11 best Giro road cycling shoes

Based on reviews from 49 experts and 267 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Giro road cycling shoes. Updated Feb 2020.

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Giro road shoes are engineered with comfort and optimum performance in mind. Their products provide both male and female cyclists with top-of-the-line cycling footgear. These pairs are designed to endure the rigorous and robust pedaling during long-distance trips and races. They are generally lightweight, breathable, comfortably snug, and have rigid soles.

Factors to consider when buying a pair of Giro road cycling shoes

best giro road cycling shoes

Best Giro road cycling shoes - January 2020

Although all of Giro's road shoes are created for the same purpose and function, each model will still feel and perform differently than the next. This is due to the variety of materials and technologies used in every shoe to provide the market with choices to satisfy various preferences. This part will explore the differences and explain them at the same time to make you better informed.

Sole’s rigidity

Giro uses several types of soles for their road models. Each class offers a different level of stiffness. Read on to find out more.

Co-molded nylon

As the name implies, this outsole type utilizes the nylon material. This material is known to be sturdy and lightweight. It provides a delicate balance of both stiffness and flex while pedaling. Its chief distinction from other options is the process of how it is made. The nylon in liquid form is poured into a mold and is compressed until fully formed.

Injected nylon

Although injected nylon soles are made from the same material as the previous type, they employ a different approach to how they are made. This classification of cycling sole is made by injecting the nylon into a mold, which lessens waste and is known to provide more flex than co-molded nylon. 

Easton-made soles

Giro employs several sole designs in partnership with Easton. These are proprietary outsoles engineered for a powerful connection to the bike without sacrificing comfort. The stiffest parts were strategically placed in 3 zones: toes, arch, and heel. 

There are three Easton variations in Giro's lineup: EC90 SLX2 High-modulus carbon, EC90 ACC carbon fiber, and EC70 carbon composite. 

  • The EC90 SLX2 High-modulus carbon is made from 100% carbon. It offers the feather-like weight and a stack-height as low as 6.5 mm. It also features flatter edges to allow the upper material to accommodate wider foot shapes without any discomfort.
  • The EC90 ACC carbon fiber sole features everything that the SLX2 has except the flatter edges.
  • Lastly, the Easton EC70 carbon composite is made from a mix of nylon and carbon materials, providing more flex than the previous types.

Textreme advanced carbon fiber

This outsole type uses Textreme's proprietary carbon fiber materials. What makes it unique is that instead of the carbon fiber being woven in threads, it is created in sheets. This unprecedented step offers the same ultra-stiffness but in a lighter weight, as it requires less material. According to the brand, they compared it to Easton's EC90 SLX2, and the Textreme turned out to have the same stiffness with 22% lighter weight.

Weight and breathability

Due to road cycling's nature of long trips and distances, riders should also take into account the weight and ventilation of their footgear. Most cyclists prefer light pairs as it helps conserve their energy. Giro's road models' weight range starts from 160 grams to 320 grams per shoe, with the majority weighing somewhere in the 200s. They mostly measure weight using a single shoe in men's EU 42 with a few using 42.5. For the ladies' models, the brand uses women's EU 49.

Giro's road shoes employ various designs of ventilation. Some have ample air pockets while others come with just a few. To find out about a particular model's breathability, just input the shoe's name in our search bar above.

Closure types

BOA dials

BOA dials are ubiquitously used in cycling shoes. Giro uses two kinds of BOA dials: the IP1 and the L6. The IP1 dial offers both loosening and tightening in 1mm increments and an instant release, while the L6 only provides tightening in 1mm increments and immediate release. These dials are often combined with a strap to secure the front or middle part of the shoe.

The BOA's advantages include on-the-fly adjustments and a lightweight fit.

N-1 Buckle and N-2 Strap

The N-1 ratcheting buckle and the N-2 strap are Giro's proprietary versions of the classic ratchet buckle and Velcro straps. The buckle can be adjusted in 1mm increments, while the N-2 strap is made from a more durable material. Both of them are also replaceable. This type of closure is the heaviest out of Giro's lineup, but it provides effortless adjustments and guarantees the absence of pressure points.

Techlace

The Techlace is Giro's trophy closure system. It is exclusively designed and is available in Giro shoes. This fastening design aims to replace any hardware to prevent pressure points but also provide on-the-fly, accurate adjustments. It combines laces with Velcro attachments. The Techlace is also replaceable.

Straps

The strap is one of the most traditional methods of fastening in cycling shoes. It is also the most commonly used closure type in Giro's road models, as it is used in combination with other locking systems. Straps are lightweight and easy to adjust, making it a very ideal option for road cycling.

