by Marc Basiliere
May 20, 2014
Race team special Giro Empire MTB is dead sexy
With an ongoing series of First Friday Fifty limited edition shoes offered via Facebook, Giro is no stranger to limited edition footwear. Some have been hits, some misses – but they’ve been reliably interesting. Now, thanks to their sponsorship of US online retailer Backcountry’s Bike Team, the company has ported larger quantities of their lightweight, lace-up road shoes over to the dirt.
Available only through Backcountry.com, the Empire MTB is a striking blue shoe that adds lugs and TPU scuff protection to the standard Empire road shoe. That model’s trademark laces remain: what they give up in on-bike adjustability they should reclaim in mud-resistance. An elastic tie on the tongue helps keep loose ends out of the chain while the Tejin microfibre upper leaves our favourite blue cartoons singing their happy song.
The shoes’ microbe-killing X-Static lining should keep the stink away and is even said to minimize, if not eliminate, “the ever-irritating hot spot” thanks to its static dissipative nature. Before heading for Canada, Giro stablemates Easton kicked in its top-level EC90 carbon fibre sole plate, which is topped with good-sized lugs and punctuated with toe lug threads. Selling for a nickel short of $300, the electric blue Empire MTBs are available from Backcountry.com- which unfortunately means import duties for UK customers. Perhaps importers Zyro could be convinced to do something similar?
And for those of you who are still lusting after the limited camo Empire MTB with the orange laces and shoes, we’re afraid you’re going to have to keep waiting. Sorry!