GIRO Alpineduro’15 – Intro and first impressions: by c_g

1-GIRO-AlpineduroThe wet riding season is here! And with the low temperatures and often wet trails, the demands on a good bike shoe are changing. Only just seen at Eurobike ’14,  and only briefly tested so far, we already have a feel for the GIRO Alpineduro. Its aesthetically an unobtrusive shoe with striking orange laces and the sneaker-like appearance of a mid-cut hiking shoe. But don’t be fooled! This is a technically advanced bike shoe intended for the transitional seasons and mild winters.

The upper is, despite its leather look and feel, made from a very robust synthetic material. It features a waterproof inner membrane and an ankle-high upper for foul weather protection. The large cut-out at the heel provides the necessary flexibility when pedaling. The tongue is closed up to the top  and strikingly soft so the folds do not pinch. The lining is a soft and low friction synthetic lining similar to the one known from Gore-Tex hiking boots. Instead of a Velcro strap or buckle closure it has a classic lacing for fastening the shoe, one of the most universal systems, and if you’re traveling and have problems or a lace breaks, you know that there are replacements everywhere. Oh yes – in addition to the orange laces, there is set of a tamer black ones included in the packaging.


The Vibram sole’s special rubber compound (with recognizable small silver particles)  promises to increase grip in wet conditions and even on ice. The shoes can both be used with clipless pedals and flats (or even a bike free walk-about) as a cleat area screw-on cover is included.


Our test sample size, a 45, weighed a respectable 1000g for the pair. For comparison, the bike-only SPECIALIZED Defroster weigh only 40 grams less and the Shimano SH-MT91, a direct competitor, tips the scales at 1300g per pair (each in the same size).

MSRP is $200.00.

GIRO Alpineduro – first-hand impressions:

7-GIRO-AlpineduroRight away the GIRO Terraduro impresses with an excellent fit. It’s crazy how well the shoe conforms to the foot and  the material results in hardly any pressure points around the foot. In the first few rides I regularly set out with the shoe being tied too tightly due to the good fit and the very uniform pressure distribution.

8-GIRO-AlpineduroAs mentioned, the lacing is still an effective means to close a shoe. But when operated with gloves on, it can be a bit challenging. Also, in really muddy weather or with numb fingers, the laces become plastered with mud and are even more challenging to handle. As with other such footwear, the Alpineduro has a small elastic loop on the tongue to keep the laces in order.

On the bike, the Alpineduro simply feels a bit like a warmer version of the very familiar Giro Terraduro, which has become my go-to shoe this summer and early fall. My only complain is that the heel cup is a bit too wide for my foot, with the synthetic lining producing too little friction, which allows some heel lift when off the bike. Not badly, but noticeable. ON the bike my foot stays planted with no issues at all.

So far I found them to be very supportive and stable  under foot and giving decent protection from hits to the toes. My last mid-cut bike shoe I had, the MAVIC Scree, suffered from the width being too bulky, which resulted in it constantly rubbing on the cranks when pedaling … something the GIRO Alpineduro seems to do perfectly well with no rubbing I have noticed.  Also, due to the large opening at the Achilles tendon, there is also no restriction of movement while pedaling.

As for weather protection, that Alpineduro is a nothing short of a fortress! As long as nothing spills over the top, water crossings were a dry deal. Moreover, the  smooth upper was beautifully simple and quick to clean. In a few minutes you can transform the Alpineduro from being a mud-smeared something into a decent sneaker that I would’t mind wearing in public, a real plus in versatility in a world full of sports only bike wear.

6-GIRO-AlpineduroSo far,  the temperatures have dropped below freezing only a few times and only mildly, so I have to reserve judgment for how it retains heat in really cold weather, but down to temperatures of -2°C / 28°F, there was never a touch of cold showing its fangs, only a toasty feeling of my feet feeling perfectly well.

The first impressions of the Vibram sole to be grippy was the right one. On wet roots, stones, or just for walking, the sole provides the same traction as a light trekking shoe. Only in the mud and on very soft ground is the more moderate tread profile overwhelmed and a becomes rather slippery.

5-GIRO-AlpineduroSo much for my first impressions for the GIRO Alpineduro. I will continue using the shoes into the rest of the winter and then report again. Already the GIRO Alpineduro is a promising option for all who are looking for a first-class bike shoe for touring under changing conditions … and if there are no nasty surprises, it should stay that way.


Note: Giro sent over their Alpineduros for test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.