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The Giro Berm Cover MTB Cycling Shoes are comfortable and versatile, with plenty of grip and minimum cleat clatter. You might miss the ability to tighten them across the toe box, though.
Although these are labelled as 'MTB', the fact is, loads of people use mountain bike-style spd pedals on their tourers, commuting bikes and, very much on-trend, gravel and adventure bikes, where the Berm Covers will really come into their own. I've worn these all through the spring on all manner of baggy-trousered activities and I haven't found much to criticise.
A lot of this is down to the fit. My feet are long, narrow at the heel and spread out over several hectares at the other end, and the Berm Covers gave me lots of wiggle room. The nominal size 46 actually came up a little large on me, which is a rare thing in a cycling shoe. If you're used to cycling shoes being a bit on the small side, that's not the case here.
Getting in and out is very quick and easy. There are just two sturdy Velcro-fastened straps to deal with. These allow excellent adjustment across the instep, but the (broad, well-padded) tongue ends at the lower strap, and below that there's no adjustment. This didn't matter to me because I need all that space. If you're narrow-footed it might be a different matter.
The smooth, synthetic outer material is wrapped around a mesh structure that allows plenty of ventilation – my feet never overheated. There's no pretence at waterproofing, though. If you plodge through a puddle that comes up over the mesh, the shoes will let it in. I'd recommend these for summer and warmer spring or autumn days (the generous sizing allows for a thicker sock, too).
The only drawback with the mesh construction is that it isn't easy to clean.
Underneath, there's a genuine rubber sole with all manner of knobbles and sipes that make them stable and grippy when push comes to shove.
It also means the cleats are recessed deep into the sole, so you can walk across the café floor without clatter or skidding about. And despite the deep recess, I had no trouble engaging the cleats. The shoes only accept two-bolt cleats. I believe the shoes are supplied with a cover to fit over the cleat recess if you want to use these with flat pedals. These are lost in the darkest corners of road.cc HQ.
Compared to other rugged-soled shoes out there, the Giros are pretty well priced: the Bontrager GR2 Gravel Bike Shoes come in at £129.99, while the Rapha Explore Powerweaves – which definitely score over the Giros in the adjustability stakes, though Stu Kerton says he found the sole a bit flexy – cost £260.
The Giros have just enough give in them for a comfortable walk but they were easily stiff enough to wrench my 30lb Genesis 29er steel-framed hardtail mountain bike up the local gradients.
At just over a kilo a pair, they're there or thereabouts in comparison with other mountain bike-type shoes. They certainly don't feel heavy on the feet.
If you're interested in the women's version (£10 cheaper for some reason), they compare well with the Shimano MT3W Women's SPD Shoes which Lara reviewed in February. These are a penny short of £80.
Overall, if these are the right shape and size for you, I'm pretty sure you will like them. They're as comfortable an off-road shoe as any I've owned, and they're useful across a range of activities, which also adds to their value for money.
Versatile cycling shoes that are great for gravel or commuting, but the roomy toe box may not fit everyone
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Berm Cover MTB Cycling Shoes
Size tested: 46
Tell us what the product is for
Says Giro: "The Berm is designed from the ground up for riders who want the benefits of a rugged mountain bike shoe with the comfort and versatility to go anywhere the trail takes them. It combines cycling-specific features like clipless pedal compatibility and supportive fit, with an aggressively lugged rubber outsole for relentless grip when you need it. With an upper made from supple synthetic fiber and breathable mesh, and a stout injected nylon inner shank to help transfer your power to the pedals, the Berm is ready to rally on any trail."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* High-quality, durable synthetic fiber and mesh
* Rockprint reinforced heel and toe for abrasion resistance and durability
* Two-strap closure
* Rubber outsole
* Aggressive tread pattern
* Die-cut EVA footbed
These are already looking like shoes that have had some use, but in a good way. Don't expect them ever to come up like new again! Otherwise, they seem solidly stuck together.
Good comfort, plenty of stiffness in the sole, good grip, easy cleat engagement and a deep cleat recess make these easy to ride and walk in. I was very happy with the way they performed, from potters along the railway paths to all-out mountain bike rides. I'll be back to my Goretex-lined boots in the winter though.
I doubt they'll fare well in a UK winter, but otherwise these seem more than adequately put together for UK riding conditions.
Shoe fit is a very personal thing. For my long, wide feet the fit was excellent.
I tested a size 46 (UK11). While some 46 shoes are too small for me, if anything these were a smidge on the large side.
For a rugged-soled mountain bike shoe they're quite light and more than suitable for the commute.
All-day use was no problem. It's the mark of a good shoe that at the end of the day you can take it off and not go: "Ooh, that's a relief!"
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A stiff brush and a damp cloth gets the worst off, but it isn't easy to get the mesh looking clean again.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I've used these for all my non-road bike rides this spring and liked them very much. As Giro says, there's a good rugged sole. The fastenings are secure, and there's good padding. When walking, the cleats are recessed deeply enough that they don't scrape or skitter over surfaces. Simply good boots on rough ground.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
That they're quick and easy to get in and out of, and comfortable, and the excellent deep cleat recess.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really, but people with narrower feet may miss the ability to adjust the shoe at the toe box.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Giros are pretty well priced: the Bontrager GR2 Gravel Bike Shoes come in at £129.99, while the Rapha Explore Powerweaves (£260) are in another price league.
The women's versions of the Berm Covers are actually £10 less. They compare well with the Shimano MT3W Women's SPD Shoes at £79.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Giro seems very clear on what it wanted these shoes to do and they do it very well. The Berm Cover MTBs are right up there if you're looking for versatile, comfortable shoes, though narrow-footed riders may find the toe box too spacious.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,