Giro has brought back their retro styled Republic LX R shoes for commuter, gravel riders & bikepackers looking for a more classic look, now with updated performance. Plus, they are adding more hi-viz reflective options to the Empire & Republic for those looking to be seen. Shout out to SockGuy for spittin’ fire in merino, T-Rex being seen!

Giro Republic LX R leather gravel shoes

Giro Republic LX R natural leather perfromance gravel road bike shoes adventure bikepacking riding SPD shoes

Highlighted by a supple natural leather upper, these shoes are supposed to exude luxury, and are intentionally meant to show marks from use, wearing in a nice patina over time.

Giro Republic LX R natural leather perfromance gravel road bike shoes adventure bikepacking riding SPD shoes

From first glance, the leather Republic LX R shoes aren’t entirely new sharing a mostly unchanged upper from the first generation of the shoe that Giro targeted more at urban cyclists. But the Republic LX Rs get an all new co-molded sole design to improve both long-term durability and grip on a wider range of surfaces, opening them up more for the growing gravel, bikepacking, and adventure bike sectors. (The same as debuted on the knit Republic R.)

Giro Republic LX R natural leather perfromance gravel road bike shoes adventure bikepacking riding SPD shoes

The new leather shoes feature a lighter, fiber-reinforced nylon sole to deliver pedaling efficiency, now co-molded with new grippy but long-lasting rubber lugs. The 200€ shoes are designed to look good on & off the bike, and stick with two-bolt SPD style mountain bike cleat compatibility to make them comfortable and easy to walk in, even without overly aggressive tread lugs.

Republic LX R synthetic gravel shoes

Giro Republic LX R reflective synthetic perfromance gravel road bike shoes adventure bikepacking riding SPD shoes

Besides these natural leather Republic LX R shoes in a color called tobacco, Giro also again has a synthetic version that shares much of the same looks and performance, with one secret up its upper. The Dark Shadow Reflective version replaces the natural upper with microfiber, and uses perforated side panels to match the breathability of the leather shoe, also adding a multi-panel design with a bit more stitching to match the fit. Otherwise they share the new MTB pedal-ready, molded nylon+rubber sole as the leather shoe. Pricing for the new reflective shoes is expected to match that of the leather version.

Empire ACC & ACC Reflective road shoes

Giro Empire ACC reflective perfromance road bike shoes day

Giro has been fully embracing reflective finishes for their synthetic uppers for a while, but they continue to expand with more color and brightness depending on what you are looking for. Looking at their mainstay Empire road shoes, you can stick with something like the high-gloss black of the SLX (left), or go to the other extreme of glowing in cars’ headlights with the ACC Reflective in silver (middle).

Giro Empire ACC reflective perfromance road bike shoes night

But now there are starting to be more options like the standard ACC that adds a bit of color like these in light blue toes & black heels (right) that still offer a modest amount of sparkly reflectivity when hit with a bright light. You get visibility, is a slightly more subdued everyday look. The reflective finishes are a good bit easier to scratch up, so don’t expect too many full reflective versions of the off-road shoes, although the Empire VR90 does offer reflective logos or a reflective patterned option.


  1. Will somebody please make a shoe like this with an xc ready carbon sole? I really want a high performance road shoe for a two bolt cleat. Maybe I’m an outlier but it would be nice for all my bikes to be compatible.

    • I picked up the new Specialized Recon. It’s basically the same as the S-Works 7, but with 2-bolt cleat compatibility. Light, stiff, expensive.

    • The Empire VR90 is literally the same Empire upper as the ACC with an Easton EC90 carbon sole with 2-bolt cleats and lugs/cleats. I have the Empire SLX for road and the VR90 for cross/gravel/commute. The VR90 is a little heavier, but fit and comfort is near identical.

    • Why does It matter? It’s a parent company, not Giro.
      Nearly every product in each of our daily lives indirectly comes from a multi national cooperation who chooses to polute the air, poison the water, decimate the landscape and eradicate indigenous people in the name of profit. Yet, you’re upset because Vista might donate to the NRA? There are much bigger problems in the world to be concerned with.

    • You willfully ignore that it’s Vista donating to the NRA, not Giro or Bell. I’ll bet you haven’t examined all the companies whose products you buy and where that money you give them ultimately ends up. In that light, your willful misrepresentation of Giro and Bell is hypocritical at best.

  2. Foot retention and stiff soles are totally stupid for commuting, bikepacking, and touring. The bike world is still so brainwashed by racing.

    You do NOT need foot retention for getting to work. And on “gravel” rides, the second you get off your bike and try to walk out on a rocky outcrop to take a photo or burn a bowl, the SPD cleat makes it impossible to get any grip under the ball of your foot, and a stiff sole makes walking any distance pretty miserable. On tour, using SPD pedals means you’re packing a whole extra pair of shoes for the time off the bike.

    If you’re not racing, throw some platform pedals on your bike and wear shoes that grip the pedal AND the ground. While you’re at it, wear the same clothing you’d wear for an all-day hike or backpacking trip. You’ll appreciate it when you can take a short hike off the bike without suffering, or when you’re stopped for coffee or a beer afterward and you’re not covered in logos and clicking across the floor like an idiot, or when you can spend a month bike touring with one pair of shoes and one pair of sandals, both of which work on and off the bike.

  3. Looks like a good one to me if you want to have something different that usual biking shoes. The good looks might not last long enough for frequent use.

  4. All the reports I hear are that the soles on these just don’t last. I tried a pair of the knit versions on and they sounded like they had a cracked sole out of the box

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