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 microfiber 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.
There has been a lot of questions about sizing, and I too had them and decided to pull the trigger on these shoes. I wear a 43 in sidi, 42 in northwave, and got these in 42.5. PERFECT fit! I don't have overly wide feet, but they do square off at my pinky toes. these may be the most comfortable out of the box shoes tried (others had a long break in period before they felt comfortable). I would go up half size if you wear double layer socks, or wear super thick socks for cold winters.
Each of our feet is shaped differently. I would like to think that mine differ more than others but of course mine is a biased opinion. I have an extremely high arch in one foot and an extremely low are in another. These shoes make up for this difference both with the custom inserts for the insole and the fact that they lace up. I broke them in on the trainer for a couple of weeks before I took them out on the rode. Once on the road I was actually surprised at how they ventilated. I was expecting more heat retained due to the material. Overall a cool shoe, the one star it is lacking comes from a lack of heel support. My heel does slip a bit on both shoes when out of the saddle.
I wear size 44 street shoes (ecco) and ordered these in size 44. Great fit around the heel, arch (with default insert), top, and toes. I just remove the slack from the laces without over tightening. A bit flashy in metallic blue but they add some needed visibility to my mostly black cycling wardrobe.
I am astonished to be able to buy this caliber of shoe at this price. I refused to believe it until they were laced up and cleated. Hands down the most comfortable upper and stiffest sole I've used to date.
These shoes are very comfortable on my narrow feet. I am using my own insoles, which are even higher than the highest option provided - but it's great that they provide three levels of support. Oddly, these shoes have very thick walls, although they are lighter than my old shows. The heel tends to hit my crank more than it did on my previous shoes. I also seem to have a little more front wheel overlap - these shoes are about 1 cm longer on the outside than my last pair of another brand, also labeled size 44. The lacing system gives excellent adjustability, but will seem really slow if you are used to buckles or velcro.
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