Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

The Giro Alpineduro shoes borrow the brand’s lace-up style from their Empire road and mountain bike shoes, but use it to close up a fantastic looking winter cycling boot disguised as a legit hiker. Our first look ran through the technical details and actual weight, so this one’s focused on their performance out on the trail, in the cold and through the water.

I’ve worn them for the past couple months on rides as low as 40ºF (4.4ºC) 28ºF (-2.2ºC), with either standard cycling socks or medium-thick wool socks from Defeet. The rides carried me across streams, over log crossings and up and down mountains and through a few cyclocross training rides. Like a good hiking boot, they handled it all and seem to be getting more comfortable the more I wear them…

UPDATE: Zach corrected my low temp figure, he led the ride where these photos were taken and it was indeed below freezing. I’ve updated the rest of the article accordingly. So, yes, they’ll comfortably take you down below freezing.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

I tested a size 47, which weighed in at 568g per shoe. That’s lighter than the more extreme Lake MXZ303 boots Zach’s testing, but a bit more than the Shimano winter shoes I tested a couple years ago. Both of those shoes are designed to be deep winter, everything proof shoes, though. The Giro’s thread the line between style and performance, with no particularly ambitious claims to cold- or water proofing, but they ended up excelling at both in the temps and conditions tested. Granted, I didn’t step in anything deeper than the stream crossing above, but my feet never got cold or wet…and there were plenty of ridden stream crossing opportunities for them to get soaked.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

The lace up style allowed for a pretty good amount of fit customization, but it was a little tough to keep the top of the laces pulled tight enough while tying them. The lace loop keeps the laces from flopping around. It’s elastic seemed a bit flaccid, but it never failed me.

Regarding fit, I still remember the first time I tried on Giro’s shoes when they were first introduced in 2010. They were narrow, with small toe boxes and I found them very uncomfortable. The reps suggested I wait until the wide sizes become available, and then I just kinda forgot about testing them until the road Empire showed up unannounced. Whether Giro refined the last or the upper, I’m not sure, but I’ve had pretty good luck with the fit of their lace-up models. Still, though, when I first slip my feet into them, they do feel snug, taking a minute or two for my feet to settle into them. That said, they don’t seem to cramp my toes and haven’t ever been uncomfortable when riding. It could just be that I’m much more used to my Keens, which have a very wide toe box and relaxed fit on most styles.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

The high sides protect the ankles very well. Even with their padded thickness, I didn’t find them rubbing on the cranks too often. The dipped heel cutout makes for easier hike-a-bike scrambles, and it’s here that getting the laces tight enough make them more comfortable. On the bike, a bit looser lacing didn’t seem to be an issue, my heels never felt like they were pulling up and out. But when walking up unridable sections, too loose lacing made it feel a little too loose overall.

The sole is stiff enough for all-day cycling, but flexible enough for walking around comfortably. To me, that means they’d be equally adept as winter commuters stylish enough for the office. They come with cleat covers for flat pedal use.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

Rubberized toe and heel sections add scuff protection.

Giro Alpineduro winter cycling booth with hiking inspired looks

The tread blocks are broad, but not too deep. The keeps too much mud from accumulating on them. On slick dirt and mud, there’s not as much walking traction as something with deeper lugs, but on rocks, roots and logs, the Vibram rubber is tacky and provides sure footing. I ran them with both Eggbeaters and Candy pedals (Crank Brothers) and found that they worked much better with the Eggbeaters since those pedals have no platform. The cleat sits recessed slightly in the thick rubber outsole, which made clipping into the Candies a bit trickier. I did not try them with SPD style pedals. The solution is likely as simple as cutting down the tread directly adjacent to the cleats just a bit.

After two months of riding in them, I’m loving them. They look fantastic, feel great and do an admirable job of keeping my feet warm and dry.

They retail for $200 and are available in whole sizes only, from 37 to 48. I tested the 47 but have been testing a 48 in the Empire MTB and am kinda liking the extra wiggle room for my piggies. I’m thinking a size up on these would allow for thicker socks and improve the warmth rating a bit. Giro offers a 60 day comfort guarantee, so you could try either size knowing you could easily swap them out, no questions asked.


  1. Too bad one tester – Zach or Tyler – couldn’t test both the Lake and Giro to compare them better. The lace closure and lack of neoprene cuff compares unfavorably to the Lake, but it is $100 cheaper. To me the features of the Lake make it worth the extra cash.

  2. I am constantly surprised when I see a “winter” cycling show review that does not test it below freezing. As a New Englander, I wear my “summer shoes” till it’s 40F. When I think of a “winter shoe” I think of a shoe what will work in sub-freezing (20-32F) temps for a 40-50 mile ride (without overshoes) or colder for a shorter commute. I can wear my summer sidis with overshoes when it’s 40f.

  3. I have to pile on here: a winter cycling shoe not tested below 40*? Really? Do you test mountain bikes by only riding them off a curb?

  4. Whats up with Giro and them using laces. I like Giro shoes(and helmets) but think the use of laces is stupid for cycling, especially if they are exposed.

