Don’t: Google “Giant shoes”
We’d heard rumours about of Giant’s funky new shoe design, but Interbike provided our first opportunity to get hands-on with the latest shoes from one of the world’s biggest bike makers. Seen here, the Charge represents the company’s jump into the high-end mountain bike market.
In Giant Blue or patent-leather black with startling hits of citron, there isn’t much to distinguish the Big G’s dial-closed disco slippers from other brands- that is, until the sole is taken into account. The Exobeam has the look of a deep composite figure-eight, with loops around the forefoot hand heel but narrowing considerably at the midfoot.
This design is said to provide loads of stiffness up front while flexing torsionally to reduce leg strain and improve fit. One might also think that it would help with off-bike traction, allowing the foot to conform to the ground better than some of the XC-race competition. Speaking of traction, the Exobeam itself and deep lugs look like they’d be well above average in the mud while the forefoot boasts Exoflex, uh, flex for enhanced scamperage.
To accompany their high-end features, the Charge comes with a high-end price tag: in the neighborhood of $400 US. Though the flagship does not appear to be coming to the UK, the more trail- and wallet-friendly Amp (and ladies’ Liv Salita) borrows the Charge’s Exobeam, Exowrap, and Exoflex technologies but adding more protection and
luggage lug-age for £150.