Giro Launches Knitted Cycling Shoes

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Taking some inspiration from developments in the running shoe world, Giro has launched a new range of knitted cycling shoes. Before you think this is some kind of crazy Wool Marketing Board stunt, the synthetic knitted offers light weight, great breathability and a seamless shoe for a comfortable shoe wearing experience.

In order to give the shoe shape and stop your foot from popping right back out, the knitted inner is supported by an exoskeleton which also affords a bit of scuff protection.

The Empire VR70 knit… Light, airy and, well, knitted. Convinced? 380g for a shoe.

There will be three models – The Giro Empire E70 Knit and Empire E70 W (women’s) Knit for £199, Empire Knit VR70 £219, and Republic R Knit for £139.

Let’s dip into the press release for a moment…

“We have a tradition of leading the cycling industry through innovation and choice,” said Simon Fisher, Giro Footwear Product Manager. “From flipping the script with laces on the Empire to smashing the 150g weight barrier with the Prolight Techlace, we are known for staying one step ahead of the rest in cycling footwear. Xnetic Knit allows us to continue this tradition and deliver a unique blend of comfort, performance, and style for the kind of rider who charts their own course.”

Giro developed Xnetic™ Knit technology for the specific needs of performance cycling. A TPU skeletal system provides support where riders need it, while the knit offers suppleness for superior sock-like comfort. DWR-treated for water repellency, the porous knit material makes the entire upper breathable, delivering a shoe that has superior ventilation and drying time yet cleans up easily after grimy rides.

So, the inner sock is breathable, but the fabric is DWR coated. We wonder if that means that the shoe stays dry, but your feet get wet? We’ll have to see when we get a pair to try…

The Empire E70 knit. There’s a women’s version too.


Empire E70 Knit/ Empire W E70 Knit: Taking the undeniable style of the original Empire, the E70 Knit delivers sock-like comfort and breathability without sacrificing support and performance, with a TPU skeletal system providing added structure to the engineered Xnetic™ Knit upper. Pro-level pedaling efficiency is served up by an Easton EC70 carbon outsole with replaceable heel walking pad. 250g size 42.5

The Republic is Giro’s less-aggressively soled commuter shoe. This we can see appealing…

Republic R Knit: The Giro Republic has been a favorite choice for commuters and touring riders alike, and the Republic R Knit provides another option for those unwilling to sacrifice style on their adventures. Featuring an engineered Xnetic™ Knit upper, reflective Empire laces, and a co-molded rubber-and-nylon outsole with a mid-foot scuff guard and 2-bolt cleat mount. 310g size 42.5


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (6)

    I have the reflective version of these. Super comfy so I’d like to try these but mud / dirt clag could be an issue. My Nike flyknits are a similar fabric and they retain dirt terribly.

    Knitted inner? Exoskeleton?
    So basically socks with sandals? How very British!

    ‘Socks with sandals?” 🙂

    That’s them dead in the water if we all start using the phrase.

    They use the same/similar technology on some high end running shoes and they are uber comfortable. I would certainly be willing to give them a try, as long as they do them in grown mens sizes (49 take note giro).

    My knitted trainers are crap, they looked like a 10 year old xmas jumper after only a month of wearing them. Bibbly bobbly doesn’t cover it.

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