Giro Sector gravel cycling shoes review – highly capable for both racing and all-day epics, and with a mid-market price
A great all-round choice for both racing and long gravel epics
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Incredibly well built, Giro’s Sector two-bolt compatible gravel shoes are lightweight, supportive and stiff enough for racing – while also being comfortable enough for long gravel outings. The supple upper moulds to your foot and the two dial set-up allows you to adjust the tension so it’s ‘just so’.
Not so grippy in the mud
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Giro’s performance orientated Sector gravel shoes are a great all-round choice for both racing and long gravel epics – thanks to the stiff and supportive platform combined with such a supple upper.
I put these two-bolt SPD compatible shoes to the test when racing the enduro-style Grinduro event (with timed segments) and then again at the British Gravel Championships – alongside my usual gravel riding. These are amongst the best gravel shoes, and come particularly recommended if you’re looking for shoes that you can race in and use for all-day weekend rides too - and all for a price that’s sub-$250 / £200, making them pretty good value relative to other performance gravel shoes.
Giro Sector: construction
The Giro Sector MTB gravel cycling shoes feature a one-piece upper. Down below you have a carbon composite sole with a dual-injected rubber outsole that consists of tall lug profiles on either side of the shoes.
Dual BOA L6 dials allow for a fine-tuned fit with the ability to tighten at 1mm increments. However if you want to loosen the fit slightly you have to pop the dial fully and start again. This is called a ‘macro release’ and works fine, but isn’t the best that Boa offers. There are higher end BOA dials (Li2 dials) which give you the 1mm adjustment for both tightening and loosening.
Reinforced toe and heel areas are designed to provide some light protection against knocks on tighter trails, whilst reflective detailing is also included at the rear of the shoe for a touch of visibility when riding in low light conditions.
Giro Sector: the ride
The upper is wonderfully supple and supportive, and results in a comfy fit for all-day riding. It’s quite thin and has mesh sections on each side, which certainly keep things breathable when pushing the pace. Despite its appearances, the material has proved to be surprisingly robust and, after some hard use on the trails, I can say it’s standing up very well with no signs of wear.
The two BOA dials are well-placed and allow you to get a tight fit that doesn’t pinch. It’s a shame that you can’t micro-loosen the dial, but the quality performance elsewhere is excellent for the price.
Especially at the British Gravel Champs with the attacking accelerations out of the corners to hold onto the wheel in front, I found the carbon composite sole to be sufficiently stiff and an excellent platform for putting down the power. The medium arch support held my foot comfortably, too.
The heel cups at the rear keep my feet locked firmly in place, and I didn’t experience any heel slippage when pulling up on the up stroke.
The carbon composite sole isn’t the stiffest but the performance difference is negligible. And the upside is that they’re not so harsh, and so are versatile for using on longer days in the saddle too.
They perform best on the bike though. While the tread pattern is substantial enough for walking about on uneven off-road surfaces, I did find that it struggled to provide enough grip on slopier, muddy sections. The Sectors are best for race days and go-to gravel loops, rather than more adventurous gravel expeditions into the unknown, where hike-a-bike sections are a little more likely.
Giro Sector: value and conclusion
Priced at $240.00 / £199.99, Giro’s Sector shoes are really reasonably priced. Suplest’s Crosscountry Pro off-road shoes cost significantly more at $328.10 / £311.00. Lake’s MX 238 shoes ($330/ £265) are also more than Giro’s two-dial performance offering.
Overall, the Giro Sector gravel shoes are a highly quality performance option that’s supportive and stiff for pushing hard, and comfy enough using on all-day gravel outings.
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I’ve been hooked on bikes ever since the age of 12 and my first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the bright yellow kit of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. For a time, my cycling life centred around racing road and track.
But that’s since broadened to include multiday two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain I happen to meet - with a two-week bikepacking trip from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia being just the latest.
I still enjoy lining up on a start line, though, racing the British Gravel Championships and finding myself on the podium at the enduro-style gravel event, Gritfest in 2022.
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