how comfortable it is.
  • More reviewers find this pair to fit perfectly than those who say otherwise.
  • Several wearers rave about this pair’s optimal breathability. Others have added that it works excellently during the summer.
  • The Giro Empire VR70 Knit’s combination of weaved upper and lace-up closure looks interestingly appealing, according to some consumers.
  • The shoe’s construction and materials are of excellent quality, a few buyers have said.
  • A number of buyers have felt that they got the value for their money.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few users claim that the sole is not made for walking as it is too stiff.
  • A couple of consumers find the VR70 Knit’s price tag to be too steep.

Bottom line

A contemporary and unique approach to off-road cycling footwear, the Giro Empire VR70 Knit is one of the few bike shoes with knit uppers. This feature upped the ante of the Empire collection as it provides a modern aesthetic and a breathable, more comfortable fit. 

The soles are too stiff, but these types of cycling shoes are meant to perform on the bike. In the end, the pair’s costly price is justified by its quality and efficiency.

Facts

Use: Mountain
Cleat design: 2 holes
Closure: Lace
Feature: Water-resistant, Breathable, Lace Tucks
Collection: Giro Empire
Material: Knit upper
Price: $250
Weight: Men: 13.4oz
Brand: Giro
Colorways: Blue, Black, Green
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are cyclers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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87 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 89 / 100 | Pink Bike | | Level 1 expert

    Laces aren't for me - I like the convenience of buckles, straps, and dials - but I can't argue with how the Empire VR70 Knits fit my feet; these things are very comfortable and breezy. If you're looking for a light-ish shoe and like the classic retro look of laces, then these might be for you. But if the practicality of buckles trumps everything, then get a pair of shoes with buckles.

  • 87 / 100 | Bike Rumor | | Level 1 expert

    The shoe fit fine and sufficiently locked in the ankle, providing all day comfort in the heat.

  • 87 / 100 | Off.road.cc | | Level 1 expert

    Impressive comfort from the knitted upper and lace-up closure, plenty of stiffness for hard pedalling but sticky and grippy sole for hike-a-bike, and durable too. Their distinctive looks won’t be to everyone’s taste, and nor will the laces as they’re slower and more fiddly to set up and adjust, and the price is mighty (they are cheaper if you shop around), but despite those misgivings, there is a lot to like.

  • 85 / 100 | Bike Mag | | Level 1 expert

    Riding with the VR70 Knits is like going to the office wearing my flip-flops. I might not be ready for every situation I encounter, but I’ll be way more comfortable than the person sitting next to me.

Become an expert

The Giro Empire VR70 Knit is one of the brand’s few shoes meant for cross-country and mountain cycling. It is a contemporary approach to off-road cycling footwear and is regarded as a unique mountain bike shoe. Although a common sight in the athletic footwear section, the knit upper design hasn’t been used in cycling shoes - until now. The Empire E70 Knit employs Giro’s engineered Xnetic Knit upper for breathable comfort and performance.

The shoe is recognized as one of the cycling industry’s top-performing products. It has won the 2018 Designs and Innovation Award. With this, it is safe to say that the Empire VR70 Knit certainly has set the benchmark for trail shoes.

Pro-level stiffness. Built with Easton EC70 carbon fiber soles, the shoe provides unrelenting power transfer thanks to the sole’s efficient rigidity. For the same reason, climbing up steep terrain and accelerating becomes easier.

Excellent grip when off the bike. Laid down on top of the EC70 carbon fiber sole are Vibram rubber lugs. Known for their durability and traction, they will keep you upright when you need to walk up or down a sketchy part of the trail.

Accommodates steel toe spikes. This shoe provides slots for attaching toe spikes. Toe spikes enhance traction. They are great for mountain racers who know they will encounter muddy and difficult course conditions.

The Empire VR70 Knit employs the standard 2-bolt mounts in mountain bike shoes. The shoe goes with the following bike pedals: Look X-Track, Shimano PD-A530, Crank Brothers Doubleshot, Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3, and many more.

Unique sock-like upper. A fresh concept for cycling shoes, the Empire VR70 Knit leads the pack by utilizing the brand’s new Xnetic Knit material. This upper technology hugs the wearer’s foot while providing a supportive, lightweight, and breathable fit. It helps keep rocks and dirt out. Moreover, it exudes a stylishly retro look.

Increased durability, protection, and abrasion-resistance. The shoe’s upper features a TPU exoskeleton, a rubber toe guard and a TPU heel guard. All these work in unison to provide support, protect against impact and abrasion, and enhance durability.

Water-repellent and easy to clean. The DWR-treated upper keeps moisture and dust from permeating the knit material. It is also easy to wipe off dirt or mud from it.

Giro’s Empire VR70 Knit is a unisex cycling shoe that is exclusively offered in men’s sizes. The model’s knit-crafted upper allows more space as it is stretchable, while a relatively higher profile offers ankle protection. Thanks to the TPU exoskeletal structure and adjustable arch system, the foot feels stable and supported. 

Due to the reinforced toe, users may feel like a break-in period is necessary. Traditional lace-up closures prevent hotspots and offer time-tested lockdown and comfort.

Adjustable arch support. Equipped with Giro’s SuperNatural Fit Kit, this shoe offers a detachable footbed with interchangeable arch support foams. The foams come in three variations: S, M, and L. These foams provide different support depending on the level of the individual’s foot arch. Velcro attaches it.

Anti-microbial. Treated with the Aegis anti-bacterial fabric enhancement, this shoe can control odor-causing bacterial growth. It helps to keep the shoe feeling and smelling fresh.

  • A heel pull-tab is provided for easier on and off.
  • Lace tucks are placed on the tongue to keep laces from getting caught in the pedal.

Comparison