The red, grey, and greyer.
We're loving the lace-up revolution, which is why we decided to partner with Giro—the instigator-in-chief—to produce the Empire ACC Limited Edition Cycling Shoes. They're essentially the same shoes as the regular Empire, just bathed in our logo's own take on the tricolor: red, grey, and lighter, reflective grey. The result is a refreshing departure from the usual white, black, or in-your-face fluo, subtly representing Competitive Cyclist with an aesthetic treatment that stands out. But enough about us, let's talk about shoes.
The Empire ACC platform made such a splash and inspired so many imitators because, contrary to industry assumptions, laces aren't a useless anachronism in cycling shoe closure systems. They provide seven different points of contact for fit customization, which is one, two, three, four more than the typical three-strap shoes that have largely defined cycling footwear for the past three decades. More contact points means finer tune-ability; finer tune-ability means fewer hotspots; fewer hotspots mean less discomfort—you can see where we're going here, the Empire model's unrivaled comfort means we'll be going a lot longer without foot pain.
Underneath the distinctive Competitive colorway lie the standard Giro Empire uppers, which constitute a single piece of Evofiber microfiber per shoe. This material is exceptionally lightweight and highly breathable, and it features perforations for added cooling. This contributes not only to the sleek, wind-cheating profile, but it also reduces weight. And while the shoes might not appear to be very supportive, the opposite is actually true. Because of the flexibility of the microfiber and the classic lace system, the shoes are able to be tied so that they fit your feet like a second skin.
Adding to this is the ultralight and ultra-stiff Easton EC90 ACC Carbon Sole. Though it's not as light as the Empire SLX's superlative sole, the EC90 remains one of the stiffest soles in the industry. It's also one of the lowest profile models; it features a low, 6.5mm stack height that mates with the uppers for unrivaled power transfer. The lower the stack height, the closer the cleats—and thereby your feet—are to the pedals. This minimizes power loss that occurs with thicker cleat plates.
The provided footbed is an adjustable SuperNatural Fit Kit. The kit comprises a selection of arch inserts that allow you to fine-tune support rather than forcing your feet to adapt to the factory's preference. Whether you choose the relatively flat option or go all-in with maximum arch support, the footbed benefits from Giro's X-Static Antimicrobial fibers, which help manage odor to keep your feet as fresh as the shoes' lace-up design and stylish, Competitive-inspired aesthetics.
- A road racing shoe proven at cycling's biggest events
- Unidirectional carbon fiber sole is efficient and light
- Low stack height for better foot-to-pedal ergonomics
- Synthetic, breathable uppers conform for comfortable security
- Laces provide seven points of fit customization
- tongue loop holds laces in place
- Anti-odor treatment reduces funk accumulation
- Giro's lace-up revolution continues with Competitive Cyclist styling
- Item #GIR00CL
- Q & A
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: US 11/EURO 45
6pair of Empires AWESOME LUV EM
lace and leather
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
I wasn't sure about the laces, but I'm really glad I made that move. I contours to my feet exactly how I need them too. A little expandable tension band holds the laces. These are awesome eye catching shoes. I like the fact that they are reflective and stand out
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
To be honest, when I first saw these, I thought the laces were a style gimmick. But I've got a full season in these and I am hooked! They're like a slipper with a carbon sole. Sooo comfy. The combo of laces and a super supple upper makes for shoes that hugs my foot. The laces make for a custom fit that Boas and straps could only dream of.
The sole is very stiff and the limited color is shim sham shamalama whiz bang.
Buy these and you won't be disappointed!
It should be noted that these shoes are highly reflective when light hits them as shown in the photos below.