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The New Giro Factor Shoe Aims to Capitalize on Success of Lace Up Empire with Broader Appeal.
It is no secret that Giro’s Empire has been the most copied shoe in recent memory. What initially seemed like a nostalgia play – a devastatingly handsome nostalgia play – became an astoundingly successful shoe, as rider after rider, drawn to the look, discovered just how effective laces where at creating a snug and incredibly comfortable fit.
This is a fact not lost on Giro. “The Empire… has spawned countless imitations of its high-performance laced style.” says Simon Fisher, Sr. Product Marketing Manager. But Giro is eager to remind riders it is not a one trick pony and has updated the original Factor to not only play on its strengths – comfort, stiffness, lightweight – but include some of the Empire’s lace magic. Giro claims this new Factor delivers the benefits of laces, while providing in the saddle adjustability, something the lace only Empire does not and that was the missing feature that limited its appeal.
This new Giro Factor shoe – and Women’s Factress – uses a hybrid lace/velcro strap called the Techlace System. Instead of a traditional Velcro strap pulling across the midfoot, laces are threaded through the shoe and then secured to Velcro, which pulls the laces to be anchored in Velcro’s usual way. The laces create tension across your foot and the Velcro secures it. Giro claims the two Techlaces used create the ‘supple feel of laces’ in a quicker and more easily adjustable system. The laces are also easily replaceable, but it does appear that getting the correct length lace will be of utmost importance. Across the top of the foot Giro has also added a BOA closure for extra security.
The rest of the shoe benefits from Giro’s SuperNatrual footbed with customizable arch height, Easton’s EC90 SLX2 carbon fiber outsole and a micro fiber upper called EvoFiber SL that is light, supple and breathable. Giro claims a factor in size 42.5 weighs just 210grams while a Factress in 39 clocks just 195grams in the scale.
The story of the new Giro Factor shoe is the Techlace, while it may not be ‘revolutionary’ as Giro claims, is it more than a gimmick aimed at riders that want the lace aesthetic and in the saddle adjustability? The shoe’s reported weights are incredibly impressive for a shoe mixing three different types of closure – lace, velcro and BOA – so it would appear the Techlace pays dividends there at the very least. Does it provide the fit and comfort experience of laces that is noticeably different than a regular Velcro strap? We’ll let you know as soon as we get a pair in for test.
Look for the Giro Factor and Factress to be available this fall in black, white/black, and vermillion/black for $350.