Just when you thought fixsters had the market cornered on the Form Over Function market, road cyclists elbowed their way into the fight.

Behold, the Giro Empire cycling shoe:

Giro Factor shoes


I can see the nostalgia for classic cycling shoes. Oh wait, no I can’t. Just like I can’t see the nostalgia for say, wooden rims, no derailleurs, and natural chamois sewn in wool shorts.

Pony up your good money for shoes that require you to tuck the laces into…the rest of your laces, just like you did when you were ten and cutting them shorter didn’t cross your mind.

Do you know why none of the PROs (aside from MiniPhinney and I bet he’s getting a lot o’ cash money to wear them) wear them? Imagine dropping back to the team car and your Director Sportif asks what for…and you have to tell him you need to tie your shoes?

Or, imagine you are out in -5*C weather and you decide you shoes are a bit too tight? Have fun sitting in the bank of snow, pulling off your overshoes and readjusting the lacing tension.

Or better yet, imagine calling the significant other to pick you up 65 kms from home and telling her you need a ride…to the dentist. Did you crash? Yes. Did you hit some ice? A crack in the pavement that grabbed your front wheel? Nah, my shoelaces got caught on my chain ring and pulled me off the bike and face first into the pavement. Oh, I see. Was it those expensive, neon new shoes you told me you had to have? Yeah.

These look pretty cool and I’m all for sharp fashion while in the saddle. But, these make absolutely no sense when numerous vendors sell fancy road shoes affixed to your foot with Velcro straps or straps with buckles or a Boa “lacing” system.

I have yet to see these shoes in person. I hope they continue to live only in the fantasy world of cycling photo blogs.