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Giro's Civila cycling shoes for women are comfortable, stylish, light and functional. Laces might not be to everyone's taste, but they mean achieving a good fit is easy, and they go particularly well with civvies.
There are those who will instantly roll their eyes at the mention of laces in conjunction with 'modern' cycling shoes, with comments about "safety", "catching in pedals", blah blah. Ultimately it's personal taste rather than safety concerns that will drive whether you like the look of the Civilas or not – indeed, there's a little elastic retaining loop so you can tuck those offending laces away where they are unlikely to cause some catastrophic incident. I happen to like the lace-up retro look, and I doubt I am alone.
These are intended to be a comfortable and stylish option for those of you wanting something a bit less obviously functional, without trading all of that performance in favour of looks alone.
With an easy-to-keep-clean synthetic leather upper and grippy sections on the sole that are replaceable, these shoes are designed to offer both functionality and good low-key looks that should go with any outfit. They are easy to walk in, comfortable for the job and the grippy sole sections offer a much better likelihood of staying on your feet on a tiled or laminate floor than many shoes offering equivalent performance. Hands up who hasn't done that embarrassing power slide in a coffee shop...
The outsoles are still very much a rigid affair, so there's still a certain duck-like quality to your walking gait, but it's a good level of compromise to retain what is actually surprisingly good power delivery to the pedals. These aren't pliable bendy shoes, they are still very much cycling efficiency-focused.
On the bike, the laces enable a good broad area of compression on the top of the foot, rather than localised pressure areas that are sometimes the case with Velcro or similar fastenings, and are actually more comfortable for long periods as a result. They are also very easy to adjust.
The low weight and stiffness of the sole mean they're well up to the job of even sportives and audaxes, if that's where you want to take them, as well as touring and tea-shop rides. You can use them with flat pedals and toe-clips or two-bolt clipless pedals; the fastenings on the outsole are for two-bolt cleat systems rather than three-bolt performance road pedals.
They're available in sizes 36-42, and a black, blue and white colourscheme as well as this 'black/gum'.
For the price, I'd say you are getting quite a lot of shoe in terms of style, function, performance, comfort and quality – especially when you consider that the grips on the soles are replaceable, so they'll continue to do their job for a good number of years. These are a very safe bet for those looking for a shoe to do all their riding in, whether it be to the pub, to work or along the Danube.
Great looking shoes with excellent levels of performance and comfort both on and off the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Civila Womens Road Cycling Shoes
Size tested: 39, Black/gum
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at female cyclists seeking a stylish but low-key retro-styled shoe with a good balance of performance and comfort.
Giro says: "A recreational riding favourite, the women's Civila™ is hardworking enough to get you where you're going, yet it remains stylish and walkable once you get there. A low-profile microfibre lace-up construction blends seamlessly with streetwear, and high-traction walking pads on the firm nylon outsole make for a sure-footed experience on the pedals or on the trail. Our Performance Fit last helps the Civila™ stay as comfortable at mile 30 as it was at mile 1."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High-quality, perforated microfiber upper; Laced closure with non-slip laces; Micro-suede heel counter
Injected nylon with 2-bolt cleat mount; Replaceable, high-traction walking pads; Mid-foot scuff guard
Molded EVA footbed with microsuede top sheet and medium arch support; Aegis® anti-microbial treatment
Sizes EU36-42 (available in half sizes)
Look for all the world like a pair of traditional leather cycling shoes (a la Quoc Pham). Good finish, good quality materials.
Good balance of both ride and walking comfort, as well as efficiency when pedalling. Light too.
Synthetic upper means there are no issues with road dirt damage and the worst just brushes or wipes off. The grippy bits of the sole, designed for walking on, are fully replaceable which will help prolong life.
A good mid-ground fit, neither too broad nor too narrow and envelops the foot nicely, with lacing making fit adjustment easy and straightforward.
Sizing is pretty true to stated size, or at worst a quarter size smaller than stated.
Very light for what is essentially a casual rather than high performance shoe.
Lace fastening means it's easy to adjust the fit and comfort. The insole is supportive and effective too. The outsole makes walking straightforward and not too perilous (they are pretty grippy).
Considering they will last for years and are useful for casual, recreational, hipster or even more performance-orientated use, I'd say these are actually very good value for money. A sound one-shoe-does-it-all investment.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to look after. Synthetic leather uppers clean up well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Extremely well. Spot on for touring, recreational rides and even a bit of more pacy riding where walking might also be involved (cafe stop anyone?).
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, fit, comfort, light weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially those looking for a versatile shoe for a number of types of riding.
Use this box to explain your score
Good balance of style, comfort and performance make these a very good buy for those looking for a versatile shoe. They score highly on quality, comfort and performance, and I think a 9 overall is well justified.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.