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Weight. We try to shed it from our bellies, our bikes, our wheels and just about anywhere else we can, but too often one of the most effective places to shed a few grams goes unchanged – the shoe. Lift an extra 100grams 90 times a minute and over a long day and it adds up – approximately 2.7million grams over a 100miles. That’s 5,952 lbs, give or take.
Giro’s recent foray into footwear made headlines for their aesthetics more than anything else and count us among the laced up, Empire wearing crowd. The aesthetics turned our heads, but the fit and performance hooked us. Their latest shoe, the updated Prolight SLX, now called the Prolight SLX II, cuts an understated silhouette for good reason. The shoe does without any ratchets, boas or other novel closures in favor of three simple Velcro straps. Why? They are very, very light. Our size 44.5 weighed 233grams (a single shoe). Now, shoes hovering around the 200gram mark are not new, but read the fine print. Manufacturers are weighing size 43’s or sometimes even a size 41. Most super light shoes tip the scales at 250grams by the time they get to size 44. 233grams, actual weight, for a 44.5 is among the very lightest we have ever weighed.
How’d Giro get down so low? Did they skimp on the outsole or insole? Nope. The outsole is an Easton SLX ACC high modulus sliver of carbon and it is stiff with only a 6.5mm stack height. The hardware is titanium and the heel pads are even replaceable. The insoles are customizable with three different arch support heights. We use the tallest arch support, which is what we weighed. Riders that can comfortably run the non-adjustable Ultralight footbed will shave even more grams. The three Velcro straps do a fine job holding your foot firmly in place. They aren’t micro adjustable like a Boa or ratchet, but the plus side is they are incredibly easy to adjust on the bike, so getting it perfect before you ride isn’t necessary.
The upper uses Evofiber, an ultralight, breathable synthetic microfiber that forms nicely to the foot, but doesn’t seem to stretch once it warms up or after a few hours in the saddle. It’s surprisingly robust stuff that doesn’t feel thin or unsupportive. The heel has a very supple, padded interior that feels anything but minimalist and helps keep your heel firmly in place when really jumping on the pedals. The whole upper is so comfortable and robust we are interested in seeing just how cool the shoe remains when it gets very hot. That is something we never worry about with other lightweight shoes. The D-rings attaching the straps are even titanium shaving a few extra grams and proving Giro left no stone unturned in pursuit of lightweight. Like the Empire before it, a shoe that used good looks to lure you in before displaying true comfort and performance, the ProLight SLX II uses weight to wow you, then just goes about being an incredible shoe, at any weight.
Available in Orange and Black, White and Black and Gloss White. Sizes: 39-50 with half sizes from 39.5 to 46.5
Price: $350 More: Giro.com