Giro's New Knit MTB Shoes Look Like Something Your Grandma Would Make - Eurobike 2017

Aug 30, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Eurobike 2017

Giro 2018

With a look that resembles something a creative grandmother might crochet while sitting in her rocking chair, Giro's new Knit shoe collection certainly stands out from the crowd. While most cycling shoes are constructed from multiple pieces of fabric that are cut and then sewn or glued together, the uppers on the Empire VR70 Knit are, as the name suggest, knit into the correct shape out of a synthetic material Giro calls Xnetic, and then bonded to an exoskeleton made from a thermoplastic polyeurethane (TPU).

This style of construction has been present in the running world for a few years, but Giro are one of the first companies to bring it over to the mountain bike side of things. One of the advantages to this design is that the amount of waste is greatly reduced – there's no pile of excess scrap material left over after the uppers are made. It also makes for a shoe that should conform well to the shape of a rider's foot - after handling a set of the Empire VR70 Knit shoes I'm eager to try a pair out in order to see if they're as ridiculously comfortable as they look, and to see how well that Xnetic fabric holds up.

Giro 2018
Each shoe begins its life as one piece of knit material.
Giro 2018
Shoes that are as comfortable as just wearing socks? Could be - we'll have to get a pair in for review to find out.

The Empire VR70 is aimed at XC and trail riders, with a rubber guard at the front of the shoe to help prevent stubbed or smashed toes, and a DWR coating in case you get caught out in the rain. If the shoes do get completely soaked, the open weave of the uppers should help them dry quickly, rather than becoming saturated and waterlogged. There's a Vibram rubber outsole to provide traction for scrambling around off the bike, and an Easton EC70 carbon fiber inner sole to ensure that there's plenty of stiffness for delivering power to the pedals. Available this January, the shoes will retail for $250 USD.


Giro 2018
Giro also had their new Fixture helmet on display - MIPS equipped with generous venting and extended rear coverage for $75 USD.

Giro 2018
The Tazz MTB goggle ($55) is another new addition to the lineup...
Giro 2018
...As is the Tempo and its wallet-friendly $30 price tag.



