After receiving a rave response to their lace up Empire MTB shoes, Giro decided to mirror the lighter weight Empire SLX road shoes.

The difference, is, they add Vibram treads and a stretch-free Teijin EvoFiber breathable upper on the outside. Inside, they get their SuperNatural Fit insoles with adjustable arch supports. It’s all held together with Sport Laces, which they say are both durable and hold the loop no matter what you’re up to. The weight savings come from the high end upper and the use of an Easton EC90 carbon outsole.

Kick up more details below, plus a look at their hiking inspired Alpineduro winter cycling boot…

Giro Empire VR90 MTB lightweight mountain bike shoes

Stock colors are black w/ orange and silver w/ neon yellow. These shiny Anodized Orange ones are what showed up in our mailbox, though, which are a limited edition, which they’ve been known to release on their Facebook Page. They came with orange laces, too.

Giro Empire VR90 MTB lightweight mountain bike shoes

Like the other Empire shoes, an elastic lace garage keeps the loops and ends from finding their way into your chain.

Giro Empire VR90 MTB lightweight mountain bike shoes

Bonded rubber toe protection and heel guards protect your twelve and six.

Giro Empire VR90 MTB lightweight mountain bike shoes

Vibram Mont high traction treads surround the shoe with a mid-foot scuff guard that should double as a nice safety if you miss your cleats on the first try. Retail’s $300 USD, available now.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling boots

The Alpineduro looks and feels like a leather hiking boot, but it’s pure mountain bike.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling boots

The uppers are breathable microfiber with waterproof liner and Primaloft insulation. Front and rear also get the rubber bumpers to protect them.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling boots

Lace garage is here, too, and laces run through metal D-rings at the top. Black laces are included if you wanna lose the color.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling boots

Giro’s not claiming a specific temperature rating, but they’re definitely built to repel winter’s wet and wind.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling boots

The treads are Vibram Icetrek, which is a cold-weather compound for better grip in conditions you’re likely to wear the the shoes in. The removable cleat cover means you can run them with flat pedals, too, without leaving gaping holes for water and cold air to enter. Retail is $200 USD.

Giro Empire VR90 MTB lightweight mountain bike shoes and Alpineduro winter cycling boots actual weights

Weights for size 47EU (13US) are 382g for the Empire VRD and 568g for the Alpineduro.


  1. @Ajax: the soles are probably elevated enough that the cleats don’t touch the ground. I’ve got the Northwave Gran Canion (their spelling, not mine;-) ) GTX boots, and apart from when there are small stones on an even surface or when I walk along a gravel road, they don’t crunch. Actually, I wear them almost all the time. It takes a bit of getting used to until the soles are comfortably stiff, but right now they feel as nice as the Solomon hiking boots I had before. And I am entering the second winter with them and so far they don’t show any signs of wear outside the normal. I had some reservations about Italian shoes and their longevity but, apart from having to choose on size bigger, no problems so far.

  2. I have a set of the Empires; awesome shoes! However, don’t leave them in a hot car; the toe box will deform, making them pretty much unrideable. I was able to heat gun the deformity out, but it wasn’t like new.

  3. @Dr. Unk – There were a few batched of Giro shoes that had a known issue with the toe boxes deforming. It was an issue form the factory. Your shoes may be part of that batch and could potentially be warrantied. Not sure!

  4. They’re pretty, although I don’t want laces on an mtb shoe. The Alpine boot looks pretty cool but it seems to have the same sole as the Terraduro which completely delaminated in less than three months of use in my case. Sadly, Giro didn’t seem to care enough to return my email questioning them about it.

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