Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (2023)

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The Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes offer a secure and comfortable fit, a usefully stiff sole, and they're easy to get on and off. They have issues, though: they size up a little small, the insole is too harsh for long-ride comfort, and the cleat adjustment is only just enough for some riders.

After a few hours, these feel like very stiff shoes, but they aren't – and that's perhaps not the best two worlds to combine. While the carbon-reinforced sole is certainly stiff enough for most of us and most riding (if not quite for racers or powerful sprinters), it's not as stiff as your increasingly buzzy feet suggest.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (1)

That's down to the thin and extremely firm 'sport insole', which transmits more road buzz than any other insole I've ridden with. They're not harsh enough to particularly notice from moment to moment – these shoes don't spank your feet over broken tarmac like genuinely stiff-soled ones can – but it's certainly enough to notice cumulatively over the course of a ride.

I found my feet felt noticeably buzzy and just faintly tender after little more than an hour over pretty average road surfaces.

It's a shame, because the supple upper (a one-piece Synchwire thing, apparently, with a thermo-bonded exo-structure) is very comfortable and very well shaped. The deep heel cup is very secure and, despite there only being a single L6 Boa dial to secure them, I had zero issues with lifting.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (12)

The uppers and the tongues are perforated all over with laser fire, which is exciting, and certainly in the temperatures I had for the test – mostly from 10° to not quite 20°C – they breathed very well. There are no vents at all in the sole, though, so they won't be the very coolest option for high summer. On the other hand, that's better for the other three seasons, off-road use and wet rides with covers.

>How to choose the best cycling shoes for you

At 569g (size 44) they're not the lightest out there, but they're not trying to be – and with their steel inserts for both two and three-bolt cleats, you don't expect it. They don't feel heavy, though.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (13)

There are toe and heel bumpers to protect the sole, and though neither is replaceable they're pretty substantial. The adjustment scales are very clearly engraved, but I did find that actual range of adjustment slightly limited.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (14)

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I like my feet set quite far apart, but could only just get them out to acceptable spots at full adjustment. I was also maxed out for adjustment towards to the toes. The eventual result was fine, just, but these could definitely use a few more millimetres of travel to match most other shoes I've used.

I feel a little bad about all this complaining – with a bit of fettling and a good insole these solidly built, attractive shoes could be just great – but I'm not quite finished. Having initially tried my usual size (EU44) I had to swap to an EU45, as these come up quite short. The 44 was unusually cramped at the toes. The bigger ones are a perfect fit, at least, and they're available in EU39-50.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (16)

To throw in a random positive, the large grey logos on the heels light up nicely when they reflect headlights, which is a detail I appreciate.

Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes (17)


At £159.99 they're around mid-level, though more expensive than some quite prominent shoessuch as Shimano's highly rated RC5 SPD-SLs and the Scott Road Team Boas,both£139.99, which is also how muchGiro's own Republic R Knit shoescost.

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They're hardly expensive overall – it's easy to spend twice the amount and more – but they do feel a little spendy given the spec, especially as you may well want to factor in new insoles too.


Get the right size, find a good position within the slightly limited cleat adjustment, and fit some more forgiving insoles and the Giro Cadets could be just the thing for a great deal of riding and training, both on road and gravel. That's a few too many things to overcome to seriously recommend them over the competition, though.


Nearly great shoes for all types of riding, but the buzzy insole and sizing/cleat adjustment niggles all detract

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Make and model: Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes

Size tested: 45 (weight is for size 44s)

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Tell us what the product is for

Giro says: "The Cadet combines a supple, breathable Synchwire upper with a stout carbon fiber reinforced plate for pedaling efficiency, plus a supportive footbed with Aegis anti-microbial treatment for optimal comfort and fit.

"The single BOA L6 dial offers micro-adjustable tuning in 1 mm increments, and combined with the adjustable forefoot strap, cradles your foot securely. This shoe is a great choice for riders looking for inspired performance, lasting comfort and value."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

One-piece Synchwire upper with thermo-bonded exo-structure

Laser-perforated ventilation throughout

BOA L6 dial featuring 1mm adjustment and macro release, with steel lace and soft lace guides

Reflective heel tab


Carbon fiber reinforced outsole with universal cleat mount (2- or 3-bolt)

Dual injected TPU toe and heel pad


Die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support


265 grams (size 42)


39 – 50 in whole sizes only

Rate the product for quality of construction:


Rate the product for performance:

(Video) Riding with the wrong shoe size? I did for YEARS!


Rate the product for durability:


Rate the product for fit:


Having sized up I found these a great fit all over.

Rate the product for sizing:


They come up short – I needed to go up a size.

