Imperial Cycling Shoe
Never one to kick back and rest on its laurels, Giro is back with some all-new flagship road kicks otherwise known as the Imperial Cycling Shoe. Here in the office, we've been big fans of its Empire model, bringing a resurgence to lace up shoes that reduce pressure points and improve fit thanks to its multiple anchor points throughout the shoe. As an added bonus, the design is lightweight and looks pretty cool. Our only complaint is not being able to adjust them on the fly, like right before a sprint. That all changes with the Imperial and its move to a dual BOA system.
Giro is able to keep an incredibly minimal design by constructing the Imperial of its own ultralight, monofilament, one-piece Synchwire mesh upper. It easily conforms to your foot and fits and feels like a second skin. Additionally, it's extremely well ventilated and breathable for incredible airflow so it keeps your feet cooler during warmer conditions. Synchwire's construction is stitchless and its advanced composites are what allows Giro to build the Imperials to such a high level. The thermo-bonded film provides overall durability, a non-woven internal sheet distributes the force from the BOA dials for direct power transfer, and the mono-filament mesh provides the ventilation. Additionally, thermal-welded Teijin TPU adds structural support to the upper where it's needed.
Speaking of BOAs, the closure system is what's new for Giro and really sets the Imperials apart from the rest of its lineup and it features dual BOA IP1 buckles reeling the cables in and out in 1mm increments through soft nylon lace guides. As such, it allows you to adjust the shoes quickly and easily on the fly with the turn of the dial while still reaping the benefits of ultra-lightweight shoes. The design also eliminates stretch and the instant macro release means getting out of the Imperials and into some podium shoes are even easier and faster.
Down below, Giro worked closely with the engineers at Easton to develop a proprietary sole for a direct connection to the pedals without compromising comfort. The high-modulus Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon fiber plate sole is engineered to provide next level stiffness and minimal weight and stack height for efficient power transfer.
One returning feature is Giro's adjustable Super Natural Fit cycling-specific footbed allowing you to customize arch support with its low, medium, and high supports right out of the box for comfort and optimal pedaling efficiency. Moreover, it can help eliminate hotspots, numbness, and cramping, and the X-Static fibers help fight odors and bacteria.
- Giro's flagship road shoe, now even easy to adjust
- One-piece Synchwire upper design is soft, light, and supportive
- Nylon lace guides provide the support and distribution on traditional laces
- Teijin welded SL monofilament mesh boosts ventilation
- Twin Boa IP1 dials reel +/- 1 mm of cable and have a macro release
- Easton's most advanced carbon sole is stiff and featherweight
- Replaceable heel pads keep the shoes going season after season
- SuperNatural Fit Kit has adjustable arch supports for custom fitting right out of the box
- Item #GIR00ML
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 41
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 128lbs
Light, breathable, stiff, insanely comfortable with a few issues. The upper gives more than I would like and the tongue material causes the boa cables to hang up. Overall a good shoe, but it’s far from perfect and could use additional refinement.