One look at the Giro Empire VR90 and you know something’s different. Giro’s use of laces on a top-end XC shoe sets them excluding the remainder of the laces-wearing mountain bike clan by at least a couple inches of suspension go back and forth. At the base of the Empires is an Easton carbon fiber EC90 sole — the stiffest and lightest in Easton’s impressive lineup of carbon fiber. Vibram’s sturdy and grippy Mont outsole is then layered over the carbon, both to provide you with a bit more walkability in the shoes, but also to offer protection to the carbon. Bonded to the Vibram/Easton combo at the sole is a one piece microfiber upper that’s incredibly breathable and comfortable, but would possibly not stretch out over the years, ensuring you get the same fit all over the life of the shoe. Giro’s lauded SuperNatural Fit Kit insoles are also included. These insoles include three different inserts for low, medium, and high arches, and they are the most effective we’ve ridden without going full-custom.
Upper Material: Teijin microfiber
Footbed: SuperNatural Fit Kit, X-Static antimicrobial fiber
Sole: Easton EC90 ACC carbon fiber, high traction rubber
Cleat Compatibility: 2-hole mountain