Giro’s been taking care of riders heads for many years… the ProLight, the Ionos, the Atmos, these are names every rider knows. Well, Giro has now turned their attention in the opposite direction, rider’s feet. For 2011 Giro is launching an incredibly comprehensive shoe line encompassing road and MTB with 7 different models.
Four models make up the road line, the Pro Light SLX, the Factor, the Trans, and the women’s specific Espada. The Pro Light SLX retails for $349.99 and occupies the top of Giro’s line. At only 205 grams (size 42), including the ultra light foot bed the shoe truly earns its name. This shoe already has a 2010 Tour de France under its belt with Levi Leipheimer. The Factor is still very light at 255 grams and costs $279.99. The Trans is Giro’s lowest priced men’s road shoe, but still a relatively expensive item, at $199.99. It’s weight is still sub 300 grams, tipping thescales at 275grams. The women’s Espada also retails for $199.00 and comes in at 245grams for a size 39.
To help reach the ultra low weight the Pro Light SLX uses three velcro straps to secure your foot while the other models rely on replaceable ratchet system and two Velcro straps. All four models have off set Drings on the Velcro straps to limit pressure points.
With proper fit being so important, and admittedly the current marketing buzz word, Giro has put an enormous amount of effort into the shoes fit features. The last, the form around which the shoe is created, went through 16 different revisions guided by a team that included not only footwear designers but biomechanical engineers and pro riders. Each half size is manufactured using a specific last, including different lasts for the men’s and women’s shoes.
But the best last in the world is useless without a decent insole and Giro has a system called Supernatural Fit to address this. The cycling specific footbeds include an adjustable arch support system for easily dialing in a shape specific to your arch without a trip to the podiatrist. Only the ProLight SLX and the Factor get this footbed system standard, it’s a $50 upgrade for the Espada and the Trans.
To ensure all this great fit doesn’t go to waste Giro has teamed up with Easton to create super light, but super stiff outsoles. Both the ProLight SLX and Factor use EC90 unidirectional carbon with the SLX getting a special SLX ultra high modulus. The Trans and Espada utilize EC70 outsoles but as their weight suggests this is still a very light option.
In short Giro has aimed to create very light shoes with a great fit that will offer incredible power transfer. That’s a goal we can all get behind, of course at these price points all that performance doesn’t come cheap. We’ll be getting our hands on some just as soon as we can. Look for that review later this fall.