Who should buy the Giro Imperial

Many have compared the Giro Imperial to one of the brand’s other road shoes, the Empire SLX. The two Giro road bike models closely resemble each other. It is a solid option if you:

  • Need a shoe that has breathable upper and feather-like weight. 
  • Need a shoe that employs the brand’s Synchwire upper design with Teijin welded mesh, which works together for a lightweight and breathable fit. 
  • Need a shoe that has top-of-the-line Easton EC90 SLX2 soles and provide optimal power transfer.

Giro Imperial Logo

Easton EC90 SLX2

Crafted from the brand’s first-rate carbon fiber plate offering called Easton EC90 SLX2, the Imperial ensures that there is no energy wasted. This type of sole has the Giro’s best stiffness-to-weight ratio.

Giro Imperial  Easton EC90 SLX2

Breathable and replaceable heel pads

A vent pocket is strategically placed on the toe area to allow airflow while on the saddle. The pocket is protected by a screen made from stainless steel hardware.

Giro Imperial Breathable and replaceable heel pads
Known to be one of the firsts to lose their function, replaceable sole pads add longevity and value to a particular model. They offer renewable traction for a comfortable off-bike experience.

Traditional 3-bolt road cleat system

The Giro Imperial employs the traditional 3-bolt road cleat system. Try it with the following pedal types: Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter, Time XPro 15, and Issi Carbon Road. Cleat markings are also provided to aid in precise positioning.

Giro Imperial Traditional 3-bolt road cleat system

Excellent support and stable

This shoe’s Synchwire upper is Giro’s proprietary design known to provide support and stability for pedaling efficiency. In the Imperial, the Synchwire is combined with welded mesh inserts called Teijin for ventilation.

Giro Imperial Excellent support and stable

Secure fit

The fit is governed by two BOA dials with cables invisibly wrapped throughout the upper. The dials can be tightened and loosened in 1 mm increments and releases instantly too. The BOA aims to provide a secure fit without pressure points.

Giro Imperial Secure fit

Anti-microbial fiber top sheets and interchangeable arch supports

Being the brand’s premium road model, the Imperial features almost all of Giro’s best features. An example is its SuperNatural Fit insole equipped with anti-microbial fiber top sheets. Apart from keeping odor and bacteria at bay, it also comes with interchangeable arch supports.

Giro Imperial Anti-microbial fiber top sheets and interchangeable arch supports

This insole utilizes three foams with different levels of arch supports that attach and detach via Velcro. It allows the wearer to customize arch support for optimal comfort and pedaling efficiency.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 215g
Use: Road
Cleat design: 3 holes
Closure: BOA
Features: Breathable, Replaceable Sole Guards, Look Delta
BRAND Brand: Giro
Rigidity: Very stiff

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Giro Imperial video reviews

Rhys Smith
Rhys Smith

Rhys is an expert in all things cycling and bicycles who at a young age pursued the dream of becoming a professional cyclist by racing for a French and then Belgian road racing team at the Elite level. He is heavily involved in the cycling scene and runs one of Australia’s highest-rated online bicycle parts stores. He’s THE expert when it comes to testing cycling shoes.