Hate Velcro? Like blue? Here’s your shoe!

by Marc Basiliere 8

Race team special Giro Empire MTB is dead sexy

100% Smurf leather
All-natural Smurf leather

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.

When was the last time you looked down and saw laces? (on the bike)
When was the last time you looked down and saw laces?
(while riding)

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.

Like road shoes- but less deadly.
Like road shoes- but less deadly.

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!



Comments (8)

  1. Oh, they are lovely. Even better in some sort of shiny brown…

  2. “what they give up in on-bike adjustability they should reclaim in mud-resistance” – me no understand – been using velcro for 20 years with no mud problems. But laces covered in mud? no thanks.
    For roadies riding offroad maybe.

  3. Might just be me, but I’ve had muddy Velcro give up in the mud, Dez. Laces have worked well on walking boots for years so I don’t see why not.

  4. The ability to change laces when they wear out too, which isn’t possible with velcro straps.

  5. Velcro in mud is fine until it freezes. Then its just 2 blocks of ice attached to your shoe.

  6. Ever tried untying frozen/muddy shoe laces with cold fingers?

  7. are they doing a version in black with velcro and a ratchet instead of laces?
    that would be nice.

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