Lightweight efficiency, simplified.
When the Empire shoes first debuted on the fashionable Phinney's feet, we admit that many of us were skeptical. Laces? On a cycling shoe? Surely Giro's gone too far. Now entering its third year, the Empire is proving to be more than a passing fad, and the new Empire SLX Shoes are sure to cement its place at the top of the industry's food chain. With a claimed weight of just 175 grams, the Empire SLX Shoes are around 100 grams lighter than most of their competitor's pro-level offerings, while still providing the power transfer and minimalist aesthetics demanded by pros like Phinney.
The Empire SLX's main upgrade from regular Empire models is Easton's EC90 SLX2 carbon outsole. The previous iteration of Empire soles has been plenty stiff enough for the kind of power output that guys like Phinney produce, and this one's no different. It's just lighter. And it includes titanium hardware to make it weigh even less. The lower the stack height, the closer the cleats, and thereby your feet, are to the pedals. This minimizes power loss that occurs with thicker cleat plates.
The SLXs are wrapped with the same, single piece of Evofiber microfiber used in the heavier Empire models. This fabric is exceptionally lightweight and highly breathable, featuring perforations for added cooling. This contributes not only to the sleek, minimalist profile, but it also reduces weight.
The big difference when comparing the Empires to any other pro-level shoes are the laces. It may seem regressive to put laces on cycling shoes of any level, but the logic actually bears out. Consider the typical pair of hook-and-loop straps with a ratcheting buckle, which contacts the uppers in three places. Now consider the Empire's old-school laces, which contact the uppers in seven places. Which do you think provides a more adjustable, molded-to-your-foot fit?
The Empire's inimitable fit is finished off with an adjustable SuperNatural Fit Kit. It allows you to fine-tune support to where your feet need it the most. Additionally, it was constructed with X-Static Antimicrobial fiber to keep odors and bacteria at bay.
- Racing shoes that privilege style and stiffness
- The same top-tier carbon sole ridden in the peloton
- Microfiber uppers conform but don't stretch
- Laces provide twice the contact points for better fit
- Titanium cleat mounting hardware discreetly sheds grams
- Customizable fit inserts feature anti-odor treatment