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  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's
  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's
  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's 3/4 Front
  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's Sole
  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's Sole
  • Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's Side
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  • Detail Images - 3/4 Front
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GiroEmpire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's
Sale 50% Off$149.95 $299.95

Item # GIR005MPast Season Colors

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  • Black/Lime, 40.0 ($149.95)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 41.0 ($149.95)
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Item # GIR005M
Description

Laces in.

By now, the resurgence of laces is mainstream cycling news, and if you've spent time at any cyclocross or XC race this season, you've no doubt seen more than a few pairs of the Giro Men's Empire VR90 Cycling Shoes carving corners and cleaning barriers in the pro showdowns and beginner fields alike. We've spent some time in these shoes too, and we're not shy about being adamant fans. You'll be drawn in by the bright, eye-catching colorways, and stoked to know that hidden under all the style is a top-tier, highly functional piece of footwear that's trail-ready and cyclocross approved.

Underfoot—and most importantly—Giro incorporates the same Easton EC90 carbon fiber sole featured on the Empire's road race version. It's got a low, 6.5mm stack height that reduces the amount of intervening material between engine and pedal for fast, efficient power transfer regardless of terrain.

Hardcore 'cross traditionalists may balk at that stiffness as it historically made running a difficult endeavor, but rest assured that Giro is on it. The Vibram Mont rubber lugged outsole is rockered to facilitate easy walkability and a natural running feel. This lets you harness the watts of that super stiff sole while punching off the line and out of corners without sacrificing speed or comfort when you're shouldering the bike. In our book, that makes the VR90 a little bit of a unicorn.

In addition to its rockering, the lugged sole provides grippy purchase for hard-packed dismounts, quad-searing run-ups, and rocky trail scrambles. If you do happen to miss a clip-in, Giro's added a Mid-Foot Scuff Guard with a grippy, rubber surface to rest against your pedal so you can keep moving forward and stay with your group. Each shoe also includes fittings for two toe spikes for extra traction when you really need to dig in.

In addition to the soles, these shoes pack all the features we've grown to love about Giro's laced offerings, including that standout lace-up closure system for seven points of adjustability and a comfy, near-custom fit. The VR90s also include Giro's SuperNatural Fit Kit, a series of three arch support options that lets you further fine tune the feel. In a small, yet important showing of Giro's attention to detail, an integrated lace keeper holds lace ends securely in place to assuage worries of an inopportune bottle cage grab or crankset encounter.

Giro finishes the shoes with a one-piece upper made from soft, breathable Evofiber with perforations for extra cooling ventilation when the mercury rises. This material is malleable enough to shape to your foot for an exceptionally comfortable fit while resisting excess stretch and loss of shape over time. In this regard, we might liken them to a favorite pair of well-worn slippers—if, that is, those slippers were high-tech, durable, and ridiculously low-weight.

Each pair of Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoes comes packaged with two sets of laces, four steel toe spikes, cleat mounting hardware, and a zippered Giro shoe bag for easy storage and transport.

  • An off-road cycling shoe for the fashionably fast
  • Same light, stiff carbon sole as found in the road race version
  • Equipped for trail duty with a grippy, lugged Vibram outsole
  • Lace-up enclosure customizes fit with 7 points of contact
  • Replaceable inserts let you tailor arch support
  • Anti-odor lining keeps funk to a minimum
Tech SpecsSize
Tech Specs
Upper Material
Teijin microfiber
Closure
lace
Footbed
SuperNatural Fit Kit, X-Static antimicrobial fiber
Sole
Easton EC90 ACC carbon fiber, high traction rubber
Cleat Compatibility
2-bolt
Recommended Use
mountain bike, cyclocross
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year
Size

Giro

Cycling Footwear
EUUS MENUS WOMENUKCM
36   5 3 23
36.5   5.5 3.5 23
37   6 4 23.5
37.5   6.5 4.5 24
38   6.5 4.5 24
38.5   7 5 24.5
39 6.5 7.5 5.5 25
39.5 7 8 6 25
40 7.5 8.5 6.5 25.5
40.5 7.5 8.5 6.5 26
41 8 9 7 26
41.5 8.5 9.5 7.5 26.5
42 9 10 8 27
42.5 9.5 10.5 8.5 27
43 9.5 10.5 8.5 27.5
43.5 10   9 28
44 10.5   9.5 28
44.5 11   10 28.5
45 11   10 29
45.5 11.5   10.5 29
46 12   11 29.5
46.5 12.5   11.5 30
47 13   12 30
47.5 13   12 30.5
48 13.5   12.5 31

