The Giro Rumble VR MTB shoes are a good option if you're looking for a casual shoe that you can also clip in for leisurely rides and commutes on trails or tarmac. You'll need overshoes if you're using them in wet and/or muddy conditions, but for dry, leisurely miles they do a decent job and are reasonably priced.
- Pros: Versatile, comfortable, look good and are functional off the bike
- Cons: Lack weather protection, slightly awkward engagement
While many mountain bike shoes are 'walkable' to a degree, usually it's just the heel bumper and some thin bits of tread either side of the cleat area that are responsible for evening things out, to make them less awkward to walk in than road shoes. The Giro Rumble VRs are designed to be more walkable than your regular mountain bike shoe, with just a deep recessed cleat area distinguishing them from the sole of a hiking boot.
As someone in the market for a shoe that I could ride to work in, continue to wear in the office, and walk in comfortably while I stop off at the shop to buy cake on the way home, I was keen to see if these would hit the spot.
Out of the box, there's a rectangular housing screwed in over the cleat shank, which you can leave on if you want to use them with flat pedals. This does create a bit of a wobbly experience for walking, and I found them more stable with the housing off. The sole is courtesy of Vibram, with a grippy diamond pattern. They'll be able to take on some pretty rough terrain, so you won't find walking in them an issue on trails or grass.
I was perfectly happy to continue wearing these at work when I arrived at the office – they don't get sweaty thanks to the breathable mesh, and they're as comfortable if not more so than most trainers.
On the bike, they're compatible with two-bolt cleats, and there are two positions for fixing them in. The recess is quite deep and narrow, which means engagement is a bit awkward and I found myself failing to clip in from the off while I got used to them.
They come with long, chunky, non-slip laces, which you could always swap out for some stealthier and smaller ones to keep things tidier and reduce the chances of the loops catching on the cranks; you really need to tuck the excess in to prevent this. Closure is good for a lace-up shoe; I didn't feel like my foot was insecure while riding.
While I wasn't expecting the stiffness of a dedicated road or mountain bike shoe, it's worth bearing in mind that you're going to feel quite a bit of flex through these when riding out of the saddle. The sole is solid, so is more sturdy than most walking shoes when off the bike, but it's got nothing on a cycling-specific sole. I also found it quite narrow, but it might suit your feet better. They're not ideal for full-on training rides, but then that's not what they're designed for.
Although they appear robust and the kind of thing you'd reach for in winter, they're not an ideal bad-weather shoe or for mountain biking (in the UK, anyway). The faux-suede gets absolutely sodden in the rain and they're also difficult to clean if you get them muddy. After an off-road adventure and some wet commutes, it took over 24 hours of leaving them wedged into a warm radiator before they were dry enough to wear again, which isn't what you want to hear if you plan on commuting in them daily in the UK or somewhere with similarly terrible weather.
This means, even more than with road shoes, you're definitely best off with overshoes for anything other than dry miles – not really ideal for what's described as a mountain bike shoe. The chunky shape of the heel counter will also mean your standard road overshoes might not fit, so you might need stretchier neoprene overshoes or to size up.
To assess their value, the obvious comparison would be Shimano's MT3 SPD touring shoes. They're five quid cheaper at £79.99 (and you can get them for £59.99 on Wiggle). Although I haven't tried them, the upper is a smooth faux-leather synthetic, so could be better for both staying dry and cleaning up after taking them off-road, though you may lose some of the breathability of the mesh on the Rumbles. They're also lighter at 330g a shoe.
Overall, I like the versatility offered by the Rumble VRs, but I'd say they're much more of a touring/commuting shoe than a mountain biking shoe. Their main sticking point is that they don't really stand up well to the rain and mud, which means in the UK there are fewer situations where you can just slip them on and go, but for well under £100 if you shop around, they're still a pretty decent buy.
As well as our charcoal pair with orange laces and details, you can also get them in navy blue with tan laces.
Versatile shoes that are great for commuting on dry days or use on light trails, but lack weather protection
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Rumble VR MTB Cycling Shoes
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for
Giro says, "The Rumble VR is a versatile shoe that combines performance riding features like clipless pedal compatibility with the walkability of a grippy Vibram outsole and the comfort of a light hiking shoe. With an upper made from a supple, breathable microfibre and mesh, and an injected inner shank to help transfer your power to the pedals it's a true cycling shoe that doesn't compromise the flexibility you need when you're walking on the trail."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Giro lists these features:
Vibram sole for walking grip
Injected inner shank transfer
Four bolt holes, to fit two-bolt shimano SPD cleats
Breathable synthetic mesh on the upper
Sturdy sole, breathable upper and well made for the money – but they won't stand up to much weather.
As a commuter shoe they're better than trainers, with the option to run with flat pedals or SPDs. They're not as stiff as dedicated mountain bike or road shoes, so power transfer isn't great, but they're fine for more leisurely outings. The mesh lets a lot of water in when it's wet or there's spray underfoot.
The mesh lets a lot of water in when it's wet or there's spray underfoot, and they're difficult to clean when they're muddy.
Quite wide and roomy in the toebox – definitely more like a trainer than a cycling shoe.
My 45s sized up exactly as I'd have expected.
About right considering the Vibram sole and sturdy construction.
Plenty comfortable on and off the bike.
They're a fiver more than the similar (but possibly easier to clean) Shimanos, but hardwearing shoes that you can use for walking or riding for £85 isn't bad value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The upper is difficult to clean and they aren't machine-washable, so if you take them on treacherous rides once too often you might wreck them sooner than you'd like.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a 'mountain bike shoe' in all weathers I'm not so sure; they're better suited to dry-days commuting.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort off the bike and versatility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not the best weather protection, slightly awkward engagement, lack of power transfer.
Did you enjoy using the product? Most of the time – not when they got wet and dirty.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? For leisure rides, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Giro Rumble is a versatile shoe that's good for leisure rides, commuting or use on light trails in the dry, but it lacks weather protection and will leave your feet soggy in the rain.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.