In about 20 years as a cyclist, Iâ€™ve owned five pairs of shoes: Diadora, Carnac, Time, Specializedâ€”and now the Giro Prolight SLX. My first three pairs all used three Velcro straps to secure my feet, and my brief detour from the concept (two straps and a buckle) left me underwhelmed. Buckles break, gunk-up, strip, and flat-out fail. Some of them use protruding bolts thatâ€”if your footâ€™s shaped just rightâ€”can press painfully against bones or protrusions. And while, Velcro does indeed have the potential to wear out over time, thereâ€™s much less of a chance that your strap will snap in the middle of a centuryâ€”and if it does, youâ€™ve got (hopefully) two more to get you home.
So given my foot fastening preferences, I was eager to try the Prolight SLX and its three Velcro straps. Anatomically placed at key points across your foot to provide maximum comfort and stability, the SLXâ€™s straps produce a fit that feels as if your foot is being hugged by the shoeâ€”not strapped into it. And in cases when I did feel the need to cinch down for even more support (before a climb or a town line sprint), the straps were easy to grab, pull, and refasten.
But the straps arenâ€™t even the sexist part of the shoeâ€”that title goes to Eastonâ€™s EC90 carbon fiber sole. High-modulus carbon allowed Easton to design a sole only 6.5-mm thick, making it light, but also as stiff as anything youâ€™ve ever riddenâ€”if not more so. On my first ride I was impressed by how efficiently power was transferred from my legs to the pedals. It felt as if the shoes were propelling me forwardâ€”especially when climbing out of the saddleâ€”a sensation similar to riding with a nice, stiff set of wheels. Titanium bolts complete the package, shaving a few more precious grams. Accessories include a shoe bag and a SuperNatural Fit footbed kit with customizable arch supports and insoles (a tremendous value).
Pros: Velcro straps and Eastonâ€™s EC90 sole produce the perfect blend of comfort and performance. And thereâ€™s nothing quite like white shoes (they come in black as well).
Peeves: The thinness of the sole means you might have to readjust your saddle height after making the switch. While PRO, white certainly loses some luster after a wet ride or two.