Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoes 2018 (2022)

Giro's original Empire lace-up shoes were already very good – comfortable with a high level of adjustment – but these new knitted shoes take the comfort to another level, plus they are better ventilated for warmer weather and look brilliant.

  • Pros: Very comfortable, good ventilation, look fantastic
  • Cons: Yellow laces won't stay that way for long in mucky weather

Giro has taken its existing Empire lace-up shoes and swapped the microfibre upper for a knitted material it calls Xnetic, made from polyester and nylon. It's not a soft knitted material like that used by some trainer companies, but is reasonably firm and supportive, aided by an internal thermoplastic polyurethane skeleton. A DWR coating wards against wet weather and the toe area is reinforced.

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So, knitted shoes then. A gimmick in the name of fashion? I'll admit to being a bit sceptical when I first saw them, but that all changed once I slapped on some cleats and went for a ride. Boy, these shoes are comfortable!

I was really impressed with the previous Empire shoes – I frequently use a pair for cyclo-cross and mountain biking – but the extra suppleness provided by the knitted material really improves comfort. The knitted upper is a lot more supple than the microfibre upper used on the regular Empires. There's more give around the top of the foot and toe box area, the upper able to deform and flex with your feet. Yes, they are like wearing a pair of comfortable slippers.

Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoes 2018 (1)

Yet stamp on the pedals and smash out some serious watts and you'll find the shoes are fully supportive and do a great job of transferring your pre-ride breakfast into forward motion. There's no detectable flex from the Easton carbon fibre soles and the upper constrains your feet, preventing unwanted movement.

Lace me up

Giro has been instrumental in bringing lace-up cycling shoes back from the black and white days, introducing the Empire in 2012 to much fanfare on social media. Pro cyclist Taylor Phinney was the first to race in them, and even Sir Bradley Wiggins wasn't immune to their appeal. It certainly made quite a few people question Boa dials and Velcro straps, and they've spawned many copies since.

For ultimate performance and ease of use, you probably can't beat a well-designed Boa dial setup, but the comfort of the Empire shoes has to be tried to be believed. It really is excellent. You could add in the distinctive looks, which are certainly appealing too, and the jazzy colours of these new knitted shoes tap into a clear desire for a bit of pop and personalisation in one's cycling outfit.

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The laces make it easy to dial in the fit just the way you like it, with a fine level of adjustment that you just don't get from ratchets and Boa dials. Because of this extraordinarily good fit, I didn't find it necessary to do the laces up very tightly at all, but even if you do, the pressure is spread so evenly across the top of the foot that there's no discomfort at all.

When you've tied up the laces there's a small elastic loop to squeeze them under. A good tip is to thread the laces over and under; I found this kept the laces securely fastened and they never strayed loose once during the hundreds of miles I rode in this shoes.

Yes, tying the laces is a little slower than Boa dials, but are you ever in that much of a rush to get out the front door? One obvious downside to laces is that you can't make adjustments on-the-fly. I found once I got the laces dialled in after that first ride, I never needed to make any changes during the length of a ride, no matter how short or long.

Everyday performance and comfort

I've been wearing these shoes practically every day for the last few months, and that has included a trip Lanzarote where I was able to test the hot weather performance. It's a tough gig etc...

With the sun beating down on the tarmac and the sweat pouring off my skin, the shoes were clearly doing a very good job of keeping my feet cool. They're much better ventilated than regular cycling shoes, and even Giro's own regular Empires. Not a hint of sweaty feet to report at the end of a ride.

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(Video) Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoes 2018

Back in the UK, where most of my testing has been conducted, well it's been so cold and wet that overshoes have been an essential part of my daily outfit. However, when I've braved the bad weather sans overshoes, the extra ventilation is certainly noticeable.

What is more noticeable is that the addition of theDWR(durable water repellency) treatment gives the shoes enough protection to cope with wet rides, puddle splashes and the odd splatter of mud. They aren't going to keep your feet dry – that treatment mainly acts to ensure the knitted material doesn't become saturated and is easier to clean afterwards – but when the shoes do eventually get wet they dry out quickly enough.

The durability of this most unpractical of colours was rightly questioned when these shoes arrived for testing, but I can report that even after riding through some horrible weather and mud-covered roads they're holding up well.

When they do get grubby, they're not as easy to clean as regular microfibre uppers, which wipe clean, but a little application of a sponge and hot soapy water and the grey knitted upper cleans up very well, even after some very dirty rides.

