ezwrote a review of Giro Empire VR90 Cycling Shoe - Men's on October 13, 2016
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Ah my purple slippers, you've let me down.
On a chilly February morning I ordered a pair of VR90s in the plum color way of the Grinduro. Over the next eight months, I'd use them for racing over dirt roads, single track, barriers, mud and tears. I suppose the fit is fine, they ain't my first pair of Giros, but the durability and cushioning leave a bit to be desired.
Now for the cushioning part of this, it could be my own childish tendency to bunny hop everything in combination with the tiny contact point of ATACs. As a result, the flimsy insoles don't really have enough cushioning and after twenty miles of singletrack my forefoot feels like someone went at it with a ball peen hammer. I swapped em for some blue Specialized BG insoles, which helps, but don't do too much to battle the shoe gremlins. If you're courtin' the VR90 that may or may not be your issue.
The ultimate betrayal, however, is the sole. You've probably heard the line "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." (It's from a Lebanese-American poet named Khalil Gibran.) and if you were to saddle up to a bar, you could get quite a story from the VR90s after a round of Wild Turkey. However, what's good for the soul ain't good for the sole and the Vibram bits just don't seem to be faithful.
Every creak of my pedals seems to warn the shoe "he ain't no good for you!" Maybe I beat 'em too hard, but as you can see the rubber has hit the road. Too many metaphors.
In all seriousness, I've owned more shoes than I can count and I've never had shoes, including other Giros, fall apart this fast. No word from Giro on warranty or repair (I don't think that's possible). If you only use them on occasion, they might work fine (barring the cushioning issue I mentioned). But if you use them on the regular (FWIW, I clock over 10k miles a year across disciplines) they might be more of a one night stand than true love.
They sure do look purty.