When the time came for a new pair of road shoes there was really only one choice for me: Giro. For me they are the sleekest cycle shoe brand on the market and even though they have only been producing shoes for a couple of years they have brought 25 years worth cycle industry expertise to the table.
The Giro Trans shoe sits firmly in the middle of their range but the overall quality is no lower than their top of the line models. For non-competitive cyclists the Trans is the perfect blend of features and price.
Obviously the most important factor when selecting any bicycle component or accessory is whether it is available in black. The Trans come in a choice of white/blue if you’re feeling particularly saucy; white/black if you can’t make your mind up; or the all important charcoal/black if you are a radical bike ninja like me.
The upper is constructed from 100% synthetic microfibre so they really aren’t going to stretch much, if at all, which is good to know if you’re dropping a chunk of cash on a pair of road shoes. I’ve been using mine for a couple of months now and they still look and feel as good as they did on day one. Should I admit that I wipe them down with a baby wipe after each ride because I love them so much? Probably not, but with a little bit of care I reckon these shoes are going to last a very long time.
There is a nice mix of matte and gloss to look down on when the lactic acid takes hold and you need something to take your mind off the pain. You can also focus on the nice cool air flowing through via the mesh areas on the toe, sides and the perforated tongue. You can’t knock the looks of these puppies, loads of road shoes are absolutely stinking but the entire Giro range is beautiful, it’s a brand you can trust to not put out something ugly.
The black version are ‘HV’ or ‘high volume’ which are a bit wider than the other colours. My feet aren’t wide at all (I’m only a size 7) and I didn’t know about the specific feature until I got them. I’ve not found the extra width to be a problem at all so I wouldn’t stress over it if you want the black rather than the other colours…
…because any slack can be taken up with the three straps. I’ve found that the one nearest the toe doesn’t seem to do anything for me, you may be different though. The centre strap is offset to eliminate a pressure point on the top of your foot, it works a treat and I’ve not felt any discomfort when riding. The final strap features a lightweight Italian sourced micro ratcheting buckle to lock yourself in good and proper; this is replaceable so if you manage to break one you won’t need to buy a new pair of shoes. I much prefer the buckle to a regular Velcro closure here, it really holds your foot in place without any adjustment mid-ride.
Underneath you’ll find a series of markers which you can use to align your cleats if you’re some kind of wizard. There is rubber on the toe and heel, for some reason I seem to put my heel down further back and am scuffing the sole and microfibre a bit, that’s probably my fault though rather than a design flaw, I’m special like that. Note that the rubber on mine is grey but many of the stock photos online show it as clear/red for some reason, not sure why.
The outsole is an Easton carbon fibre composite known as EC70 which is 70% carbon / 30% fibreglass. It’s produced using the same mould as the higher end EC90 but is just a smidgen heavier. It shares the same stiffness profile as the EC90 so the only ‘compromise’ is a few grams extra weight rather than reduced power transfer.
A great feature of the Giro Trans shoes is the SuperNatural Fit insole. Some shoes have an arch support built into the footbed which may or may not be comfortable for you, Giro lets you choose what is best for you with 3 different thickness arches. The small, medium and large colour coded foam pads attach to the insole with velcro and the difference really is noticeable. When I first put my foot in the shoe it felt terrible, I switched the medium for the small arch support and instantly had a perfect fit.
The Giro Trans road shoes may be a mid-range model but they have many of the same features as the more expensive Factor and Prolight SLX models. The main differences are in the weight but that’s totally irrelevant unless you are competing, if you aren’t racing then I can’t see any good reason why you would pay the difference for the two shoes above the Trans in the Giro range.
These were comfortable straight out of the box, they didn’t take any breaking in at all. The cutout on the tongue stops any rubbing, the offset buckle prevents any pressure and the arch supports let your foot sit where it wants to sit right away. The fit of these shoes is what it’s all about, Giro went through 16 revisions before they were happy and that R&D really shines. As with all road cycling shoes the sizing is totally wacky. My foot is a size UK7 but I wear a UK7.75 (EUR 42) in these. Bonkers.
I absolutely love these shoes: the fit, the build quality, the styling, the materials, and the technical features all come together perfectly. I honestly can’t find fault with them, especially when you take the fact that they are £65 cheaper than the next model up but with next to no difference in the overall feature set. If you’re a regular cyclist that is looking for excellent performance at a great price then this very well may be the right shoe for you.
Giro Trans shoes retail for £159.99 but with The Foot Down’s exclusive discount code (giro) they are only £130 from Urban Cyclery.
Disclosure: I was sent these shoes for review purposes, this has in no way influenced my review. They are just great, simple as that.