> Buyer's Guide: 16of the best high-performance road cycling shoes

Sadly, the same can't be said of the yellow laces. Continue to ride these shoes along muddy roads and despite your best cleaning skills, those yellow laces aren't going to stay yellow for long. To be fair to Giro, grey laces are included in the box if you wanted to swap them straight out and that's something I'd recommend doing – save the yellow laces for the summer when the roads are dry and clean.

In fact, these are probably shoes you'd want to save for summer best anyway. Who is really going to buy an expensive pair of shoes like this, in this colour (which I love by the way) and ride them along grotty roads?

Giro has designed the heel cup to clasp your foot in the shoe securely and comfortably. Heel lift is undetectable, even during the hardest sprints and labouring up the steepest climbs out of the saddle.

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The Easton EC70 carbon fibre sole is plenty stiff enough for the most demanding cyclists. You can use these for racing and they'll perform well, but equally, I've found them comfortable for longer rides at a more sedate pace. The stiffness isn't overwhelming and doesn't lead to discomfort, but equally it's sufficient for racing and high-intensity riding.

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The soles are drilled for regular three-bolt cleats with lots of lines for easy adjustment and getting both cleats precisely aligned. A rubber heel bumper makes walking a little easier and protects the carbon sole, and is replaceable should it ever wear out.

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If the shoe fits...

Shoe fit is a subjective thing, but I find Giro shoes really suit my feet. These new shoes are built on the same lasts as the previous Empire shoes, so there's nothing unusual to report on this front.

The width is neither too wide nor too narrow, and the toe box area is generous enough. I've been wearing them alongside shoes from Shimano, Sidi and Specialized, which I would say they are comparable to in terms of fit, but narrower than the Bont Vaypors I've also been wearing.


It would be easy to label Giro's new shoes as purely a case of fashion over function, and they'll undoubtedly appeal to style-conscious cyclists, but I can report that the suppleness provided by the knitted upper does provide fantastic comfort.

It's not groundbreaking stuff, but the difference compared with the regular Empires is noticeable. Whether that's enough to convince you is another matter.

Ventilation in warm weather is really good too, and durability is better than expected – except for those yellow laces, but Giro does offer more practical colour choices. Laces aren't for everyone, but if you're a fan of lace-up shoes and want a shoe with a bit of colour and style, you should check the new Empire Knits out.

(Video) Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe Review


Super-comfortable shoes with fab looks

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Make and model: Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Cycling Shoes

Size tested: 45

Tell us what the product is for

Giro says, "You've seen knit technology in athletic footwear, but you haven't seen it in cycling until now. The Empire™ E70 Knit features our new engineered Xnetic™ Knit upper, which offers unparalleled comfort and breathability. Xnetic Knit technology was developed for the specific needs of performance cycling. An internal TPU skeletal system provides support where you need it, while the knit offers suppleness for superior sock-like comfort. The upper is DWR-treated for water repellency and easy cleaning, and a TPU- reinforced toe and heel add durability and abrasion resistance. Plus, the style of the Empire E70 Knit is simply undeniable."

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

From Giro:

Engineered Xnetic™Knit

Bonded TPU skeletal support structure

TPU-reinforced toe and heel

DWR treated fiber

Empire laces


Easton® EC70 carbon composite

Steel hardware

Replaceable heel pads


Molded EVA footbed

medium arch support

(Video) Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoes 2018

Rate the product for quality of construction:


Rate the product for performance:


Rate the product for fit:


Rate the product for sizing:


Rate the product for weight:


Rate the product for comfort:


Rate the product for value:


(Video) Der nagelneue GIRO Empire E70 Knit Rennradschuh im Test | HIBIKE Blog

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They're a little trickier than most to keep clean; the knitted upper does scrub up well but the yellow laces are hard to keep yellow if you ride without overshoes or oversocks in mucky conditions.

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

Provide excellent comfort and performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fantastic comfort, good ventilation and superb looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Yellow laces don't stay yellow for long.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Impressive performance, with slightly better comfort and heat management than the regular Empires. Better looks too, in my opinion – a top choice.

Overall rating: 8/10

Age: 31Height: 180cmWeight: 67kg

I usually ride: My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 yearsI ride: Every dayI would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

Whether you've just started shopping, or you're just looking for Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 reviews, this post will help you to choose the best of the Shoes - Cycle currently available online. Review Score: Based on reviews.

