Verdict from 7 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A significant number of wearers find the Giro Privateer R to be very comfortable.
  • The shoe’s materials have excellent quality, according to a lot of buyers.
  • Plenty of users have said that this model has an exceptional grip.
  • Several reviewers express delight over the pair’s relatively walkable sole.
  • Some cyclists have observed that the Privateer R is lightweight.
  • A number of consumers adore the shoe’s design.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Several cyclists have noticed some wear on the shoe after a number of rough rides.
  • Some reviewers have said that they won’t recommend the shoe for gravity oriented riders as it does not have enough protection.

Bottom line

Giro took their best-selling Privateer shoe and improved on its weaknesses via its successor the Giro Privateer R. Employed with comfortability on and off the bike, this shoe also provides excellent grip, appealing style, and lightweight construct. 

Despite a few setbacks, budget-conscious riders find this shoe to have an extraordinary value considering its looks, performance, and features. It is recommended for XC, trail and gravel grinding. But if you’re a gravity oriented cyclist seeking optimal foot protection, you may want to look elsewhere.

Tip: see the best mountain cycling shoes.

Good to know

Giro took their famous Privateer trail shoe and improved on its weaknesses. The updated version is called the Privateer R. It employs a new nylon and rubber outsole for enhanced durability and grip. A reinforced toe box boasts toe protection and added structure, while two straps and a ratchet buckle deliver excellent lockdown.

Other highlights include a stiff and efficient nylon outsole, aggressive lugs, toe spike accommodations, and a supportive EVA footbed. The shoe is ideal for a range of cycling activities, from commuting to trail riding and muddy cyclocross.

Secure foot placement on and off the bike. The Privateer R incorporates a co-molded nylon outsole to deliver adequate energy transfer to your cadence. On top of the sole are rubber lugs for excellent traction and stability. These lugs also act as scuff guards to the sole.

Walkable sole. This shoe’s relatively flexible sole construct allows the rider to walk comfortably whenever needed.

Steel toe spike slots. The outsole also includes slots for the installment of steel toe spikes. This added feature allows the rider to add toe spikes for next-level grip in muddy and slippery trails.

2-bolt cleat mount. The Privateer R employs a 2-bolt design but also works well with all clipless pedal types. The shoe could fit three-bolt pedals by incorporating an adapter. However, the shoe is, by design, engineered to suit 2-bolt cleat pedals. Try the following pedals: Look X-Track, Shimano A600, Wellgo RC713, Speedplay Frogs and plenty more.

The tread pattern can accommodate flat pedals. Apart from being suitable with most clipless pedals, the Privateer R outsole’s tread pattern also fits flat pedal designs perfectly.

Durable and breathable. The shoe’s upper is welded and stitched. The microfiber material used is well-ventilated and enduring.

Comfortable and secure closure system that is also replaceable. Equipped with the N-1 ratchet buckle along with an N-2 strap, this model allows precise adjustment. The buckle could be tightened in 3 mm increments while a lever can be pressed for the quick release function. Its lifespan is improved thanks to the replaceable feature. Moreover, mid-foot and lower straps provide a pressure-relieving yet secure fit.

Excellent toe protection. A reinforced toe box combined with a rubber toe guard not only increases the shoe’s lifespan but also protects the foot from rock strikes and impacts.

The Giro Privateer R is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. The ladies’ version has a slimmer last to provide the women with that signature snug cycling fit. The microfiber upper offer limited stretch which might feel snug for some. Thanks to the combination of ratchet buckle and Velcro straps, pressure points are prevented.

The Privateer R’s footbed is crafted from molded EVA. It features medium arch support to provide the wearer with a cushioned and comfortable feel on and off the bike.

  • The R in the shoe’s name means rubber.
  • Giro also produced the Privateer R HV, a higher-volume model of the Privateer R for the same price. Higher volume means that the model is specifically designed to provide a fit that accommodates wider or higher-volume feet. 
  • Privateer, in the cycling world, means someone who doesn’t have sponsorships. They are usually independent and compete for the enjoyment of the sport.
  • This model’s collar is cushioned for added in-step comfort.
  • The N-1 buckle offers two mounting positions and a guard to prevent unwanted release.
  • Perforation holes are situated throughout the upper and tongue for enhanced ventilation.
  • Branding is seen on the lateral and rear parts of the upper, outsole, and top-most strap.


How Giro Privateer R ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 15% mountain cycling shoes
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Top 23% Giro cycling shoes
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Top 10% spd cycling shoes
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The current trend of Giro Privateer R.
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