Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the Giro Factor Techlace shoe. By blending the comfort of laces with one of cycling’s most progressive closure systems, Giro has managed to build a shoe that’s both unbelievably comfortable and stunningly lightweight. Better yet, it’s also available in a women’s version, the Factress Techlace.
I got my first pair of Giro shoes, the Prolight SLX, the day they hit the market because they were, no BS, the lightest and most comfortable cycling shoes I’d ever put on my feet. I think the analogy I made in my review was along the lines of ‘Cinderella’s glass slipper’ and today, over 5 years later, I still wear them at least once a week, and they’re still as comfortable as ever.
Last year the lace-up Empires came into my life, and added a new layer of comfort — and, let’s be honest, style — to the picture. I love the throwback design, but I also love the infinite levels of tension you can create with the laces. What I don’t love is having to stop and get off the bike after an hour of riding to un-tie, micro-adjust, and re-tie the laces because my feet have settled into the shoes. And, that’s why the TechLace caught my eye.
Giro took everything I loved about the styling of the Empires (and the simplicity of the ProLights), and mashed it up into a killer new shoe. They started with the tried-and-true Easton EC90 SLX sole, which is a bit like a perfect carbon bike: light and stiff, yet incredibly compliant. It’s also among the thinnest on the market, which puts your foot in almost direct contact with the pedal.
And, then Giro did something we all should have thought of years ago: they combined the infinite micro-adjustability and comfort of laces with the race-day precision of Velcro straps and a Boa closure. When you stir in the suppleness of their EvoFiber uppers, which create a perfectly-padded tongue and heel, and then put it all on top of Easton carbon, the end result is a welcome evolution in cycling shoe design and performance. Oh, and did I mention the three-in-one system drops the weight by 40 grams per shoe over the 250-gram Giro Factor? That’s a lot. In my mind, since shoes are rotational weight, that’s akin to dropping 20% of the weight off your wheels.
On the road, the TechLace has the same glass-slipper comfort of all my other Giro shoes, and I’d be hard-pressed to tell you that they aren’t transferring power as well as my Sidi’s, and they certainly spin up very quickly at high cadences. Mirco-adjustment of both the Boa and the laces via the straps is also easy, and while I had concerns about not being able to get the lower section tight enough – that’s just not the case. In fact, I found myself with numb toes after over-tightening the laces a few times. They jury’s still out on how much the laces will stretch over time – but, if they do, the laces are very easy to replace, as are the heel pads.
The Giro Factor TechLace comes in three colors, and sizes from 39 to 50, and it’s drilled for Look-style cleats only. It is also available in a women’s version, the Factress. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.