Whether you’ve just started shopping, or you’re just looking for Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 reviews, this post will help you to choose the best of the Shoes – Cycle currently available online.. So we aim to narrow down that choice by providing you with customer reviews, our own review score and then comparing the price of the product against other similar options.. The goal here is to help you decide if Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 is the best suited of the Shoes – Cycle from Chain Reaction Cycles.. Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 is available currently from Chain Reaction Cycles for just £139.00, which is a saving of £60.99 off of the £199.99 RRP price, saving you 30%.. The average price of products in the Shoes – Cycle category is £114.03 The average price of a Giro product is £95.01 The average price of a Giro product from the Shoes – Cycle category is £125.87. As you can see, at £139.00, Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 is a bargain, particularly when you consider the quality and features you’ll get from this Giro product, against the average prices shown above.. Customer reviews are one of the most important and useful aspects of buying bike products online.. Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 scored out of 5 based on customer reviews at Chain Reaction Cycles which puts it as one of the better reviewed Shoes – Cycle available.. With 110 Giro products, 41 Giro Shoes – Cycle and 378 Shoes – Cycle available from Chain Reaction Cycles you’re really not going to struggle for choice.. If you do want to read a few more reviews first though you can check more of our Shoes – Cycle reviews out.. Video reviews are also great for finding out whether a bike product is going to suit your needs.. If you own, or at some point have tried Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe 2018 then we want to hear from you.

Knit materials are supposed to be the next big thing in cycling footwear. They’re highly tunable, so designers can offer zonal stretch and stiffness exactly where desired, they’re potentially much more breathable than synthetic leathers, and the manufacturing process produces less waste than traditional methods. They can even be made in a wider range of […]

Thus far, only two companies have jumped aboard the knit bandwagon for cycling footwear: Giro with the Empire E70 Knit, and Fizik with the Infinito R1 Knit.. Giro and Fizik have both brought knit technology to cycling footwear recently, and both of their new knit shoes are adaptations of existing models — the Empire E70 Knit being a variation of Giro’s classic Empire, and the Infinito R1 Knit bearing a close resemblance to Fizik’s standard Infinito R1.. Giro also uses a mix of nylon and polyester fibers to make certain areas stiffer or more flexible.However, whereas Giro uses additional reinforcing layers rather sparingly on the Empire E70 Knit, Fizik bolsters nearly the entire top half of the Infinito R1 knit, as well as the edge of the toe box and lower half of the heel area.. The unaltered knit material is still visible from the outside around the toe box and upper heel area (where the additional give is presumably needed most), but rather than leave any of the knit raw against your socks, Fizik lines the entire inside of the Infinito R1 Knit with mesh.. The Infinito R1 Knit’s upper design is certainly more complex than that of the Empire E70 Knit, but the shoe is also more complex overall.. The Giro Empire E70 Knit looks a lot like other Empire models in terms of overall shape and design, but in reality, the knit upper yields a surprisingly significant change in both fit and feel.. Giro uses the same last on the Empire E70 Knit as on other Empires, but since the knit material doesn’t “spring back” as much as the synthetic leathers used on the rest of the range, the toe box ends up with straighter sides and more effective volume.All of this is great news for riders who want to like the standard Empires, but can’t get their feet to fit into that unusually confining shape (myself included).. All of that additional reinforcement makes the Infinito R1 Knit a lot less breathable than the Empire E70 Knit, and seemingly even less so than the standard Infinito R1 as well.. Truth be told, the Fiziks don’t actually measure any narrower than the Giros, but since the uppers are a bit stiffer on the Infinito R1 Knit than the Empire E70 Knit, they effectively feel a touch more confining.. Between the Empire E70 Knit and Infinito R1 Knit, I’d argue that Giro has made the more convincing case for knit uppers.. The knit version isn’t significantly more comfortable, it’s heavier (although, again, so is the Empire E70 Knit relative to the standard Empires), and the heavyhanded construction methods Fizik uses here makes for a shoe that feels hotter, not cooler.. Both the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit and Giro Empire E70 Knit use cutting-edge fabric technologies, but one definitely makes a stronger case for knit uppers than the other.Knit technology is only just starting to make its way into the cycling footwear world, but if the general athletic shoe market is any indication, it’s bound to make further inroads in the years ahead given the enormous potential of the material.. With the Giro Empire E70 Knit, it’s easy to see how knit technology can make cycling shoes better; but unless you’re just drawn to the unique aesthetics of the Infinito R1 Knit, you’re likely better off with the standard Fizik Infinito R1 shoes instead.. Rather than complicate the shoe with elaborate closure systems, Giro builds the Empire E70 Knit as a classic lace-up model.The tool and heel are reinforced to guard against wear.Polyurethane strips are added inside the shoe to keep certain areas from stretching.Giro doesn’t include pink laces in this colorway stock (they’re normally black), but these seem more appropriate, no?A handy elastic lace keeper is built into the padded tongue.The Giro Empire E70 Knit shoes are supremely breathable.A single stitch line is visible along the rear edge of the shoe.Giro mounts the knit upper to its workhorse Easton EC70 carbon plate.There’s a moderate amount of curvature built into the Giro Empire E70 Knit shoes, but not much arch support inside.The heel tread is easily replaceable, and the rubber material is pleasantly grippy.Whereas Giro has introduced knit technology at the midrange, Fizik has incorporated the concept into the Infinito R1 Knit at the very top of the collection.Fizik uses the same dual-Boa closure system as is found on the standard Infinito R1.. The two-way micro-adjustment and pull-to-release functionality make these easier to get on and off, and adjust on the fly, than the lace-up Giros.Fizik lines the entire interior of the Infinito R1 Knit shoes, which arguably provides a more luxurious feel relative the Giros, and also lends an opportunity to add a bit of color.There’s an awful lot of detail work on the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoes, and it’s easy to see why they’re so much more expensive than the Giro Empire E70 Knit shoes.The boomerang-shaped cut line supposedly allows the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoes to be more accommodating of different forefoot sizes and shapes than usual.

