The code is key. Get the code and you can unlock the secret of performance, a pursuit of many a cyclist. Is it a cipher or a shoe? In this case, the Code is the Giro shoe that Levi Leipheimer, sometimes known as a pro roadie who has finished on the podium of a few Grand Tours, literally took out of the box and on his first ride in them won the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, setting the course record and beating the reigning national mountain bike champ in the process. Pretty impressive performance.
And the Code is an impressive shoe, whether or not a Giro-sponsored rider fresh off the Tour de France can destroy a field of pro mountain bikers on his virgin ride with their mountain bike shoes. The first big thing about Giro shoes is that they fit great regardless of who wears them. Like their road shoes, Giro went through 16 iterations before they found the last, aka foot form, they wanted to use to design the shoe around. This last has to accommodate for a wide range of feet, accounting for variations in volume, heel width, arch height, toe length, and so on. Shoe makers pretty much have one shot at designing a good last, the first one is what they'll be stuck with pretty much forever, so it needs to be good.
Nailing the last is a great first, but any shoe also has to allow for the upper to be adjusted; the material and the straps have to account for differences small and large from foot to foot to foot. Here, too, Giro has done a stellar job. You can see it from the deep, but not too constructed, heel cup. You can see it in the shape of the top strap and two-position buckle. You can see it in the middle strap that goes across the mid-foot to keep it from moving, eliminating pressure on the metatarsal bones by pulling equally from a large swath of fabric on the inside of the foot; when you pull on the Velcro, the entire panel becomes the strap. The bottom strap takes up any loose space in the forefoot and the toe box design means that there is a wide range of adjustment and it's nearly impossible to get that aesthetically-displeasing pucker that some one-piece toes can get when at the far edges of their adjustment range.
A big thing to know about the upper shape is that it was designed with the idea that people can install their own after-market insoles. This means it has a good shape but minimal construction around the heel cup and a neutral, flat (as opposed to canted) sole that better accommodates wide feet or oversized insoles.
The upper, in addition to the shape, is a work of smart materials design. It's made of Teijin microfiber and reinforced with high-frequency welded polyurethane in areas where your foot is likely to bash rocks or get bashed. Take a look at the pictured shoe; it's the matte Black stuff. The polyurethane makes the upper feel a bit stiffer than it would if it were 100% Teijin microfiber, but as you ride, the poly will soften a bit and conform to your foot a lot.
The sole has been designed with the help of the carbon-fiber engineers at Easton. They call it the EC90, which means it is made of unidirectional carbon-fiber. It's thin, roughly 7.25mm over the cleat (a bit more or less, depending on cleat placement), and stiff, but not quite as stiff as the road version of the same sole. The mountain sole doesn't have the same exterior structure, lacking the bracing power of the I-beam construction found in the road shoe. The result is a shoe with a bit more give for those times you have to do some bike hiking.
Epoxied onto the sole is a dual-durometer tread. The harder durometer gives the tread structure and support and is between the shoe bottom and the tread you walk on. The walking tread is a much softer durometer, tackier if you will, that strikes a balance between stickiness and durability. The open design of the tread pattern makes it hard for dirt to stay packed between the lugs. In between the front treads and rear treads is a mid-foot scuff-guard. Cyclocrossers will particularly appreciate this feature, but really all cyclists should like having a little material covering the carbon-fiber sole mid-foot to make it easier to stand on the pedals unclipped and protect the sole from impacts with sharp objects.
Giro also includes their SuperNatural Fit Kit with the Code. This is their aftermarket insole solution. They made the insole as thin as possible at the heel and ball of the feet so you don't feel like you're foot is being lifted out of the shoe by the insole. The base material is EVA foam, so you'll crush the insole where your foot pushes against it, or "set" it if you want to get technical, over the course of several rides. The top is finished with a thin layer of X-Static material for its wicking and anti-microbial qualities. But what makes the SuperNatural Fit Kit a big deal is that the insoles come with three different height arch inserts to allow you to customize the insoles for everything from flat feet (no insert) to high arches (thick insert).
The Giro Code Shoes come in Magnesium/Black and White/Black. The buckle is replaceable and has two positions for further adjustability. The sole is drilled for two-bolt cleats. The toe area of the sole is threaded to accept spikes and the shoes come with both spikes and plugs for the times you want to go spike-free. The Code is available in whole sizes from 39-48 and half sizes from 39.5 to 46.5.
