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Giro Empire Shoes - Gold Limited Edition - Men's $0.00
The Empire is back for 2014, and this time around it makes its appearance even leaner and stiffer than the beloved inaugural release. An updated sole composition and new upper material are responsible for the refined makeup, with this specific version being released as a limited, collaborative project between Competitive Cyclist and Giro. So lace up a pair of these beauties before it's too late, and let the head turning begin.
Similar to the original Empires, this edition draws inspiration from classic lace-up designs — utilizing the versatile fit adjustment and low weight of laces to provide the ultimate balance of comfort and power. When you think about it, no hook-and-loop or ratcheting buckle closure system can match the mathematical possibilities for a lace's volume customization. Through varying lacing patterns or tensions, you can customize the medial or lateral pull, or the tightness at the forefoot or instep, all at the same time. But, if you're anything like us, your first nagging thought concerns the laces getting caught in the drivetrain — you're not alone. However, Giro's one step ahead of us, and accordingly, it incorporated a retaining lace garage on the tongue of the shoes. So, the retention system provides a positive conformity with the foot at a fraction of the typical weight.
And while the Empire's laces are an obvious differentiator, so too are its other design features. Starting at the uppers themselves, Giro wrapped the new Empires with its Evofiber microfiber. This material contributes to the shoes' sleek profile, but it also reduces weight while the fabric selection increases breathability. That's right, the new Evofiber fabric is even lighter and more breathable than before. Furthermore, Giro placed focused points of perforation along the Empire's sides and tongue in order to increase airflow throughout the shoe. And in case it gets a little sweaty inside, the Empire also features an X-Static footbed that's anti-microbial, anti-stink, and anti-static. The latter attribute also minimizes, if not eliminates, the ever-irritating hot spot.
Additionally, the X-Static composition is only one part of Giro's SuperNatural Fit Footbed — a critical component of the Empire's fit and function. This footbed takes into account the fundamental differences between a cycling footbed and a footbed for impact-sport shoes. Unlike walking, where the foot moves like a leaf spring, cycling requires the foot to act as a lever. As a result, the arch is under a high amount of stress. And to alleviate this, Giro included three different arch heights that're easily interchangeable along the undercarriage of the footbed. To additionally support the foot's lever action, the footbed features a low heel for optimal retention and a tapering density towards the toe for extra wiggle room.
Rounding out the Empire is an all-new Easton/Giro-developed EC90 ACC carbon fiber outsole. This outsole is slightly stiffer and lighter than the original EC90, featuring a uni-directional carbon construction that boasts one of the highest stiffness-to-weight ratios on the market. Additionally, the outsole has a remarkably low stack height of only 6.5mm. This means that the distance from the foot to the pedal has been minimized. So, working together, these characteristics not only guarantee an efficient power transfer, but also a high level of comfort. Key to the outsole's design is the allowance of what Giro calls spillover. Basically, while most shoemakers wrap the carbon high over the ball of the foot, the EC90 outsole allows the ball to spill over the side. Accordingly, the Empire becomes more accommodating to your foot as it inevitably swells, or when the foot expands while you're dancing on the pedals.
The Giro Gold Limited Edition Empire Shoes - Men's are available in the Gold/matte white colorway, and in whole and half sizes from 39.0 to 48.0. Please note that these shoes are only compatible with standard, three-hole road cleats.
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Reviews & Community
So stiff, so comfortable, so stylish
- Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
- Fit:True to size
My shoes are golden. 'Nuf said.
But seriously, these shoes are awesome. I've put a few hundred miles in them and they are way more comfortable than my old Bontragers. The carbon fiber sole is so stiff (seriously!!!), I've tried to ply it with my hands and the thing doesn't move a millimeter. When you open up the sprint, or when you're just cranking out the power, you feel really connected with your bike and your foot isn't sliding around at all within the shoe.
The laces actually provide quite a bit of adjustability so I haven't had any pressure points. My first ride I had to stop to lace them up tighter. You can lace them up pretty tight before you leave and once you're on the bike they fit perfectly (not too tight, not too loose). At this point I have the laces dialed just right, so when I put them on I just pull the laces tight through the last 2 lace holes and I'm off. People have told my that they'd be worried about the laces not fitting right, but I've never had to adjust them during a ride since day 1.
The footbed in these shoes is awesome because it really formed to my foot. I used the highest arch support when I first rode with the shoes, and once the footbed molded to my foot I started using the standard/middle height arch support. With the footbed and the "spillover" effect, these shoes honestly do fit my feet perfectly. I never get back from a ride and rush to take off my shoes. When your on the bike, they just become a part of you and the bike.
If you're looking for a shoe you can beat on and walk around very easily in, I would definitely not recommend these (carbon fiber ≠ Vibram sole). I've accidentally slid my toes on the ground while stopping at lights and stop signs and it does leave the evofiber a little scuffed, but other than that I've ridden with these shoes on gravel trails and wet roads and they still look as white as when I took them out of the box. Also, if you are walking in these, avoid rocks at all costs. You will wreck the carbon fiber on the bottom. If I see dirt or road grime on my Empires after a ride, I just take a wet microfiber or paper towel and wipe them off.
Overall, I give these shoes 5 stars because they are so stiff while also being incredibly comfortable, and make heads turn on the roads and trails. The classy white evofiber and laces, juxtaposed with the gold heel and logo are simply awesome.
I wear a 48 in Shimano R320 race shoe. what size do you suggest?
- Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
These shoes are sick. They feel really solid, the laces feel good, and they just look so so good. You'll get many compliments, I guarantee it. They definitely will scuff a bit (I only race in them), but do clean up fairly well with a wet cloth. Super glad I bought these shoes.
Does anyone have any experience with these?...
Does anyone have any experience with these? I ride a pair of S Works shoes that are four seasons old and my concern with these Giros are the breathability.
I have owned these shoes for 3 months now and had the same worry about breath ability. So far so good but I've only been riding in 85 degrees max. Have to say I love these shoes.
WHY!! Why cant you make this in a XC MTB...
Why cant you make this in a XC MTB version.
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