79 Comments

  • + 76
 My grandma has never made anything remotely like those shoes
  • + 61
 That sucks for you. My grandma is actually making those shoes for Giro!
  • + 10
 Not only is my grandmother dead, when she was alive, all she did was smoke..... There is no way she could have worked at Giro
  • + 12
 @Waldon83: your grandma was smoking
  • - 2
 Well, clearly your grandma isn't Yeezy
  • + 72
 Oh look! Another affordable helmet from Giro. No wonder my garage is full of them (5 riders in my house). Thanks for keeping it real, guys.
  • + 13
 I love how "I'd rather not spend $300 on a helmet" comments get downvoted to hell but "I love how this helmet isn't $300" comments get upvoted. Never change, Pinkbike comment section Razz
  • + 33
 @src248: one is positive, the other is not. I'm happy we have a community which values positive contributions
  • + 16
 @rbarbier12: and puns. So many puns
  • + 61
 Giro's design dept seems to be run by hipsters. I can see every bearded, single speed, gravel specialist in those shoes next year while standing by the roadside drinking craft whisky from an artisanal stainless vessel. Handmade by Portland's finest one-armed machinist.
  • + 11
 They're making stuff that people want. I don't want them, and you don't want them, but somebody does and that's fine.
  • + 35
 This was a vivid visual. 10/10 would read again
  • + 0
 Agreed, Well done sir.
  • + 2
 The drummer for Def Leppard only got one arm!
  • + 4
 you misspelled "hypebeasts."
  • + 3
 lol there's been flyknit nike airmax's and adidas shoes out for years now. They're just making a cycling version of athletic shoe style that's been around for awhile.
  • + 3
 Hey all the Rickard banjos that are made in Ontario are made by a one armed luthier/machinist. Honestly they're some of the most well crafted instruments out there. Don't knock those one armed artisans!!
  • + 1
 so you are implying one armed people should not have jobs?
  • + 30
 PB audience really dating themselves, Giro makes a shoe inspired by Yeezys/Primeknit/Flyknit and other streetwear trends and it gets compared to overpriced football cleats and grandmas knitting. Personally think these look sick and if you've ever worn adidas Primeknit you know how comfy this stuff is.
  • + 3
 Knitted fabric was developed for sport use and then streetwear took inspiration from that, so football cleats is probably the best comparison. Not that I disagree with you Smile
  • + 3
 I know right? I would love a mtb shoe that looked closer to the road one released
  • + 6
 Flyknit is life. Spoken like a true hypebeast.
  • + 20
 Woven fabric is to mud what dog poop is to a 2.5" Maxxis Minion
  • - 5
flag chillrider199 (Aug 30, 2017 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 Under Armour was contracted to manufacture these Im calling it.
  • + 9
 Until you get anywhere close to mud or dirt. Which admittedly doesn't happen that often in MTB, but I like to be prepared for fringe possibilities.
  • + 2
 @blackthorne: f*ck me, ain't that the truth.
  • + 1
 spot on comment
  • + 3
 @chillrider199: I can assure you, you are highly mistaken
  • + 2
 @ClaytonMarkin: they are made from DWR fabric so mud and water just rolls off them!! its like magic!!
  • + 0
 @goprosantacruz: (Its a joke. These just look like Nike or UA made them.)
  • + 1
 I might or might not be wearing primeknit Adidas right now lol
  • + 2
 I've stubbed my toe in my Nike flynits before, that wasn't nice. Can't imagine taking a rock strike in these biking equivalents would end well either.
  • + 0
 Is Bell/Giro owned by Nike? Wouldn't be totally surprised.
  • + 4
 @EliSchroppel: five ten is owned by adidas and their quality has dived since they were bought so hopefully not
  • + 2
 @EliSchroppel: Haha no they are not.
  • + 1
 @piersgritten: how has the quality dived? legit curious just wondering. i bought some freeriders 4 months ago and they've held up really well.
  • + 2
 Actually, knit became popular because of football boots. The Nike mercurial flyknit were some of the first shoes to use knit, later used on Nike running shoes. Then adidas followed, transitioned it into the ultra boost technology, and voila you arrive at yeezys. That's some knowledge for ya butt
  • + 1
 totally what i was thinking some these comments seem like they're written by my dad
  • + 1
 @chillrider199:Yes, they are. Addidas has a DH shoe with 510 stealth rubber sole that came out last year. That was the first collaboration shoe after the merger.
  • + 11
 Grandma ???? ever heard of Nike? Adidas ? knitted footwear been around for a minute. Get out much?
  • + 21
 My grandma has been around longer than Nike.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: **Cough** out of touch **cough cough**
  • + 11
 @me2menow, you might have missed this line: "This style of construction has been present in the running world for a few years, but Giro are one of the first companies to bring it over to the mountain bike side of things."
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: The question probably was, has your grandma been knitting sports shoes before Nike did? Show me proof!

It's is pretty impressive what these robots can knit nowadays. Only look at a modern pair of cycling socks like X-Socks. I tried knitting for three months. Got regular advice from my girlfriends mom, laughter from her dad, kept at it, persevered, blood, sweat and tears... failed. Three months, gone. The thing just kept falling from the needle. So my deepest respect goes to all those who can braid, robot or grandma. I admire your skill.
  • + 8
 @vinay: plot twist: Mike's grandmother is a robot
  • + 1
 The difference is the lil anklet..way 2 cute
  • + 8
 I'm waiting for the knit helmet. How about a MIPS toque?
  • + 6
 Someone: "hey i want to ride my bike and play football but not have to change shoes" Giro: "We've got you covered!"
  • + 2
 Don't understand why you got negpropped
  • + 2
 If the goal is to reduce waste, the use of an additional molded TPU 'exoskeleton' would appear to negate any claims to overall material efficiency.