Laces with tuck

According to many articles, it was Giro's Empire model that brought the lace-up back in cycling's vocabulary. Although some might get turned off by the non-on-the-fly adjustments of the laces, several riders love how reliable, lightweight, and supple it feels. 

The brand's road shoes that employ laces all feature a tuck made from a garter. This helps keep the laces in place and prevents them from getting caught in the pedal or crankset.

Insoles

Giro employs three types of footbed in their road shoes: die-cut insoles, molded EVA footbeds, and the SuperNatural Fit Kit. 

  • The die-cut insole is the most basic one that the brand uses. It features a thin foam that is anatomically shaped after the human foot. It provides the least support.
  • Molded EVA footbeds have more cushioning and offer medium arch support.
  • Lastly, the proprietary SuperNatural Fit Kit. This Giro-exclusive insole features interchangeable arch support. It comes with three various foams labeled as either S, M, or L. These foams attach and detach from the footbed via Velcro, and the user can switch as they please.

Price

Giro's road cycling shoes are priced within the range of $70 to $450. The majority of their models fall under the $100 value bracket. In cycling shoes, it is widely recognized that the shoes in the higher end of the spectrum are lighter in weight and employ more technologies.

As with any other product, after some time, Giro road shoes would eventually be available at discounted prices in various online shops. To help you save time in comparing which retailer offers the best price, RunRepeat provides updated price comparisons across more than 200 online shops. Just click on a model, and pricing information will be displayed.

Fit and sizing

Giro road cycling shoes widely come in European measurements both in full and half-sizes. They are mostly available in Medium width, while some also come with a wide version. Below are some tips that could help in your decision:

  • Based on the majority of the feedback, Giro road cycling shoes fit true to length, but some have issues with the width.
  • Unlike sneakers, cycling shoes do not stretch or ‘break-in’ overtime. So make sure that the pair you will get fits excellently from the get-go.
  • There should be a half-inch space between your biggest toe and the shoe’s toecap.
  • A perfect-fitting pair means that it feels comfortably snug with the narrowest part at the heel while the widest part should be at the instep. More importantly, there should be no pinching or restrictive sensations.

Frequently asked questions

Are there women’s exclusive road models offered by Giro?

The rise in female cyclists led most cycling companies to manufacture footwear shaped after a narrower last, and Giro is one of them. The brand has been releasing several women-based models for some time now. Check out some of their women’s road cycling models below:

  • Giro Solara II
  • Giro Espada BOA
  • Giro Factress Techlace

What is the best Giro road cycling shoe?

Singling out a pair of Giro shoes and determining it as the brand’s best road shoe is unrealistic. Why? Well, each person’s feet are shaped and built differently than the next. This means that if a model works out for an individual, it won’t necessarily work the same for the person next to him/her. 

However, to provide some insight into the most top-rated Giro road shoes, we’ll mention some. Based on user feedback, Giro Savix and Giro Empire ACC are some of the leading models in the brand’s lineup. Moreover, for a more detailed explanation, just click on a Giro model. Essential information such as sizing, pros, cons, and technologies are provided.

How to clean and care for my Giro road shoes?

As with anything, if your pair of Giro shoes receive the proper care, it could provide countless miles of efficiency. Read on to know about steps of correct cleaning and maintenance of Giro road bike shoes.

  • Before cleaning, stick a few newspapers inside the shoe so it can absorb all liquid and moisture.
  • After each ride, your footwear will inevitably either get muddy, dirty, or wet. When this happens, just wipe it with a damp cloth or sponge until clean.
  • Keep your shoes far from anything with heat. Store them out of sunlight’s reach. Do not stand near radiators nor use a blow dryer to take the moisture out as these can damage your footwear.
  • Never wash your shoes in the washing machine.
  • Do not apply any harsh solutions or use abrasive brushes on your shoes.
  • Always check hardware such as closure systems and cleat areas for dirt. Regularly clean them and apply lubricant to prevent them from rusting.
  • Inspect if any replaceable components need to be replenished.

11 best Giro road cycling shoes

  1. Giro Empire SLX
  2. Giro Factor Techlace
  3. Giro Empire ACC
  4. Giro Raes Techlace
  5. Giro Techne
  6. Giro Empire E70 Knit
  7. Giro Sentrie Techlace
  8. Giro Trans BOA
  9. Giro Imperial
  10. Giro Apeckx II
  11. Giro Savix
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