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Giro Privateer MTB Shoe

Review: Giro Privateer MTB Shoe

scottmares's picture

We Liked

Along time ago high end cycling shoes were made out of Kangaroo leather , they lasted a long time and felt really great. One of the things that I love about this shoe is the materials that its constructed out of. The upper looks and feels like leather but its not. I love when shoes are made of leather and this shoe reminds me of the days when cycling shoes were made out of this materal. So what is this stuff that looks and feels like leather? The material is a microfiber that is pretty impressive to the touch of the hand and even more so when its on your foot. Another point that I would like to make is the toe of the Privateer. The toes is reinforced with rubber so that if you hit something (like a barrier) your are not likely to damage the shoe. This layer wll also help keep your toes a little warmer when the mercury starts to dip.

Replaceable buckle and strap: The shoe also comes with a replace able buckle and strap. Now the Strap is 2 parts. It has a main strap which is integrated into the shoe and goes back towards the heel so that it pulls your into the heel cup. Its the second part that is replace able. Its the nylon micro ratchet. Which by my accounts looks to be a universal piece on jsut about any well made cycling shoe. the buckle is held in place by one screw so its easily replace able as well. There are 2 positions that you can put the buckle in. So if you wanted to tighten the fit up or loosen it you can adjust that with about 2 minutes of effort. The body of the buckle is metal and the levers are a nylon composite so its light and durable. Operation of the buckle is simple enough lifting the distal lever tightens it while pressing the proximal lever releases the strap. When the buckle is in place it sits in a nylon cradle that is integrated into the shoe. This serves 2 purposes. The first one is that it aligns the orientation of the buckle so its tracking in the same arch as the strap (back to the heel cup) The second is that it distributes pressure over a larger area so the wearer will not feel the buckle once it is tightened down.

Another nice point is that the tongue is generously padded. I am not really a fan of shoes that have no padding on their tongues. I feel too much of the seams and straps etc... A padded tongue allows for more of a comfortable fit.

The Giro Privateer shoe comes in 2 color styles. We got the basic black and it is also available in white & black if you want a few more style points. I think that this shoe will appeal to all of the RIBs out there (Riders In Black) I see a lot of those guys here in Portland. Its like black is the new Euro white. Or they are all part of a secret club or team. But then black is easier to keep clean...

This shoe comes at a GREAT price point of $150 USD. This is pretty awesome considering that most high end shoes are busting the $300 price point. So with out a doubt this shoe is really affordable.

We Didn't Like

The buckle uses a lever that you press on to release. Yeah so what? Well if you hit your foot on anything it will automatically loosen the strap. Not the kind of thing you want to happen in a cross race.

One last thing I did notice about this shoe was that it has NO reflective material on it at all. Please put a couple of flashes on the heel and toe area. Thank you.

The Final Say

When you are choosing a shoe for the cross season it has to be able to do a lot of things well. This shoe has a lot of the features that you will be looking for. The materials are really good and the construction is first rate. This shoe reminds me of back in the day when shoes were made out of leather and constructed in such a way that you knew that it was going to last for a long time and that you could wear it anywhere and not worry about it at all. If you are on a budget this is the shoe for you. It does not have all of the bells that its higher end brothers but this shoe does come close. So if you love to race cross but don't have the cash to drop on the uper high end stuff then the Giro Privateer IS the shoe for you. Hup Hup!

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