Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups




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Giro Prolight SLX Shoes

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MSRP : $427.95

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Product Description

With one quick look at the Giro Prolight SLX Shoes, you'll know something is different. There are no mechanical closures, a rarity among pro-level shoes. This is in response to the needs of their marquee rider, Levi Leipheimer. Being meticulous about his gear, he wanted Velcro closures rather than a buckle so he could be confident that the shoes would survive a crash; buckles can break and having one go in a Grand Tour is a lousy way to lose a race you prepared all year for.Velcro, great. Simple, adjustable, conforms well to the foot, hard to break: everyone can get into that. But Giro didn't just drape three straps across the top of the shoe. They designed each strap to do something a bit different, so each is angled slightly differently. The top strap holds the heel into the cup, the middle strap goes across the metatarsals to anchor your foot in the shoe, and the bottom strap takes up any loose space in the forefoot. If you take a close look at the medial side of the shoe, you'll see that each strap is fixed on large swaths of material, meaning that you're pulling the entire upper over your foot, rather than creating pressure points under each strap. Another subtle but striking feature is the way the toe box is constructed. One-piece toes look great, but the smooth look often comes at the price of limited adjustability. On the Prolight, the toe area looks conventional, but it allows for a wide range of adjustment on that bottom strap and eliminates the dreaded pucker, even if you have a narrow forefoot.And, because every gram counts when you're climbing 15,000 feet a day, several days in a row, Leipheimer also wanted the lightest possible shoe without losing either stiffness or security. This Easton EC90SLX is the lightest and stiffest sole Giro uses in their shoes. Easton and Giro are divisions of the same company and Giro leaned on Easton engineers here. The result is a super-stiff sole that's only 6.5mm thick over the pedal, and thanks to the lay-up and titanium bits, it's super-light. Each sole is weighed after being molded. If it weighs too much, it's rejected. That means the sole in a size 42 has to weigh within three grams of the target 60g. 63.1g and the sole isn't built into a Prolight SLX.Every part of the Prolight shoe gets this kind of scrutiny. The upper is soft, super-thin Teijin AG100 ultra-light microfiber that Giro worked with Teijin to develop. It's only 1.1mm thick, allowing it to conform easily to your feet, but it also doesn't stretch, thanks to an ultra-thin internal webbing that's bonded behind the microfiber exterior. The shoes would miss the mark if they weren't breathable, and though it has a smooth finish, it breathes well enough to stay comfortable on summer days. Inside the shoe, there are very few seams, and a layer of polyester liner material eliminates any possibility of chafing.The tongue is generously-padded, with equally generous perforations in both the foam and the Teijin covering to make sure your foot bre

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