Rate the product for weight:


The basic fit is very comfy and secure, but the insole is very firm and transmits a lot of buzz – though it could be cured by changing the insoles.

Rate the product for value:


Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

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These feel secure and stiff enough for regular riding and training, but their initial excellent comfort degrades over a ride – the very firm insole transmits too much road buzz.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to get on and off, stiff enough for most, look good, comfortable fit (once you size up).

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Harsh insole leads to vibration-induced discomfort.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

At £159.99 these are around mid-level, thoughmore expensive than some quite prominent shoessuch as Shimano's highly rated RC5 SPD-SLs andthe Scott Road Team Boa Shoes, as well asGiro's own Republic R Knit shoes, all £139.99.

They're hardly expensive overall – it's easy to spend twice the amount and more – but they do feel a little spendy given the spec, especially as you may well want to factor in new insoles too.

Did you enjoy using the product? Kind of.

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe – I'd need a better insole for them.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? With caveats.

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are very nicely made and – once you've found the right size – a comfortable and secure fit. The price feels a little high for the spec, however, and I personally found the very firm insole meaningfully impacts the comfort.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48Height: 183cmWeight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR DiscMy best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 yearsI ride: A few times a weekI would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,


Are Giro cycling shoes good? ›

The Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes offer a secure and comfortable fit, a usefully stiff sole, and they're easy to get on and off. They have issues, though: they size up a little small, the insole is too harsh for long-ride comfort, and the cleat adjustment is only just enough for some riders.

Is it better for cycling shoes to be tight or loose? ›

Cycling shoes should be snug. When trying shoes on in the shop, you don't want to have your toes against the end of the shoes or the sides uncomfortably squeezing the feet.

How do you know if cycling shoes are too big? ›

If you are able to move your foot back-and-forth then the shoe is too big. Your toe should touch the front of the shoe but without any pressure. You heel doesn't slip up and down in the shoe. Wear cycling socks for your fit test.

Are cycling shoes too big or too small? ›

While it's suggested to size up if you're between sizes, cycling shoes are intended to wrap snuggly around the foot. Similar to how running or walking shoes are created to help you excel at said activities, cycling shoes were also designed with a specific purpose in mind—pedaling.

What does Giro mean in cycling? ›

What does Giro d'Italia mean? It basically means Tour of Italy, in Italian. Is it a big deal? Yes, it's a very prestigious race and one of cycling's three grand tours, the others being the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. The Giro takes place over 21 stages and three weeks.

Why do my cycling shoes hurt? ›

Bike-fitters warn against buying cycling shoes without first trying them on to ensure good fit. An overly tight, ill-fitting pair of shoes can compress the metatarsal arch (across the ball of the foot), leading to foot numbness and sharp, stabbing pains.

How much extra room should you have in cycling shoes? ›

Cycling shoe fit

About 1.5 cm of toe room should be plenty. Stiff soles and snug shoes stabilize the foot, but they should not be so tight that they pinch. And even though your toes don't need wiggle room, they should not hit the front of the shoe at any point while riding.

Should toes touch front of cycling shoes? ›

Your comfortable casual shoe size will usually coincide with your best cycling shoe size, but as a rule of thumb you should leave approximatley 1½ -2cm between your foremost toe and the end of the shoe to avoid problems.

How tight should road cycling shoes be? ›

A well fit cycling shoe should be snug in the heel with even pressure on the instep. You should not be pressed against the end. You should have a little toe room at the end of a well fit cycling shoe and the shoe should hold your forefoot stable without pinching or restricting.

Is it OK to wear a half size bigger shoe? ›

The only time that you could wear a shoe in a bigger size is when purchasing a sneaker but you should only go up about half a size. The reason for this is that our feet tend to swell because fluid accumulates due to gravity with prolonged standing and weight baring activities.

Should I buy bigger cycling shoes? ›

Most cycling shoes are designed to fit snug, so you want to go down a 1/2 to a full size. So, for example, I generally wear a 10.5 or 11 in everyday shoes, but I wear a 43.5 in road cycling shoes.

How much room should be at the end of a shoe? ›

Generally speaking, there should be about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Another way to check this is to slip a finger between the heel of your foot and the heel of your shoe. There should be just enough space for your finger to fit nice and snugly.

How do I make my cycling shoes more comfortable? ›

Here are a few tips. (Your feet will thank you.)
  1. Use a supportive insole. A supportive insole will help evenly spread the pressure under your foot. ...
  2. Size your shoes appropriately. ...
  3. Use thin socks. ...
  4. Don't buckle your shoes too tight. ...
  5. Check your cleat position. ...
  6. What are your specific foot problems?

What is the 75 rule in cycling? ›

The 75-percent rule states that during a given training week, at least 75 percent of your miles (or time) should be at or below 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR).

