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Giro Prolight cycling shoes review

23 Nov 2017
Verdict:

Lightweight at all costs inevitably attracts compromise, but these shoes are a genuine feat of engineering

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£349.99
For 
Staggeringly light shoes that feel perceptively different to their competitors
Against 
Upper doesn’t provide a lot of support

Giro hinted when it released its Factor Techlace shoes that it had loftier ambitions for the Techlace design. At a scant 153g per shoe, the new Giro Prolight Techlace cycling shoes prove that the brand wasn’t exaggerating; just over 300g is an acceptable weight for a single top-end shoe, so for a pair it is nothing short of incredible.

The Techlace system is an undoubtedly lightweight closure solution but it is the way Giro has built the rest of the shoe that saves most of the weight.

Starting with the upper, it initially appears that Giro has used little more than flimsy webbing. In reality a tough plastic mesh has been thermally bonded to a polyurethane film, meaning that although the uppers are thin they are akin to the technical fabric of a tent and sturdy enough for normal use.

At the sole, Giro has eschewed the Easton EC90 unidirectional carbon sole plate that normally underpins its premium shoes and opted for oXeon’s TeXtreme ‘spread tow’ carbon.

Apparently this composite is lighter for the same stiffness, so less can be used. It results in a 10g saving per shoe, yet costs significantly more to manufacture.

It’s one of the contributing factors for the Prolight’s hefty £349.99 pricetag, which puts these shoes out of reach for many consumers.

For the riders that can afford them though, are they worth the purchase?

Paying to lose weight

For riders that value weight saving above all else, in short, yes. The techniques used by Giro to create the Prolights are remarkably effective and result in a shoe that feels noticeably lighter to use.

Admittedly you get used to the reduced inertia during your pedal stroke quickly but it only takes a change to a heavier pair to be reminded of the effect the Giro Prolight cycling shoes provide.

By their nature the Techlace fastenings also make the shoe very comfortable - combined with the upper my feet were cosseted, as opposed to efficiently fixed like they are in other performance shoes.

I commented in my review of the Giro Factor Techlace shoes that the flat sole and flexible upper did result in movement when I was straining in a sprint.

Without the security of a Boa dial, this feeling is exacerbated in the Prolights so I would say that if you have high-arched feet like me, these shoes will not be the most effective to race in.

It led me to think that the Prolights are the ideal shoes for a big summer day out, when a few lost watts in efficiency counts for little.

Their unbelievable weight would mean no excess bulk is hauled around, their naturally breathable upper keeps feet cool and their forgiving fit is comfortable to wear for hours on end.

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