Giro has pooled all of its cycling shoe knowledge to create a very competitive race shoe – but will we love it as much as its predecessors?
Let’s get the worst thing about the new Giro Factor Techlace shoes out of the way. This is very personal thing, but I don’t like the looks. However, a few simple changes will shoot this shoe into the beautiful category in which its fully laced brother sits, the Giro Empire SLX as worn by the likes of Taylor Phinney and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
The ‘race-bred’ cycling shoe amalgamates the three closure systems we’ve seen individually on shoes previously; Velcro, laces and Boa style dials. In practice it brings the best of all three to good use here: the shoes are very comfortable and fit nicely along the length and breadth of the foot.
Out on the road, function and form continued. After using laced shoes for much of 2016 it was nice to not have to adjust them due to damp conditions (laces stretch when wet), though if you did need to adjust it was simple to do.
The Boa dial is adjustable in 1mm increments and the laces can of course be altered infinitessimally. This can be done by lifting the tab on the Velcro strap. I’ve heard calls from riders for lace colour options, so maybe that is something you can DIY at home to give an extra bit of jazz to the shoes.
The best thing about the Giro Factor Techlace road shoes is comfort. Without feeling bulky and remaining pretty lightweight (227g for a size 42, UK 8). At no point did I feel hot spots, cramp or discomfort.
Stiffness is ample, I’d say: Shimano, Bont and Specialized rivals felt more race dedicated than these from Giro. However, Price-wise the Giro does a great job sitting well under the £300 mark that many of these rivals are above.
This is a great option for those looking for a performance shoe without losing that much-needed comfort. The Techlace offers everything fully laced shoes can achieve in terms of fit but also offers on-the-fly adjustment.