07/11/2012 | 21 comments
With design input from none other than Aaron Gwin Giro add this new DH shoe to their lineup.
The skate shoe styling might well be very similar to other offerings out there but Giro have gone to considerable lengths to keep the bulk down whilst still keeping comfort and protection high. The result is a pair of shoes that weigh in at bang on a kilogram, which is almost 300g lighter than the benchmark Shimano AM45′s. A lot of riders don’t really think about the weight of their shoes, but you really can notice the difference when pedalling. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a lighter pair of shoes can save you crucial fractions of a second in a DH race, but even if you’re just using these for trail riding (which is probably what most people will do) then you’ll still notice the benefits.
Construction wise, starting at the bottom you get a high quality dual density Vibram sole, and integrated into that is the SPD compatible shank which offers plenty of stiffness for pedalling efficiency. It’s also great to see that Giro have moved the cleat location further back down the shoe. Having your cleats further forward might well be great for pedalling efficiency, but if you’re spending most of your time out of the saddle over rough ground then moving your cleat further back can massively reduce the load on your calves. Up until now if you’ve wanted to get your cleats far back then it’s been a case of having to modify the soles of your shoes, which of course isn’t ideal, so hopefully it won’t be long before other manufacturers take a leaf out of Giro’s book when it comes to DH style shoes.
The other main feature of the lower is the Poron XRD insert in the heel which is designed to absorb large impacts. Because this isn’t in the cleat area it’s not really going to make much difference when you’re actually on the bike, but Giro reckon you’ll be thankful for it if you slam your foot down in a crash. Oh yeah, and you also get a Aegis ‘Microbe Shield’ footbed which should help keep cheesy whiffs at bay.
Up top, where you also get a choice of white finish as shown above, you’ll find mud friendly faux leather which is reinforced at both the toe and heel with rubber sections. There are also some holes to aid ventilation and the velcro strap helps keep the laces in order. Overall comfort definitely ranks amongst the best and the deep heel cup gives them a reassuring locked in feel.
Overall then we reckon these look like they could well be the new benchmark in this category, and although they cost £15 more than the Shimano equivalent we reckon most riders will think that’s a price worth paying.
Finally, those that don’t clip in will also be pleased to hear that this flat pedal ‘Jacket’ is going to be released alongside the Chamber. Aside from a slightly cheaper price tag, no SPD compatibility, or a lace strap, it’s an almost exact replica of the Chamber.