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Giro - Empire SLX Cycling Shoe - Men's

Giro Empire SLX Cycling Shoe - Men's

56% Off
$154.95 - $224.98 Original price:$349.95
Changing the size selection, or changing the selected color after selecting a size, may change the associated price

Item #GIR005H




Tech Specs

Upper Material:
one-piece Evofiber SL
SuperNatural Fit Kit
Easton EC90 SLX2 high-modulus carbon, titanium hardware
Cleat Compatibility:
3-hole road
Claimed Weight:
[size 42.5] 175g
Recommended Use:
road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Light on your feet just took on a whole new meaning.

At just 175 grams, the Giro Empire SLX shoes are breathing some pretty rarefied air. Not many shoes on the market come within 100 grams of the Empire, but it’s not giving up anything in terms of performance, either. The uppers are a single piece of Evofiber microfiber, which is highly breathable, but is also perforated for additional airflow. The shoe closes using just the laces you no doubt noticed, but those laces are specially designed to remain tied, and there’s also a lace garage on the tongue to ensure they don’t get anywhere near your drivetrain.

Those uppers are attached to an ultra-stiff Easton EC90 SLX2 Carbon Sole. This sole is among the stiffest available, and due to high grade of carbon fiber used in its construction, is also one of the slimmest, producing a stack height of just 6.5mm. A low stack height means less power lost to thick cleat plates. And, to make the Empire SLX even lighter, Giro’s opted for another old-school classic —Ti hardware. Between the uppers and the sole sits Giro’s lauded SuperNatural FitKit, the long name for its user-tunable footbed. These insoles have swappable arch support so you can tune the fit of your shoes precisely to your feet.

  • Racing shoes that privilege style and stiffness
  • The same top-tier carbon sole ridden in the peloton
  • Microfiber uppers conform but don't stretch
  • Laces provide twice the contact points for better fit
  • Titanium cleat mounting hardware discreetly sheds grams
  • Customizable fit inserts feature anti-odor treatment

Fantastic Shoe, But Too Narrow

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 43.5

The Giro Empire SLX Limited Edition Yasuda is a great looking shoe, and has a slipper-like fit and great adjustability thanks to the laces and the three sizes of arch supports.

Unfortunately, the shoes are too narrow for me, especially across the top of the toe box. I’m a 9-1/2 in a street shoe, and ordered the 43.5, which Giro equates to a US size 10. Length was fine, but the width was just too narrow. The shoe does have a lot of “give” owing to the very thin and supple upper, just not quite enough to be comfortable.

I usually ride Shimano, and when I compared the Shimano vs Giro insoles the difference was dramatic, Shimano designs a lot more room into the toe box, especially nearer the top of the toe box.

Anyway, a great shoe for narrow to medium width feet, just not right for me.

PS: Actual weight of the size 43.5 was 215 grams, a bit more than expected, but still very light.


  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 43

First the sizing stuff. I have a pair of Giro Factors in 43, bought these in a 43. The last is exactly the same size (and also the same size as my Specialized size 43 foot beds). However, Empire SLX's have slightly less volume, especially around the ankle. This is perfect for someone like me that has a low arch, but normal width feet. With my Factors, I always had the straps tightened as far as they would go. With the Empires, i still have about 1" of space at the ankle.

The last is dead flat. Again, perfect for people with flat feet. If you need arch support, it can be added via the foot bed (included, or aftermarket).

While laces seem "old school," they work pretty well. Very adjustable (pre-ride...), with the added benefit of no hard plastic bits on the upper to dig into your ankle.

Light & bit elastic

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Bought SLX in 44. I am usually 10.5. Was nervous about laces moving from a pair of well worn Sidi’s (44). Slight adjustments required during break in period but then no issues. Material is light and shoes possess just a bit of give that is wonderful. Snug but just a bit of welcome stretch. Heel cup grips well. Bottom plenty stiff. Did I mention these are LIGHT?! Oh and smashing aesthetic! I’m thinking GiRO laces for my ‘Cross shoes!