  5. I use these for commuting in Colorado so I can’t comment on walking through streams, but they stay exceptionally warn even when the weather drops into the single digits. I bought them because I needed something that would allow me to ride and walk through the snow and cold days. The sole is great when the ground surface isn’t. It grips better than most normal boots and you don’t look like a Cyclist when you are walking around the office. I actually just got complimented on them yesterday. The best part is that as you wear them, they stay looking great. They don’t walk like other cycling shoes meant for double duty. My DZRs will flex when you walk. These do more of a roll of the foot with a slight flex. Fit is amazing. I have sidi drako, dzr, and shimano heat moldable only to compare to. But I like the fit so much, I’m going with empires for my road bike. Take my experience with fit lightly as everyone’s feet are different and so will be the fit. I just love how comfortable the shoes are that I wear them off the bike on snow days like today all the time. The only thing I don’t like it’s the lace loops at the top of the boots. They don’t hold right when ting the shoe and the elastic lace stays are pretty weak. I like that these come with two pairs of laces. In pictures I hated the orange. In person, I love them.

  6. Gotta say I bought a pair and was surprised at how low the quality was. Heel was super flimsy and the whole shoe just wanted to fall apart. They’re decently warm, but I wouldnt buy if you’re looking for something that will last.

  7. Tyler did you have to go up in size when you tested these ? if so how many sizes ? and yea thats pretty warm for winter

  8. I’m guessing nobody at bikerumor lives in a cold climate. You can get 40 degree days in Florida. For a lot of people, a winter day is rarely above 40. Bikerumor should have had someone else do the review, not do one at all, or wait until it was colder. I have a lot of cycling shoes, two winter road, one winter mountain and a bunch of summer shoes. 40 degrees is still toe warmer territory. Don’t review the wrong gear for your climate/riding conditions. I’m pretty much only a roadie but if I had to review a downhill bike, I’d be riding it on the street and the review would be really REALLY USELESS

  9. 40ºF? winter? I wish… How can I volunteer to test some winter gear? Looking at lows in the -20ºF/-31ºC “winter” temps this week and January does get colder. Rode last winter @ -43ºC

  10. Is there anything between the inner sole and the cleat mounting plate? Cleats make for heatsinks in cold temperatures – the toe box gets cold fast if that area is not well insulated. Those cleats would look like blocks of ice on a cold snowy day.

  11. I’ve been very happy with my Alpineduros, and find them to be plenty warm down into the low teens with just a mid-weight sock. Not an extreme weather boot, but comfortable enough to bike to work and wear all day. The boot is fully lined inside, not sure what’s used underneath to protect from the cleat but I haven’t noticed any “heat sink” effect.

  12. These look interesting, and I’m really leaning towards a pair of the road lace-up Giro Empires, but I echo the other comments here. These have to be good in the serious cold. I’m half way through my first winter with a serious winter shoe for commuting — the Diadora Polarex — So far, a truly excellent, warm and dry winter shoe.

  13. All, Tyler was a bit off on his temperature recording – the day those photos were taken (by me) the observed NWS maximum temperature locally was 30, with a low of 26 f and since we were riding pretty early I’m guessing it was about 28 while we were riding. Still not very “wintery” by a lot of standards, but still below freezing.

  14. What a waste of time… 40 degrees is not cold. Ive bewn riding my 5.10 freeriders(Danny mac edition) in real winter (snow and ice and below freezing) conditions. With layered socks –thin wool base, thicker wool outer — my feet have stayed dry and warm. With better grip. And less weight. And lesw cost. The 5.10s are not what one would call a winter shoe nor a technical shoe, yet for mild winter conditions they’ve rocked.
    Let me write an article about that….

  15. All – I had forgotten how cold it was when riding in OH, so apologies for the incorrect temps initially. For the truly nasty, snowy winters, even Giro’s PR folks say this isn’t the right shoe. This is for milder conditions where there’s no risk of snow or sleet dumping in around your ankles.

    Efrain – No, I normally wear a 47, but I am testing a 48 in the Empire MTB and kinda like the additional toe room. I’ve been racing those (the Empires) for ‘cross lately and can thrown in a thick, wind proof sock that seems to really do the trick.

    Matt – The inner lining is sewn as a continuous piece of textured fabric, like a sock. Under that is a solid sole above the cleats. I never felt cold spots, cold air or even cold water make ingress.

    Carl – Giro had some issues with tread delamination and may warranty your shoes if they’re falling apart. We even had two different test pair go back at their request even though we didn’t have any issues at all, and I haven’t had any problems with these, the Empires or the Terraduros.

  16. These might be fall cycling shoes where I am from. In October temps regularly reach below freezing and today was below -40 with windchill. It is a temp that as a cycling commuter I still have to ride in. I don’t see why we don’t see a real heavy duty cycling boot being made. Other people have to live in Canada and cycle regularly in the winter. I have to wear Cabela’s winter boots.

  17. 45NRTH wolfhammers, had lots of customers out riding in sub 30C and toasty warm.

    Minnesota just has a better grasp of what winter is like.

  18. I would like to see these with a flap covering the laces. Something that would give it a tad more water proofing and yeah, testing them at -20C would be the true test for me. I wear cycling socks till -15 in my Lakes ( using a heating pad ) but would still like to see them tested in the real world. Canada is a cold cold place.

  19. While it is clear that these are not as warm a Lake or wolvhammer. Depending on the rider I think they could be worn comfortably down to the teens for about 2-3 hours.

  20. I like! but……..
    If they are like my Diadora Polaris 2 then I’ll go with 45th.

    My Diadora Polaris 2 have a time limit. Warm feet, and then BOOM instant Frozen feet. this only happens below freezing though. at 0-15° its 30 min. Today on a 2 hour road ride in 29° the time was around 1:10. I would have been better off in my Shimano MT31 shoes! sure I would have had cold feet for 2 hours, but not Frozen. The Diadora Polaris2 are good and warm up until that time limit based on outside temps. Like today, it was only 29, but then it felt like the inside of my shoes was -15.

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