Giro have unveiled their new Empire SLX shoe which is lighter than the existing Empire. It is designed as a high-performance shoe, developed with input from pro riders, particularly BMC Racing’s Taylor Phinney, who is currently sitting out the Tour de France with a broken leg.
There aren’t many road shoes out that use laces because most people like the option of adjusting fit on the fly, but Giro think laces have a lot to offer.
“From different lacing patters to more incremental adjustment points, laces simply provide more range when it comes to fit, and the feel is more natural,” say Giro. “They're also incredibly lightweight, easy to replace and hard to destroy in a crash.”
“Giro employs KDL Techno Laces to deliver unrivalled fit and feel. Originally developed for World Cup-level soccer boots, KDL Techno laces hold knots securely, resist stretching, and are supremely lightweight."
Plus, as Taylor Phinney points out, “You don’t see a marathon runner stopping in the last 15 minutes of a marathon to tighten his shoes, and they all wear laces. And, more importantly, you’re going to look pretty damn cool because at the end of the day, if your legs aren’t there, you still better look cool!”
He has a way with words, that boy.
The Empire SLX features a one-piece upper made from Teijin Evofiber SL breathable microfibre. This is designed to be breathable without the need for mesh cutouts. The sole is Easton EC90TM SLXII high-modulus carbon with a 6.5mm stack height. Giro use titanium hardware in the replaceable heel pads to minimise weight.
Giro claim an extremely light weight of just 175g per shoe for size 42.5, so 350g the pair.
￼￼￼The Empire SLX also comes with Giro’s adjustable SuperNatural Fit Kit. This combines a thin, cycling-specific footbed with an adjustable arch support system so you can tune the fit easily.
The Giro Empire SLX shoes will be available in anodised orange and white/black. They will be priced at £249 and will go on sale late this year.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.