Welded scuff guards boost the upper’s durability and structured feel
Optimized Easton EC90 unidirectional carbon sole is ultra-stiff for increased efficiency and optimum power transfer
Teijin lightweight microfiber shapes to your foot
Offset midfoot D-ring alleviates pressure points
X-Static antimicrobial fiber fights odor
Teijin lightweight microfiber
yes, replaceable cleats available
39.5 - 40
41.5 - 42
44 - 44.5
46.5 - 47
47 - 48
Terms And Conditions
This Usage Agreement (the "Agreement") governs your conduct while using various services on the web site Competitive Cyclist and its affiliate web sites (collectively, the "Site"). All references to "we," "us," and "our" shall mean Competitive Cyclist and all references to "you" and "your" shall mean the user of the Site and Site Services. This Agreement applies to various services and activities on the Site as well as to gear review and product ratings (collectively, "Site Services"). Please read this Agreement carefully.
BY ACCESSING, BROWSING, AND USING THE SITE, ANY SITE SERVICES AND OTHER SERVICES THEREIN, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION THEREOF, DO NOT ACCESS, BROWSE OR OTHERWISE USE THE SITE OR SITE SERVICES, INCLUDING THE SUBMISSION OF ANY REVIEWS OR COMMENTS.
Any comments, reviews (including gear reviews and product ratings), posts, feedback, questions, answers, notes, messages, images, video, audio, materials, documents, data, graphics, ideas, suggestions or other communications (collectively, "User Content") you submit on the Site are not private or proprietary. By submitting User Content on or through the Site, you grant, assign and transfer to Competitive Cyclist all of your rights, title and interest, including without limitation, all intellectual property rights and moral rights, in and to such User Content. To the extent the preceding assignment and transfer is ineffective, you hereby grant Competitive Cyclist an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, adapt, display, publish, archive, store, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon such User Content, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future.
By submitting such User Content on or through the Site, you are confirming that (a) you are the sole author of the User Content and the User Content originated with you and not copied in whole or in part from any other work; (b) you have obtained all necessary permissions associated with the User Content, including without limitation permissions relating to copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and/or rights of privacy; (c) the User Content does not contain hate speech or profanity and is not unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, libelous, obscene, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, an invasion of another's privacy, or otherwise in violation of this Agreement; (d) that you are not a minor and have the legal right and capacity to enter into and comply with this Agreement; (e) such User Content does not and will not, in any way, violate or breach any of the terms of this Agreement; and (f) Competitive Cyclist shall not in any circumstances be required to pay or incur any sums to any person or entity as a result of its use or exploitation of the User Content.
With respect to your conduct on the Site or while using the Site Services, you agree not to: (a) attempt to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted to the Site Services whether through the Site or any third party site; (b) act in any manner that negatively affects other users' ability to use the Site and Site Services; (c) impersonate any person or entity, including without limitation, a manufacturer or owner of any product, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (d) interfere with the Site or Site Services, or servers or networks connected to the Site or Site Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site or Site Services; (e) upload, post, or otherwise transmit any User Content that with respect to the Site Services: (i) is not relevant to the product, service, person or entity being reviewed; (ii) you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (by way of example but not limitation, inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); (iii) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or (iv) is unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.
User Content does not reflect the views of Competitive Cyclist, and Competitive Cyclist does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, integrity, quality or reliability of any User Content, nor does Competitive Cyclist endorse or support any opinions expressed in any User Content. In no event shall Competitive Cyclist have or be construed to have any responsibility or liability for or in connection with any User Content, Any gear reviews and/or product ratings submitted on the Site, if displayed, are displayed for entertainment and informational purposes only. Under no circumstances will Competitive Cyclist be liable in any way for any User Content, including but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any User Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any User Content posted, emailed or otherwise transmitted via the Site or Site Services.
