If you happened to focus on Levi Leipheimer’s feet during the Tour de France, you may have noticed a logo that seemed, at first, out of place. Leipheimer also raced Giro’s top off-road shoes, the Code, to victory in the recent Leadville 100 race. Giro, well-known for its line of brain buckets, has expanded into the sunglasses market over the last couple of years, and the company is now taking aim at cycling shoes. Thanks to the Giro’s relationship with Easton – both fall under the Easton-Bell Sports umbrella – there’s plenty of EC90- or EC70-branded carbon composites on display in the soles.
There are three road models and two MTB (and cyclocross) models on offer, as well as a women’s model for each discipline. Giro has also developed a line of footbeds, dubbed Giro SuperNatural footbeds, which come with the top shoe models and are also available for purchase separately to use in other brand shoes. The SuperNatural footbeds come with a variety of different inserts which help consumers dial in the proper arch support for their feet. According to Giro, “The Giro SuperNatural Fit System combines a cycling-specific footbed with a simple adjustable arch support system that allows riders to custom-tune their fit right out of the box, without any tools or hassles. And because our footbeds are cycling-specific, they enhance fit and feel by helping to anchor the rider’s heel in the shoe and keep the foot as close to the pedal as possible.”
The Code, which tops the off-road lineup, features a Teijin lightweight microfiber upper built atop an EC90 carbon sole for maximum stiffness. The SuperNatural Fit Kit footbeds are included, as are steel toe spikes. This model weighs 355 grams per shoe in a size 42 and runs $279.
The Gauge and Sica (the women’s equivalent) substitute lugged EC70 soles for a balance of stiffness, comfort and money savings; the microfiber upper doesn’t have a trademarked name attached to it; and the insoles are more traditional, without all of the customizability of the SuperNaturals. While there are threaded to accept toe spikes, they’re not included. But, they also shave a little weight off of the top model Codes – down to 345 grams per shoe for the Gauge in a size 42 (305g for the Sica, size 39). Price is $199.
The shoes won’t be available to the public until January 2011, but we’ll be putting them through the paces on the ’cross courses and will have product reviews before they launch.