The code is key. Get the code and you can unlock the secret of performance, a pursuit of many a cyclist. Is it a cipher or a shoe? In this case, the Code is the Giro shoe that Levi Leipheimer, sometimes known as a pro roadie who has finished on the podium of a few Grand Tours, literally took out of the box and on his first ride in them won the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, setting the course record and beating the reigning national mountain bike champ in the process. Pretty impressive performance. And the Code is an impressive shoe, whether or not a Giro-sponsored rider fresh off the Tour de France can destroy a field of pro mountain bikers on his virgin ride with their mountain bike shoes. The first big thing about Giro shoes is that they fit great regardless of who wears them. Like their road shoes, Giro went through 16 iterations before they found the last, aka foot form, they wanted to use to design the shoe around. This last has to accommodate for a wide range of feet, accounting for variations in volume, heel width, arch height, toe length, and so on. Shoe makers pretty much have one shot at designing a good last, the first one is what they'll be stuck with pretty much forever, so it needs to be good. Nailing the last is a great first, but any shoe also has to allow for the upper to be adjusted; the material and the straps have to account for differences small and large from foot to foot to foot. Here, too, Giro has done a stellar job. You can see it from the deep, but not too constructed, heel cup. You can see it in the shape of the top strap and two-position buckle. You can see it in the middle strap that goes across the mid-foot to keep it from moving, eliminating pressure on the metatarsal bones by pulling equally from a large swath of fabric on the inside of the foot; when you pull on the Velcro, the entire panel becomes the strap. The bottom strap takes up any loose space in the forefoot and the toe box design means that there is a wide range of adjustment and it's nearly impossible to get that aesthetically-displeasing pucker that some one-piece toes can get when at the far edges of their adjustment range.A big thing to know about the upper shape is that it was designed with the idea that people can install their own after-market insoles. This means it has a good shape but minimal construction around the heel cup and a neutral, flat (as opposed to canted) sole that better accommodates wide feet or oversized insoles.The upper, in addition to the shape, is a work of smart materials design. It's made of Teijin microfiber and reinforced with high-frequency welded polyurethane in areas where your foot is likely to bash rocks or get bashed. Take a look at the pictured shoe; it's the matte Black stuff. The polyurethane makes the upper feel a bit stiffer than it would if it were 100% Teijin microfiber, but as you ride, the poly will soften a bit and conform to your foot a lot. The sole has been designed with the help of t
They’re an impressive shoe, being comfortable, supportive and offering superb power, and plenty of useful and innovative features, such as the adjustable arch insole kit. The upper’s have a combination of a leather like synthetic fabric and scuff guards for fit, protection and durability, and the stiff carbon sole has a hint of flex for walking, and it’s finished off with thick aggressive lugs for grip. Continue reading →
Weaknesses: cost...everything is too expensive in my world.
After about 3 rides, I am convinced I couldn't have gotten a better shoe. I was in the market for the best shoe I could find without paying a ridiculous amount. Paid $205 on ebay, $290 the MSRP seems high for any shoe in my opinion but to each their own. I wear a 10.5 Asics running shoe and a 9.5 sketcher. I am not sure why shoes can't all be the same size. I also have a pair of old Diadora/Cannondale MTB that are 44s and have always been just a tad small. I ordered a 44.5 in the Codes and like I said, perfect fit. Always thought I had kind of a wide foot but these fit good, but I also like a tighter riding shoe. Toe box still leaves room for me to wiggle all five. The different size arch supports are nice, I have a high arch but for some reason the lowest arch fits best....I guess thats why they give you 3 options. My final decision was between the Codes and Sidi Dominator 5s. Everyone raves about the Sidi's but all the great reviews I read on them were for how good "they use to be," current reviews seem to support that Sidi's quality has gone downhill. Regardless, I have no regrets with these MTB shoes... buy away.
Strengths: Super stiff sole......Supernatural fit system really works.......overall very good build quality
Weaknesses: Hike a bike out of the question.......
I upgraded to these last week because I really liked my Gauges, knew Giros sizing fit me, and wanted to step it up a notch. These shoes are well worth the extra ninety dollars over the Gauge. The sole is beyond stiff. The Gauge was very stiff, but these are much stiffer, providing way more power transfer to the pedal. The Easton EC90 Carbon is very thin, so you feel every pedal/crank/bike input very well. The Supernatural Fit system works as advertised as the shoes came with three arch inserts that attach easily to the bottom of the insole. Low, Medium, and High supports are provided. They also came complete with Spikes and a Spike wrench which was a cool bonus. The material used is much shinier than the Gauges, so they look pretty slick, much like the hard plastic sheen that Sidi shoes.
If you want a high end performing shoe, but don't want to pay 600.00 for Dragons, these are a great buy. Keep in mind they are Ultra Stiff!! Walking in them is not practical.
a Cross Country Rider
from Roswell, GA
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2011
Strengths: Very Comfortable, Light, Stiff Sole
Weaknesses: None so far
I've only used these for a couple of weeks now, so I can't really speak to their longevity, but so far these are the best cycling shoes I've ever owned. They are amazingly comfortable. I can ratchet them down on my feet and the upper just conforms to my feet providing a very snug fit that doesn't dig into my feet uncomfortably the way some other shoes I've used have. The carbon sole is very stiff, but not super thick, so you feel very connected to the bike in these.