When the original empire shoes came out I must admit I wasn’t sure about the whole idea of going back to “lace-ups”, purely from an aesthetic perspective, but also from the fear of having a lace wrap itself nicely into a chain ring. I have gotten so used to the velcro and latch systems of various shoes over the years I had forgotten that this is actually where it all started and worked just fine for decades. It might also have been the colors that GIRO chose on launch with, that grey and bright green just was never going to be seen on my feet. Then along comes this version, which just seems to have gotten everything right. A limited edition in collaboration with Competitive Cyclist gets the balance between retro looks and modern design just right.
The design stills looks like something that should be seen on the feet of Messi rather than Contador but I am coming around. The design allows them to make some big departures from what we are used to. No straps and BOA lock systems mean the shoe starts out pretty light (a size 42 has a claimed weight of 215g). The only downside I see here is being able to adjust on the fly while you are riding. I tend to do this lot on hot days on long rides. The upper is a one piece made from GIROs Evofiber which has enough breathable properties that they don’t really have to work in structured vents. This helps the shoe keep its simple under designed looks with just the perforations down the sides for air flow. It is all in the details. The two red lace eyelets on the last two holes. The gold wrap around the heal. The overall minimal graphics around the shoe. This particular edition is one of the nicest looking shoes out there on the market.
Available at Competitive Cyclist
Categories: The Other Stuff