When it comes to choosing road kit, we admit that we like to look good. With shoes, this often means, sleek and understated as the industry moves further and further away from the overwrought bobbles we all rode in the '90s and '00s. Giro has been a leading proponent of the cycling industry's nascent minimalism, and the Raes Techlace Women's Shoe is the latest model to embody the brand's artful marriage of understated form and over-achieving function.
Each individual shoe is a paltry 44 claimed grams heavier than its more expensive Factress Techlace counterpart, and since it has a carbon sole, that makes it ideal for the aspirational cyclist who values weekend centuries as much as putting in a good showing at the Tuesday night crit series.
The weight gain likely comes in the sole—which is built from Easton's EC70 carbon fiber instead of the Factress Techlace's EC90 SLX—or the uppers, which are a multi-piece construction instead of the Factress' sleeker, single-piece design. Regardless of the added grams, the EC70 sole still provides that crisp, lively spring we expect from carbon soles, and the upper secures the foot like a second skin.
The fit owes its comfort to the Raes' peculiar mash-up of closure technologies: the shoe features everything from the standard hook-and-loop to laces and a Boa L6 dial. The design may seem unnecessarily complicated, but anyone who has experience the indescribably painful hotspots caused by hammering for 60 miles in ill-fitting shoes will confirm that, when it comes to fit, the more engineered, the better.