Review: Giro VR90By Scott Mares | Published Jul 13, 2015
So I have said this in other reviews and Ill keep saying it. If your feet are not happy the rest of you wont be either. So fit IS the most important thing. If the shoes fit you properly you can focus on the trail, what is going on around you and the race at hand. So with thatin mind Giro did a departure of the standard Velcro and ratchet strap design for the VR90. They wanted you to have a custom fit with out having to go and put your shoes in the oven and stand in some hot shoes for 10 minutes. that is why they went with the old school shoe laces for the retention system for the shoe. With the laces you can totally get the upper tighter or looser where you need it. It takes a little longer but the result is worth it. What makes this system work well is the material that the upper made out of. this one piece synthetic fabric is really fantastic. Its Premium Evofiber Breathable Teijin Microfiber. This upper feels like super soft leather. This fabulous material with the laces gives you a awesome fit.
Next is the sole of the shoe and Giro put the Easton EC90 platform into the VR90. The EC90 is the top of the line platform from easton and makes the shoe super stiff and very efficient when pedaling. With that said Giro also didn't want to just put a cheap hard plastic lugged sole on that EC90 platform. They got a great idea and got the sole made from Vibram. So the very bottom of the shoe has a sticky rubber sole that wears like Iron. I cant tell you how important this is if you have to get off on concrete or some form of rock surface. When concrete gets wet and then you add in a thin layer of mud just enough to turn the concrete a light brown color is almost like black ice or in this case brown ice..
So that the shoe from top to bottom now lets look at the front and back of it. One of the things that I look for in a cyclocross shoe is protection. How much and what kind of toe protection does the shoe have. The VR90 has a nice generous portion of the Vibram rubber going up in front to protect your little guys with a scuff shield extending beyond the Vibram rubber. Breaking a toe is no fun, if it were there would be amusement parks dedicated to that activity. If you do manage to break a toe. Then you will be reminded that you broke a toe every time you take a step or stand. I don't know about you but I could do with out that. Moving to the back of the bus the VR90 also has extended protection from the sole with a scuff guard. Its that critical area that would hit rocks and sticks when you are running and could hurt the great synthetic fabric that the VR90 is made out of.
UPPER One-Piece Design, Premium Evofiber Breathable Teijin Microfiber, Sport Laces: Holds a Knot, Durable, and Lightweight OUTSOLE Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber, Vibram® Mont Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole, Mid-Foot Scuff Guard, Accomodates Steel Toe Spikes
Vibram® is the world leader in high performance rubber soles, with technologically advanced compounds like IdroGrip, the stickest moldable compound in the Vibram arsenal and developed specifically for flatpedal riding in dry and wet conditions; and Megagrip, a high performance sticky compound with significantly more durability and only a minimal decrease in friction compared to IdroGrip. All Vibram soles are produced with three objectives: to guarantee the best performance, the maximum level of comfort and quality over time.
FOOTBED SuperNatural Fit KIt with Adjustable Arch Support, X-Static Anit-Microbial Fiber
Comfort guarente 60 days to decide if you like the shoe or not.
WEIGHT 315 grams (size 42.5)
We Didn't Like
Our laces were longer than they needed to be and eventhough you can tuck them in with the flap we still had to trim them.
If your feet swell you can't adjust the fit on the fly. You will have to stop get off and then redo the laces.
Only two color choices unless you can get the orange. Which we think are the best color.
The Final Say
So what do we think about these shoes? Well let me first say that the most important things that you can get are things that connect you to you bike. Secondly If those things don't fit you correctly you won't be happy. Giro hits a home run in the materials and the construction of the Empire VR90. The upper is super soft and the laces give it a customfeel with out having to put the shoes in a oven. The sole is the time proven Easton EC 90 carbonplatform that is super stiff but allow some running with it. The Vibram rubber outer sole is one of the best I have seen so far. Its sticky and wears like Iron. With the toe guard and the heal cup this shoe is top of the line. However, there is a trade off. The laces were long on our pair and I have heard other editors say the same thing. If you feet swell then this shoe will force you to stop and get off your bike and retie them. Bummer if your in a race, no adjustment on the fly here. So the question is do you feet swell and do you have to adjust your shoes in a race? Either way this is a top of the line shoe with some pretty awesome features.
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- Empire VR 90
- Giro VR90
- 315g/ 42.5
- UPPER One-Piece Design, Premium Evofiber Breathable Teijin Microfiber, Sport Laces: Holds a Knot, Durable, and Lightweight OUTSOLE Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber, Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole, Mid-Foot Scuff Guard, Accomodates Steel Toe Spikes FOOTBED SuperNatural Fit KIt with Adjustable Arch Support, X-Static Anit-Microbial Fiber
- Black or Silver
The Empire™ VR90 is a new direction in high-performance off-road shoes, featuring a lightweight laced one-piece upper for unrivaled comfort, and an Easton® EC90 full carbon outsole with molded rubber tread for relentless grip. The upper is made of a breathable Evofiber™ synthetic upper Teijin® for superb fit and support that won't stretch out with wear or weather. Our adjustable SuperNatural Fit footbed lets you fine-tune the fit and arch support, for maximum pedaling efficiency