Incredibly comfortable and supportive, stiff enough for efficient pedalling without killing your feet, breathable in warm weather and durable in horrid conditions, all wrapped up with some pretty unique styling, there’s a lot to like here. Buyer's guide to mountain bike and gravel shoes - a guide to flat and clipless options What's the best way to clean disc brakes on a bicycle?

Giro Empire VR70 Knit shoes review £220.00Incredible comfort and good performance, but pricey. I’ve been a real fan of Giro’s lace-up road cycling shoes for many years, and more recently its knitted versions, and I’ve been similarly impressed with the Giro Empire V70 Knit shoes.. The idea of lace-up shoes is nothing new but Giro made them popular in the road cycling world but in the mountain bike world laces are already a lot more common.. Giro talks about increased breathability with the knitted upper and in some of the warmer weather, the Empire V70 Knit shoes do indeed prevent your feet overheating.. It’s a stiff sole, but not the stiffest Giro has in its range, with a hint fo flex that makes them more comfortable for regular riders and non-racers who don’t really need a super stiff sole.. Impressive comfort from the knitted upper and lace-up closure, plenty of stiffness for hard pedalling but sticky and grippy sole for hike-a-bike, and durable too.. It features our new engineered Xnetic™ Knit upper, which offers unparalleled comfort and breathability, with a bonded TPU exoskeletal system to provide support where you need it.. A really comfortable shoe but laces aren't for everyone and they're not as quick and easy to adjust as dials and straps, but if you want maximum slipper-like comfort these are easy to recommend.. The looks are distinctive but the knitted upper does provide impressive comfortable, and they scrub up well and durability has been just fine.

The Empire E70 Knit features the Giro engineered Xnetic Knit upper was developed for the specific needs of performance cycling. An internal TPU skeletal system provides support, the knit offers suppleness for superior sock-like comfort. The upper is DWR-treated for water repellency and easy cleaning, and a TPU- reinforced toe and heel add durability and abrasion resistance.

Comfortable, well fitting shoe.. With the softer stretchy uppers, slightly more flexible soles, and great breathability, I think the E70's are the perfect shoe for longer rides (centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonneurs, etc) in warmer weather.. Bringing knit technology to the world of cycling, the Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe brings unparalleled comfort and breathability into the world of performance road cycling.. While you're sure to have seen knit shoes around other athletic disciplines before, it's been slow to come to the world of cycling because of the intense needs that performance cycling and cyclists put on their shoes, but with Giro's Xnetic™ Knit upper these shoes are ready to go.. The Giro Empire E70 Knit Road Shoe is compatible with 3-bolt cleats and road pedals.. Bringing knit technology to the world of cycling, these shoes deliver outstanding breathability, comfort, and support.. This size chart provides our best estimate for which European shoe size to choose based on your US shoe size.


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