Reviews & Community

REVIEWS

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Love these shoes!!!!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

These shoes run very narrow, but for me that's a good thing. My feet are very narrow and it's difficult to find a shoe to hold tight to my feet. And the power transfer difference from my old shimano shoes was night and day. I actually laughed out loud for about 30 min during my test ride. They look amazing, and there are even different inserts for my arch support to make sure my feet fit perfect. I ride in the rain and soak them and just dry them off and they're good as new. I just have to wipe the mud off with my hands and they're clean again. I couldnt ask for more. I will be ordering more of these in the future. I have to make myself not use them for every single commute ride because I love then so much. But they are expensive so I dont want to ruin them in the first winter season. Will update when I introduce them to Michigan's salty winter roads. I should have ordered 43.5 or 44's. They run small but just how narrow they are.

Great right out of the box

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 42

Recent purchase, but I've used them a lot already. First, they are stiff. The carbon sole delivers all the power into the bike. Second, the outsole is grippy. Used them in sand, dirt and grass. Great traction. Finally, they are comfortable. The laces let you customize the fit. Can't really change them on the go, but that's the trade off. 80 km gravel/sand ride and no issues with hot spots, blisters or discomfort. The toe box is a little narrow but not an issue with the laces. The size fit is true. Highly recommend. And the bright blue is nice and showy!

Light and Comfortable Cycling Shoe

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 43.5

Great shoe with a solid connection to the pedal. Pedal all day in comfort.

Finally retiring my VR90

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 45

Finally retiring mine after 3500 dirt miles from my home in Park City, Utah. PROs: custom fit feel and super light and stiff. Great XC climbing shoe, lace ups really worked well. CONs: could use more durable rubber as got some delaminatation from the sole Rather early on the sides. Pretty pricey. Definitely run narrow, I went a whole size up to a 45. Overall considering getting them again as my current pair is absolutely finished after this Whistler and BC trip.

Looks like soccer

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 46

I personally like the lace up look but different styles for different folks. These shoes fit narrow! Definitely keep that in mind when you are looking at your options. They have been a good shoe though - I've put some heavy miles on them including walking on lots of rock and they have held up well so far.

Race-worthy shoe, not for me

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

I gave these a shot, and while they didn't end up being the shoe for me, they did impress me. Laces have some legit benefits. You'll never have hot spots from poorly distributed pressure, and they are light. The VR90s also have a durable, walkable Vibram sole, which is a nice touch! For me, the width was the deal-breaker. These run narrow, and about a size small (I wear a 43 Shimano/Sidi, and I had to go with a 44 in these.) Eventually, I decided to move on, and they ended up in the hands of my brother, who raced on them for a season. Ultimately, the sole delaminated, so the durability wasn't incredible either.

If you have a relatively narrow foot, and want a light, stiff, and comfortable race shoe, these are the way to go!

Great

  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 45.5

Great fit and comfort right out of the box. Highly recommended.

Best she’s ever.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 46

Great arch support adjustment. The laces allow the ultimate in adjustability and comfort. And a super stiff soul.

Unanswered Question

I have Giro Codes and Empire SLX road shoes-the Empires had to be a full size smaller. Would these fit the same as the Empires?

Great fit, durability will be tested

    Pretty excited about these shoes. The fit is great and found the arch inserts to really help dial in my high arches. Stepped on the heel when putting these on and spend a good few minutes digging it out of itself. After a few rides they are holding up well. The fit was hard to dial in on the first ride being new to laces, but now they are great.

    Empire Reliability

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 45 to life.

    These were purchased after riding their road equivalent for the last year. I wanted the same long distance comfort in a mountain shoe and totes got it. Highly recommended af.

    Comfortable, works fantastic, durable

      These were gifted to a friend, here's what he had to say about them!
      Great shoe, great fit, arguably better than the road version. There’s something almost sneaker-like about this MTB shoe, particularly since they added a Vibram sole that features soft, chunky rubber that makes walking around very easy. I have had the road version of the Empire, and as stated I would actually put Giro’s MTB offering a step above in that the outer material seems a bit more foot-friendly, also adding a capped toe helps. This is a great shoe, and the included modular footbed is a win.

