I developed plantar fascitis this year and my Sidi Ergo2 and Ergo3 I have enjoyed for years became painful to even put on my feet. I also have a pair of Fizik's that wasn't working either. The Empire SLX has been a gift for my feet! These took a few rides to break in and are now much more comfortable than any bike shoe I have ever worn. And very , very light. My foot is fairly wide and the shoe expands in the toe and forefoot areas to accommodate. I do not miss buckles as the design of this shoe provides give where other shoes caused pressure at the point of the buckle closure on the side of my foot.. I am a 44.5 in Sidi Ergo2 and generally a U.S. mens 10 in most street shoes. These fit me in a 44.5 which is listed as 11 US mens. So I would recommend you order at least a half size larger than what your regular shoe size is.
Comfortable Oh yes, unlike anything I've ever used dating back 20 years. My feet just disappear into them. They wrap around my feet with the most uniform pressure I've ever experienced. For lacing i just get them as tight as i can and they loosen up just a bit as I ride. But even when they're a little loose, no change to the comfort. The included arch supports work great. I use the highest of the three.
Stiffness oh yeah. Sprint finishes, no problem!
Weight I don't know how it matters but it really does seem to. I'm just flat out faster turning over the pedals in these.
Intangibles There's a significant stack height difference. These shoes feel REALLY close to the pedals! Perhaps it's really this and not the weight i feel.
Bottom line Sidi's now used on the trainer! These are the go-to's
These are great shoes. After suffering from two different Boa failures, I'm through with Boas and am happy to go back to something that works - laces! I love the fact that these shoes come with two different types of insoles. The ones I chose have the removable arch supports. I am using the high arch supports and my feet also appreciate the metatarsal button on the insoles. Longer rides are more comfortable compared to my last shoes. The leather uppers are soft and supple. Shoes are amazingly lightweight.
The Empire SLX are light, comfortable, stylish and stiff. Best shoes I've ever worn. Tried the Factor Techlace and they're not even close on comfort. Laces are proving to be a non issue as after a few rides, you get an idea of how tight to tie them. They have never loosened once tied. I have flat feet and have the medium arches in and they are comfortable and supportive. I feel very fast riding in them as they are very light, stiff and minimalist. I came from Sidi Genius and they are big and bulky compared to these. My reason for getting new shoes is that I would get hot spots at the 40 mile mark in the Sidis. Finished a 50 mile ride yesterday in the Empire SLX's and my feet felt great. If comfort is a priority, look no further!
After reading about this product, as well as other reviews, I decided to give them a shot and I'm glad I did. These shoes offer a rigid sole and very light weight. I have not yet ridden them in the heat of summer, so I cannot comment on how cool they will be as the temps go up, but I have very happy with them so far. The laces do cause a bit more time and thought when putting on the shoes versus Velcro andor ratchets, wire, etc., but I think it is well worth it as to how you can get the shoe fit exactly how you want it.
I picked these up on sale and couldn't be happier. My old Specialized BOA came completely off and I had been struggling to find a shoe that was as comfortable as those until i took a chance and tried SLXs. First ride was a bit of trial and error on how tight to tie the laces but once thats figured you'll forget you have them on, which is the idea with any new bit of kit. Overall I'm glad I tried these out cases not only do they look sharp (got the bright orange pair) they also fit great.
Initially I was concerned there might be an issue with not being able to adjust the fit while riding. The result for me was a non-issue, these shoes fit so well, and a snug, not tight, knot is all it takes. Haven't ridden in intense so cal heat yet but they are well ventilated. Overall, highly recommend
I replaced a pair of Sidi shoes with these. I have a hotfoot problem and to date have not experienced an episode yet. That said I have not gone further than 50 miles. I like the light weight, they are super comfortable and I don't miss the buckle and Velcro one bit
So far, the lightest and most comfortable road shoes I've owned. I've been using these pair with my Speedplay Zero pedals and walkable cleats. Current mileage is 217 miles and my longest ride was 57 miles and it's very comfortable shoes and it's so light. No complaints here.
Yes, these shoes are a wonder to behold. Wonderful fit, beautiful construction, super light. Have a chair or stool ready to put them on as the laces do take a little more time to get ready. When they are on sale, the price is ridiculous.
However. The size chart is ALL wrong. I wear a 9.5 and the size chart recommends a 43 for that size. I had to get a 44 for proper fit. That is the same size as a Specialized shoe I wear. I don't blame Biretiresdirect for this as this is the same size that Giro recommends from their website. I did tell them about this.
For the weight weenies, the 44 weighs 201 gramsshoe.
I'm a lightweight (150 lb) climber and ride a lot in the hills on the SF peninsula. I've been using Sidi Genius models for the past 15 years and also have an old pair of Rocket 7. Sidis fit me like a glove, but it seems they are getting so expensive, so I decided to try something different. The SLX Empires are about 125gshoe lighter than my Sidis (same weight as Rocket 7s). This weight savings is significant, especially for a shoe since that is rotational weight. When I ride with these I feel like I want to spin more. While not quite as comfortable as the Sidis, they are close. The main difference I feel in fit is the heel cup. The Sidis grab the heel more and the SLXs are tighter around the arch and instep. Once I'm on the bike grinding away and suffering I don't notice this however. Both are super stiff so no difference there I can tell. I do have to spend more time putting on the SLX and adjusting the laces (I actually have to use a shoe horn to get them on), so that's the only drawback. Otherwise I think they are a great shoe.
I wear size 10 consistently and bought these in 43.5. My Sidis are 44. They feel a bit narrower than the Sidis so if you have wider feet you probably want to size up.
Bottom line If you want to save some weight or like to spin, and don't mind spending an extra couple minutes putting on your shoes, you will like these. It may take some time to get dialed in with the right size, arch inserts, and lace adjustments, but once you do you'll benefit from these lightweight performers.
Saw these online at a great price. I was a bit skeptical about the laces but was pleasantly surprised when I laced them up and rode 80 miles without them ever feeling loose. These are great, light weight and fit like a pair of your favorite slippers!
I was absolutely amazed when I pulled these out of the box. I had no clue how light they really were. And the lace up fit is so custom and snug. The little elastic strap for the laces is perfect. I've had so many compliments on these shoes and again, the weight and the fit are perfect. Bravo Giro!
Tried the Empire ACC and was impressed with how comfortable they are. Decided to go for the Empire SLX and Giro has packed a shoe with comfortability, lightweight and a stiff sole. My favorite shoes right now!
Toe box is a narrow fit, so wide feet should go a 0.5 size bigger.