I run in Nike Free Flyknit and appreciate the sock-like feel and flexibility, but have a hard time imagining how that feeling would translate to cycling shoes, where the 'ultimate' shoes are basically as stiff and light as possible while somehow conforming to the foot.

One feature that does appear to be a benefit is the higher sock-like cuff which looks like it would do a good job of keeping crud out of the shoe, and perhaps an improvement on a typical low-cut cycling sock.

Agree with the other comments re: mud capture however - one muddy ride or cx race and the knit would be gross, if not impaired.
  • + 2
 ??? only triathletes ride with "low cut cycling socks"

agreed, the cuff seems functional.

too bad it's also so ugly to me that it's the only thing that keeps me from trying these shoes.
  • + 3
 Those knit ankle cuffs that extend up from the shoe are awesome. Soccer cleats have been featuring that for some years now and it for sure makes an improvement on fit and function.
  • + 2
 I ran the regular Giro Empire VR70 for this past Marathon XC season with no major issues. The only quibble I have with them (and probably all lace ups) is that if you don't get the tension right the first time, it's a pain to readjust. Coming from a pair of Sworks XC shoes with dual boas I had become used to dialing a few clicks either way as a race went on, but that's simply not an option on these. Picked up a pair of Pearl Izumi dual boa shoes for this fall race season, I'll keep the Empire VR70's for CX and training rides..
  • + 3
 Those shoes look ridiculous but I bet they are comfortable as all get out, I have the empires now and would welcome a more comfortable knit top to them
  • + 1
 While the flyknit style might be great for sneakers not destined for any sort of rugged athletic endeavor (lets get serious here, people run trails run in other shoes), it's asking for abrasion wear and collecting dirt. I'm sure they are comfy, but for dirt?
  • + 1
 Actually, knit is perfect for football. It gives you better touch on the ball and better control. But I don't disagree with you, flyknit is not really the construction for mud and dirt, especially for mountain biking with the risk of catching them on your pedals.
  • + 1
 I personally don't like the nike and other brands versions of this knit material upper shoe. But makes sense that this resembles the nike fly knit as it's probably made in the same Chinese shoe factories.
  • + 1
 I like these. I know they are not meant for it but I would wear these on the road and light trail days/really hot rides. Or bike packing. Or to the coffee shop. Or to the local brewery. Or.........
  • + 3
 Sale season is upon us! Can't wait to get all my new shit for 1/2 off!!!!!
  • + 1
 Ok, lets make a mountain bike shoe that will let in dust and absorb water. Luckily enough there are very few encounters with dust and water in mountain biking.
  • + 3
 They would probably be nice for bike packing.
  • + 2
 With a wallet that's a little lightweight these days, wondering if they'll exchange a right shoe for my left leg?
  • + 3
 Strange, looks like a baseball cleat.
  • + 2
 I wonder how the Fixture differs from the Chronicle?
  • + 1
 These look like those overpriced Nike football/soccer cleats that they claim you can wear bearfoot
  • + 2
 Looks like Giro and Nike collaborated to make some fly knits
  • + 1
 Please bring the sock closure to all shoes! There's nothing worse than getting debris in your shoes while riding.
  • + 1
 Looks to thin and lacking of protection. I would be scared to ride with these.
  • + 1
 Scared to ride with these shoes?? Hahaha! It's geared to the XC rider who will be covered in spandex and don't think twice about it. Grab a Midol, you'll be just fine.
  • + 1
 Gimme some 5/10s any day.
  • + 1
 Dude, those are hideous. They must be comfortable.
  • + 2
 Hipsters crazyness
  • + 1
 FUGLIEST product of the year !!!
  • + 2
 Soccer shoes
  • + 1
 Them shoes look just like nike's latest soccer boots
  • + 1
 All nerdy looking crap
  • + 1
 Giro Codwarmer?
  • - 1
 Just a copy of fizik shoes.
  • - 2
 Those shoes are sick, I want

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.031829
Mobile Version of Website