The classic look of the Giro Empire SLX shoes certainly catch the eye, but is it a case of form over function?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Giro Empire SLX cycling shoes


  • Great looking
  • Stiff soles
  • Comfortable fit with adjustable inner soles
  • Replaceable heel pads


  • Elastic strap to hold laces stretches over time
  • Better suited for those with narrow feet


Giro Empire SLX cycling shoes


Price as reviewed:


In a world of Boa constrictors and convoluted ratchets, the simplicity of the Giro Empire SLX lace-ups is classy, and harks back to the lace-up days of old.

Designed with input from BMC pro Taylor Phinney, this featherweight, super-stiff shoe has been favoured by Sir Bradley Wiggins — he wore them for his victories in the World Championships time trial and the Tour of California.

But how practical are laces? Well, surprisingly so. You can certainly adjust the fit to a high degree, but it takes a lot more time than a ratchet. Adjustment on the fly is not possible either. This is not a problem for the likes of Phinney, but some riders do like to adjust their shoes as they ride.

>>> Are lace-up cycling shoes here to stay?

The Easton EC90 soles are supremely stiff and we found them to be more rigid than those in the previous Empire shoes.

Giro SLX

The Giro Empire SLX are available in several colour schemes, including all white

The breathable Evofibre SL upper is supple and combined with the laces allows you to get a snug fit. Like other Giro shoes, you can alter the height of the arch supports to give a comfortable bespoke fit.

The Giro Empire SLX are very light and use flat laces for improved aerodynamics

The Giro Empire SLX are very light and use flat laces for improved aerodynamics

The Empires suit riders with narrower feet, but due to the pliant upper and the lack of a lip on the sole (which allows your feet to spread) they can accommodate wider feet.

With regard to looks, the consensus at Cycling Weekly is that these shoes are very hard to beat! High marks are also awarded for practicality. The heel pads are easily replaced and the upper can be easily wiped clean.

For more details visit the Zyro website.


The Giro Empire SLX shoes are quite simply a stunning pair of shoes in all regards. Classic good looks are matched by the excellent performance to make some of the best cycling shoes money can buy


Weight:202g (45)
Sizes Available:40-48
Colours Available:White, Orange
  • iddqd13

    I have never ever had to readjust my giros during a ride. The comfort is above and beyond.

  • Roger

    So despite the fact that, for the majority of cyclists, adjusting these things while riding would be a test of skill, these are “probably the best cycling shoes money can buy”? Has cycling weekly been blinded by the shoes’ looks, or is this another case of slavish pro-US bias?