The Giro Empire shoes were developed specifically for Taylor Phinney to race at the Giro D'Italia and Olympic Games. The EC90 ACC outsole is stiff and generates maximum power per pedal stroke. The stack height is about 6.5mm, which produces a very close connection between your foot and shoe. The one piece upper is comprised of a one piece Premium Evofiber™, which is a breathable mircofiber enhanced with perforation. The lace closure is lightweight and provides an unmatched ability to contour to your foot's shape for a close comfortable fit. The Super Natural Fit technology which is a cycling specific footbed with an adjustable arch system, for enhanced power transfer. It's light, comfortable, and ready to race.
I really wanted to love these shoes, but they didn't quite work out for me. They ended up being too narrow. Feature-wise, these shoes are a winner... for the people they fit. Really stiff and light, easy to dial in the fit with laces. Great looking and quite aero. Unfortunately the problem I ran into was that the toe box on my pair was just a little narrow on the left shoe, causing my left pinky toe to cry out in anguish after only an hour on the bike. I ended up selling the shoes after two months... I just don't believe in holding on to shoes that hurt my feet, no matter how good they look. The other thing was while the heel pads were replaceable, which is a good thing, one of them would click when I walked. Not a big deal but it didn't go away when I tightened down the heel pad.
Obviously I can't complain about the lack of ability to easily adjust the tightness while riding (you kind of expect this when you buy a shoe with laces), but it sort of bothered me that I couldn't tighten down the shoe with one hand once it had worn in a bit on the ride. I ended up having to stop halfway through the ride to re-tie my shoes, which bugged me. Also, consider the extra time you'll spend tying your shoes instead of slipping into them, ratcheting down the straps and going. If that doesn't bother you, no big deal but if you're a time-strapped guy like me, you'll just get annoyed of always tying your shoes. I would love if these came in a wider version since I've always fit other Giro shoes just fine.
PROS: Laced Closure, Durable, Stylish, Good looking, Lightweight
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