If Competitive Cyclist determines, in our sole and absolute discretion, that you or any User Content you submit violates this Agreement, we reserve the right, at any time, without notice and without limiting any and all other rights Competitive Cyclist may have under this Agreement, to: (a) refuse to allow you to submit further User Content; (b) remove and delete your User Content; (c) revoke your registration and right to use the User Content Submission Features; and (d) use any technological, legal, operational or other means available to enforce the terms of this Agreement, including, without limitation, blocking specific IP addresses or deactivating your registration, access to the Site and Site Services using your e-mail address, and your user name and password. Without limiting the foregoing, once User Content is submitted to the Site, Competitive Cyclist may take any or no action with respect to such User Content, including without limitation, deleting, editing, modifying, rejecting, or refusing to post such User Content, but is under no obligation to offer you the opportunity to edit, delete or otherwise modify User Content once it has been submitted. Competitive Cyclist shall have no duty to attribute authorship of User Content to you and shall not be obligated to enforce any form of attribution by third parties.
If, despite the foregoing assignment and transfer of rights in the User Content, it is determined that you retain moral rights (including the rights of attribution or integrity) in the User Content, you hereby declare that: (a) you do not require that any personally identifying information be used in connection with the User Content or any derivative works of or upgrades or updates thereto; (b) you have no objection to the publication, use, modification, deletion and exploitation of the User Content by Competitive Cyclist or its licensees, successors or assigns; (c) you forever waive and agree not to claim or assert any entitlement to any and all moral rights of an author in any of the User Content; and (d) you forever release Competitive Cyclist, and its licensees, successors and assigns from any claims that you could otherwise assert against Competitive Cyclist by virtue of any such moral rights.
You are prohibited from violating the security of any system or network compromising the Site or the Site Services, including but not limited to the following: (a) unauthorized access to or use of data, systems, or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of the Site or Site Services or to breach security or authentication measures; (b) unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on the Site or of the Site Services; (c) interference with the Site or Site Services including without limitation, any type of flooding technique or deliberate attempt to overload the system such as denial or service attacks; (d) forging of a message header or any part of a message header; or (e) using manual or electronic means to avoid any use or access limitation placed on this Site or the Site Services. Such violations may result in criminal or civil liability.
Competitive Cyclist reserves the right to report any activity or persons that Competitive Cyclist suspects has violated any law or regulation to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties (including the disclosure of appropriate subscriber information). Competitive Cyclist may also cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal conduct. Indirect or attempted violations of this Agreement and actual or attempted violations thereof by a third party on behalf of any user shall be considered violations of this Agreement by such user.
I love these shoes. I was reluctant to buy based on what I've heard about the durability but I have not found any issues so far and I've put them through a half a dozen rides that include some hike-a-bike. That said, I tend to be easy on my gear as things are expensive these days....
I had to size up as these run small but the fit is great once I got the correct size. The insoles have 3 options for low/med/high instep that are easily changed....the insoles are decent enough not to immediately swap to a Superfeet type insole.
The enclosure system works great and holds your feet in the shoe perfectly.
I bought the "white/black" and the white is really "pearl"...an unexpected surprise as that keeps the dirt at bay somewhat.
Picked these up because of my high arches and the supernatural fit kit included. My high arch eneded up meaning the volume was a bit low in this shoe with the proper insole so that was kind of a bust and I ended up riding the show very comfortable with the thinnest insole setting.
Aside from fit the shoe was very stiff and didn't create any awkward pressure points like other race worthy soles.
My only practical complaint would be the toe protection lacks in durability. The fabric wore and started looking chewed up after a couple hike-a-bike sections.
Been looking at different shoes for months, decided on either the Sidi Dominator 5 or theses Codes. I was hesitant on the Sidi's because sounds like they just aren't made like they use to be. Could be happier with the code's after my first ride. Traction is pretty code, inserts for archs nice, and extremely light. I wear a 10.5 in asics running shoes and got a 44.5 for a perfect fit. I thought I had wide fit so I was concerned about these, but I also like a little snug shoes.
Out of the box awesome. I tried these shoes on and they felt great. I bought them and took them straight to a cyclocross race. Put the cleats on and my first ride in them was a race (I know bad idea). To my delight they felt amazing. Stiff soles aid in power transfer and the straps did not have one hot spot. The heel straps kept my heel anchored in the shoe where it needs to be. The foot beds come with three different inserts to adjust arch support. Although, I kept the factory installed orange or medium arch support in them. Great shoes that rival any other big names.