      Unanswered Question

      Has Giro considered making a "wide" for this model? Also, I have a number of bike shop owners who agree about the quality of the sole (both shops owners own these...) - has Giro made any improvements regarding the construction? Would love to make this my shoe of choice, however the above two are non-starters...

      Great shoe, runs narrow

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 43.5

      While I found these to be excellent shoes, they run narrow, meaning, the last itself is narrow from the toebox back to the ankle, so easing laces did not solve the problem. After two months of heavy use, the uppers did not stretch (nor should they have). For reference, my foot measures 8.5 between B and C width. I ordered a 43 and 43.5. The 43 was right length but far too narrow. The 43.5 is a touch long, but still too narrow. Like Sidi's the Giro is slightly narrow in the toebox, but unlike Sidi's the narrowness ( and thus the pressure) continues aft to the ankle. It resulted in cramping, pressure and pain for me. You can see the last by comparing soles of the various shoes. I have since tried Fizik and found its last to be wider and thus a better shape for my foot.

      Lil bit smaller than Empire/ACC/SLX

      • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 42

      I have a set of Empire SLXs in 42 so I figured these would fit the same in 42, but it turns out they're a lot smaller. I think a 43 would even fit me.

      FAST!

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 43.5

      I only wish I could peddle as fast as they shoes look. Extremely well made. Not cheap by any means, but they are top notch. Snug fit, run a 1/2 to full size smaller.

      Swanky

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 47

      Stiff, comfortable, excellent fit and they look good. And they are holding up quite well. Light, simple and well-constructed. Perfect.

      Swanky

      First time laces...long time convert

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: Runs large
      • Size Bought: 43

      I was skeptical about laces having never had a pair of cycling shoes with them before, but there was no need to be. I can get them just as tight as with BOA and the pressure is spread evenly over the top of my foot which makes them super comfy. I'm not sure that I'd go for laces on road shoes, but they are perfect on XC shoes.
      As for size, I've gone down half a size compared to Shimano or Mavic.

      Unfounded Skepticism - Laces, Soles, Fit

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size

      * Sizing is pretty true, for my narrow 10.5 size foot. I comfortably wear the VR90 in a 44; in Sidi and Fizik I wear 44.5
      * Laces? Sure why not. I don't usually adjust my shoes for anything less than 250km anyway. But probably a PITA when caked with mud (maybe duct tape at start of really muddy rides?).
      * Narrow fit is +/- depending on what you're looking for. That said, the toe box is fairly square and roomy... allows a great platform for standing on climbs.
      * Heel hold down is excellent for my narrow feet and thin heel/ankle.
      * Good initial impression of the insole with adjustable arch support; I usually swap out the OEM insoles depending on volume of shoe, but am still on the fence with the VR90 since the fit is really good.
      * Walking is adequate: Vibram lugs are soft, Easton sole is stiff, but amount of rocker is OK. And I have no need to run in these. (Not using toe spikes.)
      * Debating whether to use a plate (e.g., Crank Bros.) between the sole and cleat.

      Thanks for the sweet deal, CC. Thought I might send them back but I've dialed-in cleat placement on the trainer and already had 'em outside.

      great quality, small sizing

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 41.5

      I purchased a pair of 41.5s to replace my 41.5 s-works mtb shoes. The Giro's fit is a bit more snug - enough that I can't chalk it up only to my old shoes being stretched out. All's good though, I'm still breaking them in. In hindsight I should have gone with a 42.

      This is my first experience with lace-ups. So far, I have only good things to report. I don't miss boa cranks particularly, laces aren't flying everywhere, etc.

      The quality is apparent and the vibram sole is much more sticky than my old shoes, or other shoes I have owned previously. This makes them great for Fall in the NE with our damp, leaf-covered rocks and roots.

      Looking at the comment "Ain't Got No Sole," I'd argue that if you abuse the hell out of any piece of bike equipment, its likely to fall apart. Look at how warn his metal cleat pieces are - I'm not sure you can point to a defective sole as the primary issue here. Props to the reviewer for getting after it assuming he isn't working construction in his bike shoes. In sum, the lugged up, sticky vibrate sole = traction on slippery surfaces.

      Most importantly though, they look sick. Don't lie, that's why you're looking at lace up shoes.