Is Tour de France harder than Giro? ›

"The Giro is harder. There are some massively long stages, and this year, a time trial that's 60 K."

Should you lean forward when cycling? ›

Cruising Position riders are most comfortable leaning a little bit forward, with most weight on the middle of the seat. Upright Position riders prefer to lean forward as little as possible, with the spine straight and most weight on the back of the seat.

Why do my feet burn in my cycling shoes? ›

The hot burning sensation, numbness, and pain originates from the nerves supplying the toes. The nerves have to travel through a narrow space between the metatarsals (foot bones) and metatarsal heads (the foot's 'knuckles', or ball of the foot), which is where you most often position your cleats.

How long does it take to break in cycling shoes? ›

How To Break In New Shoes And Cleats (2016) - YouTube

How do I stop getting a sore bum when cycling? ›

How To Solve Saddle Sores
  1. Improve your bike fit. If your seat is too high, your hips rock on each pedal stroke and strum your soft tissue across the nose of the saddle. ...
  2. Stand frequently. ...
  3. Move on the saddle. ...
  4. Choose a smooth chamois. ...
  5. Select a supportive seat. ...
  6. Lube to reduce friction. ...
  7. Keep clean. ...
  8. Strip quick.

What are the best shoes to wear when cycling? ›

Best commuter cycling shoes
  • FiveTen Sleuth. A casual canvas slip-on. ...
  • Shimano GR5 MTB Shoes. A lace-up skate-style shoe. ...
  • Giro Rumble VR. Pedalling dynamics and striding comfort in one. ...
  • Chrome Industries Dima. Durable cycling-specific slip-on urban kicks. ...
  • Shimano CT5. ...
  • DZR H20. ...
  • Bontrager SSR. ...
  • Bontrager Cadence Spin.
14 Jan 2022

Where are Giro shoes made? ›

Giro is a U.S. manufacturer of snow and cycling helmets, snow & MTB goggles, cycling and mountain bike apparel and shoes, as well as softgoods for cycling, skiing and snowboarding. The company was founded in 1985 by Jim Gentes and is headquartered in the Scotts Valley, California area.

What should you not wear when cycling? ›

Choose comfy clothes that don't restrict the movement of your arms and legs. Cycling in clothing like jeans, or tight-fitting dresses or trousers, can restrict how you use your muscles. Some clothes have thick and bulky seams which can rub and make you sore. Also don't wear something with too tight a waistband.

What should you not wear on a bike? ›

Here are few things which you definitely should not wear while riding a bike:
  • Don't wear jeans:
  • Don't be bare hand:
  • Don't wear loose clothing:
  • Don't wear dark or dull clothes:
  • Don't wear underwear with cycling shorts:
3 Sept 2020

How do you pronounce Giro brand? ›

How to Pronounce Giro d'Italia? (CORRECTLY) - YouTube

What MIPS means? ›

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection and is an 'ingredient' safety technology that over 120 brands incorporate into their helmets.

Should toes touch front of cycling shoes? ›

Your comfortable casual shoe size will usually coincide with your best cycling shoe size, but as a rule of thumb you should leave approximatley 1½ -2cm between your foremost toe and the end of the shoe to avoid problems.

Can you wear normal shoes on a road bike? ›

There is nothing to stop you from getting on your bike in regular trainers instead of shoes with cleats. you won't damage your pedals in any way as long as you don't have a rock lodged in the sole of your shoe.

Can you wear cycling shoes for walking? ›

Chrome Truk Bike Shoe

However, don't take these shoes as substitutes for a regular sneaker: while they are comfortable for walking around in short spurts, the additional stiffness in the sole compared to a standard walking shoe makes them feel a bit stiff after walking for some time.

Is there a difference between road cycling shoes and indoor cycling shoes? ›

For those who use turbo trainers or bike rollers in your home, your road bike shoes will work perfectly as you will use the same bike and pedals for both. Stationary bikes, spin bikes and exercise bikes will often use flat pedals or a different pedal type, and so cannot be used with road bike shoes.

Do you really need cycling shoes? ›

If you wear sneakers on the bike, you need to make a conscious effort to stay in the proper position. But since cycling shoes lock into place (or, in cycling speak, "clip in"), they don't slip around, which means you're more likely to stay aligned—and can better avoid ankle, knee, and hip injuries, says Buschert.

Should I wear socks with cycling shoes? ›

Socks to keep your feet comfy throughout your workout

You can't stop this, but you can mitigate its bad effects—blisters, chafing, feelings of overwhelming sogginess—with a good pair of socks. If you're wearing cycling shoes, Peloton instructor Matt Wilpers recommends socks that are thin, light, and moisture-wicking.


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