Departure from other Giro shoes

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 42.5

I own a LOT of Giro shoes for road and mtb including the Code Techlace, VR70's and Empire ACC's. All fit fantastic in 42.5. I got a great deal in these Empire SLX shoes and as mentioned they are crazy light, stiff and sharp looking but they are also CRAZY RIDICULOUSLY TIGHT!!! I would need to size up a full size and as it stands, they put my foot to sleep and smash my toes. Would HIGHLY recommend sizing up.

What size are you in US size?

Light and comfortable

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 41.5

I read other reviews and ordered half a size up. A full size up would have been perfect but these still fit well. They're very light and lacing them up hold my feet securely. Despite being a little smug they're still super comfortable.

The bright color attracts a lot of attention and compliments!

Nobody likes shoes with a bad attitude.

Totes boss

    There is no substitute.

    Destined to be a classic

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    Ultra-lightweight and fit like a custom cobbler made them
    The material is noticeably thinner and more comfortable than the ACC.

    Interesting concept, but...

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 39.5

    I really wanted to like these shoes (the colors are cool, retro) but concluded at the end that they're just not for me. Three issues : 1) they run narrow and just wouldn't adapt to my foot shape. 2) the cleat holes are too far forward. Other manufacturers of high end shoes are beginning to get the memo to move the holes back and have provided a degree of back and forth movement. These are fixed and I just couldn't get them to work for me. 3) The laces are a great idea but are, honestly, a pain. Giro provides an elastic strap to tuck them in but they still bounce around on the top of your shoes. After using them a few times, you start getting nostalgic for BOAs and velcro. So -- if you have wide feet, like your cleats back, and appreciate the convenience of modern fastening systems, move on.

    Thanks for taking time to put together an intelligent write up with honest perspective. I have a purple bike and have been in love with the purple color and retro styling. Judging by the other reviews, I'm certain they must be light and very stiff (yeah, I'm a weight weenie).

    But your callouts on fit, cleat position, and the reality of laces shot me right between the eyes. Any one of these would be a show stopper for me. Taken together they're a non-starter. Your review saved me from going down the wrong path. This is exactly why customer reviews are so valuable and reminds me to write more reviews of my own.

    Comfortable for the long haul

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Out of the box, these shoes are weirdly light - like, what's missing to make them this light - light. Not being overly supplied in the intelligence department, I purchased these shoes (In Prince-Would-Be-Proud Purple) just before a century race and opted to use them. Fortunately, they fit PERFECTLY and were comfortable throughout a long day in the saddle. My only issue was the Speedplay cleats coming loose halfway through the event (my fault - I didn't use locktite!), which was remedied by an aid station tightening. These shoes are amazing, light, and amazingly light, and comfortable enough for long event use, out of the box.

    Magic slippers!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I have finally found my shoe! The Giro Empire is awesome. After years of buckles and wires, I now know that good old laces offer the comfort I was missing.

    The purple color? Well, it’s bright. If Backcountry/Competitive Cyclist ever has a contest for the least color coordinated customer, I win. But I don’t care. These shoes are exceptionally comfortable. By far the best I have worn in almost 40 years of cycling. I can look past the crazy color.

    These shoes are super light! They make my old trusty and crusty Lake 331’s feel like boat anchors.

    The carbon soles are very stiff and give you a very low stack height. The drilling on the soles allows you to move the cleat way back, if you want to go Steve Hogg style.

    The adjustable insoles are a nice touch. They work great and eliminate the costly mistake of buying an expensive pair of insoles that feel great when you first try them on but ruin your feet 20 miles into a ride.

    Overall, highly recommended!

    Also- A shout out to Gearhead Sarah S. for her help!!

    More lightness!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These things are so light! I've never owned a carbon road shoe so I don't have anything to base it on but it's like you're just wearing wearing socks and nothing else. The build quality is great and they breath really well.

