Giro Empire ACC Women’s Road Shoe
What can I say… I am in love!
From the moment I opened the box; they looked amazing. They come in a sleek carry bag and have adjustable insoles allowing you to match the arch of your foot. Initially, I was worried the laces would not give me the snug fit I was after. However, once I tried them on I realised that the laces, in fact, give a great fit. They are so easy to tighten and loosen in the exact places that are needed.
The looks were what caught my eye and so far I have had so much positive feedback remarking their beauty, from men and women alike. The black base colour is highlighted only by the purple-mirrored Giro logo that runs down the side.
Beware! They come up small. I am a standard size four (with the exception of if I want to wear huge thick ski socks with my winter boots). I bought the size 6! I don’t have overly wide feet but did notice the toe box is narrow. When I tried to compare them to my other shoes they seemed to match in size. That being said these beauties fit like a glove.
After I had selected the appropriate size of Giro’s own ‘SuperNatural Fit’ footbeds, I fitted my cleats and headed out to test them properly. Within minutes I was smiling, the difference in power transfer is incredible. Maybe it is because I was going from some fairly standard mid-range shoes to top end super stiff carbon. I was aware of every pedal rotation, aware of the speed I could put down without really trying. The laces required a bit of adjusting making sure they were tied correctly, I will admit they took a little longer to put on. The laces are kept nicely out of the way by a band of elastic mid way up the shoe, this has the effect of streamlining the laces keeping them out of the way.
It just so happens we are coming into winter, in England, it is wet and cold. I was a little concerned about them going out in such weather however after my ride I just wiped them down and any bits of mud and grime came off. I will be starting to wear over shoes soon though so they should protect them. The shoes are incredibly breathable, considering I now have my thick winter socks on, my feet stay dry. Sweaty damp socks are no more. I will be interested to see if they still have the same effect once the over shoes go on.
Overall, I cannot really fault them. The laces take a bit of getting used to but at the moment they are still a novelty. I love the colour and I love the sleek design. They are eye-catching yet understated. Giro’s line of Empire Road Shoes for both men and women have been well received. Yes, there is the large price tag to consider. If you are currently using a high-end road shoe then the laces will be the main selling feature for you and that is personal preference. If however, you have a low to mid ranged shoe currently and you have the budget, I highly recommend you give the Empire a try. I cannot wait for my upcoming adventures with my new best friends!