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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
  • 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 Sole
  • 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 Side
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GiroEmpire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's
Sale $194.97 - $299.95

Item # GIR005M

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  • Iceberg/Reflective, 42.0 ($299.95)
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  • Blue Jewel/Black, 39.0 ($239.96)
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  • Blue Jewel/Black, 40.5 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 41.0 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 41.5 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 42.0 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 42.5 ($239.96)
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  • Blue Jewel/Black, 45.5 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 46.5 ($239.96)
  • Blue Jewel/Black, 48.0 ($239.96)
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Item # GIR005M

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
SuperNatural Fit Kit, X-Static antimicrobial fiber
Easton EC90 ACC carbon fiber, high traction rubber
Cleat Compatibility
Recommended Use
mountain bike, cyclocross
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year


Cycling Shoes
36 4 5 3 22.5
37 5 6 4 23.5
37.5 5.5 6.5 4.5 24
38 6 7 5 24
38.5 6 7 5 24.5
39 6.5 7.5 5.5 25
39.5 7 8 6 25.5
40 7.5 8.5 6.5 25.5
40.5 8 9 7 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 11 9 28
44 10.5 11.5 9.5 28.5
44.5 11 12 10 28.5
45 11 12 10 29
45.5 11.5 12.5 10.5 29
46 12 13 11 29.5
46.5 12.5 13.5 11.5 30
47 13 14 12 30
48 13.5 14.5 12.5 31

Reviews & Community


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  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 45.5

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

Avg. ride time: 9m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

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
Avg. ride time: 29m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

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
      Avg. ride time: 14m per week
      • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

      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...

      Avg. ride time: 2h 8m per week
      • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

      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.


      • 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.


      • 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.


      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.

      Avg. ride time: 4h 30m per week
      • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

      Ain't Got No Sole

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

      Ah my purple slippers, you've let me down.

      On a chilly February morning I ordered a pair of VR90s in the plum color way of the Grinduro. Over the next eight months, I'd use them for racing over dirt roads, single track, barriers, mud and tears. I suppose the fit is fine, they ain't my first pair of Giros, but the durability and cushioning leave a bit to be desired.

      Now for the cushioning part of this, it could be my own childish tendency to bunny hop everything in combination with the tiny contact point of ATACs. As a result, the flimsy insoles don't really have enough cushioning and after twenty miles of singletrack my forefoot feels like someone went at it with a ball peen hammer. I swapped em for some blue Specialized BG insoles, which helps, but don't do too much to battle the shoe gremlins. If you're courtin' the VR90 that may or may not be your issue.

      The ultimate betrayal, however, is the sole. You've probably heard the line "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." (It's from a Lebanese-American poet named Khalil Gibran.) and if you were to saddle up to a bar, you could get quite a story from the VR90s after a round of Wild Turkey. However, what's good for the soul ain't good for the sole and the Vibram bits just don't seem to be faithful.

      Every creak of my pedals seems to warn the shoe "he ain't no good for you!" Maybe I beat 'em too hard, but as you can see the rubber has hit the road. Too many metaphors.

      In all seriousness, I've owned more shoes than I can count and I've never had shoes, including other Giros, fall apart this fast. No word from Giro on warranty or repair (I don't think that's possible). If you only use them on occasion, they might work fine (barring the cushioning issue I mentioned). But if you use them on the regular (FWIW, I clock over 10k miles a year across disciplines) they might be more of a one night stand than true love.

      They sure do look purty.

      Ain't Got No Sole

      They ain't hiking boots, in spite of the Vibram sole. But from the looks of your cleats, you do more than a little bike-hiking. Some people love the soft rubber, others say it disintegrates. Guess it depends on intended use. Thanks for the heads-up!

      Great shoes. Watch the sizing.

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

      I won't repeat what everyone has said about the shoes. I'm a lace convert and I won't go back if I can help it.

      On sizing, I ride the road version of this shoe (Empire) and love it so I ordered the same size in the VR90 expecting all to be well. My particular pair seemed about 1/4 - 1/2 size too short. "Narrowness" seemed to be about the same as what I'm used to, but I had to go a half size up to get these to work, otherwise running in these shoes would have had my toes banging into the tops, especially when wearing winter socks.

      Other than that, they're great shoes.

      Great shoes

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

      Runs 1/2 size small. Great shoe --well made and super light. All my riding is on road, no trail use.

      Sole failing as warranty expires

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

      I liked the fit of these a lot, and will continue to use them for commuting, but they are not holding up very well to trail rides. I've been using them in the foothills in Albuquerque and now in the trails around State College in PA. Both rocky places, but I ride XC, not downhill. I don't drag my soles in turns, but the soles are starting to crumble and fall apart just as Giro's 1 year warrantee expired (bought them last summer). I've strayed a bit in recent years (Shimano and Giro) but I have to admit that Sidis are the most durable shoes on the market. I just ordered some Sidi SRS Spiders, and these will be relegated to commuting. Sidi, sorry I strayed.

      Great Shoe

      • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
      • Fit: True to size

      I bought the VR90s after using the Giro Terraduro shoes for a year. I've got narrow feet for sure, so I just wanted to speak to sizing here, in case there are others considering the Terraduro vs. the VR90. With narrow feet, I found the Terraduro to be too wide and not very adjustable at all. Especially riding on the road (without the distractions of the trail), I realized my feet were just swimming in the Terraduros. Tried the VR90 in the same size (44) and the fit was far better, as was the adjustability with the laces (as you would expect). Length was the same across shoes. The VR90 is clearly top notch construction and design.
      After all that, though, the VR90s seemed pretty hot even just trying them on...and the cost factor led me to consider the Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0....which I ended up purchasing here and absolutely love! So, if you find Terraduro too wide/loose, consider the VR90 in the same size.

      Would you say the VR90s are significantly narrower than the Terraduros? I find the Terraduros to be only a bit wide, and I'm trying to gauge if the VR90s are even an option.

      I bet you'd be fine in the VR90 if the Terraduro is just a bit wide. I found the Terraduro had almost no real adjustment apart from the ratchet. Laces on the VR90 really do give quite a bit of precision adjustment.

      Too narrow

      • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 48

      Really wanted these to fit. I normally wear a Specialized 48. A 48 in the Giros felt really good at first, but I sat with it on for half an hour and then I felt like screaming. Too narrow. So sad.