    My one complaint is that the carbon on the sole is not protected in anyway. I live on the 3rd floor of my building so when I go for a ride I have to walk down stairs with them on. As a result the carbon on the arch of the shoe has become scuffed up. I've put a piece of tape on the arch of each shoe to avoid any further scuffing.

    I wear a 10/10.5 street shoe and a 45 fits perfectly.

    Light and stiff

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 44

    A great option if you are looking for a light shoes with a thing upper, not the most comfortable, but work well if you want something light with minimal flex. My only complaint is that the shoes laces are so long that i have to double knot them which makes it ake that much longer to get on and take off. Most shoes I wear are 43.5, these I needed a 44. so they are slightly small

    Great shoes

      These are very light and comfortable. Takes a little longer to get the shoes on and laced, but worth the effort. Great fit!


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      They run small so be sure to try on but they are comfortable!

      Top Notch Road Shoes

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size

      Bought these as a alternative to the 2015 Specialized S-Works I've been using. Like them so much that I haven't worn the S-Works since. I'm a size 9.5 shoe, wore 43.5 for the S-Works and 43.0 for the Giros. The fit is perfect, especially after using the included inserts, resulting in fantastic power transfer. Soles are slim and stiff. Yes, laces are less convenient than dials but it's a small price to pay for their excellent performance.

      Great Shoe! Give it time to break in!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: Runs small

      As many have mentioned the shoe does run small depending on your foot. I had to go up an entire size. Also the shoe is narrow but it does stretch a little bit. The glowing red is more of an orange color in the sun but it still looks great!! I haven't had any issues with the laces, overall a great shoe!

      Awesome & SO LIGHT

      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 39.5

      SO surprised when I opened the box. I've been wearing the same tri shoes since forever......these are amazingly light.....HOWEVER THEY DO RUN SMALL !!!! My current tri shoes are Carnacs size 39 (I am a female who normally wears a 7/1/2 to 8 ladies). On hearing that these might run small I DID order up a half a size and got the 39.5, and even these are very tight. I'm sure I could have gotten the 40s and would have been ok (actually sitting here debating about whether or not I SHOULD send these back for the 40s)

      Only gave 4 stars because of the ridiculous small sizing, otherwise I can't wait to wear them !


      I DID send them back for the size 40s. SO MUCH BETTER !!!!! IN LOVE with them. Backcountry was great about the exchange <3
      Also I wasn't a fan of the bright yellow/orange so I took a permanent sharpie & made them ALL black ! Took out the laces & put lock laces in them too since I do triathlons. PERFECT !!

      Awesome  & SO LIGHT

      I'm so thankful I found your feedback. I've just ordered the 39.5 black/silver! I usually wear 7.5 so I hope they fit. Thanks again.

      I'm so thankful I found your feedback. I've just ordered the 39.5 black/silver! I usually wear 7.5 so I hope they fit. Thanks again.

      Great road shoe

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: Runs small

      This shoes is great and I purchased it after getting the mountain version about a year ago. It is ultra light and the finish is great. I found that the size runs a little small and needed to size up by one full size from 43 to 44. Other than that they were great and I would buy them again without question.


      Cycling Footwear
      36   5 3 23
      36.5   5.5 3.5 23
      37   6 4 23.5
      37.5   6.5 4.5 24
      38   6.5 4.5 24
      38.5   7 5 24.5
      39 6.5 7.5 5.5 25
      39.5 7 8 6 25
      40 7.5 8.5 6.5 25.5
      40.5 7.5 8.5 6.5 26
      41 8 9 7 26
      41.5 8.5 9.5 7.5 26.5
      42 9 10 8 27
      42.5 9.5 10.5 8.5 27
      43 9.5 10.5 8.5 27.5
      43.5 10   9 28
      44 10.5   9.5 28
      44.5 11   10 28.5
      45 11   10 29
      45.5 11.5   10.5 29
      46 12   11 29.5
      46.5 12.5   11.5 30
      47 13   12 30
      47.5 13   12 30.5
      48 13.5   12.5 31