Giro Terraduro Shoe

Vital Rating: (Very Good)
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Tested: Giro Terraduro Clipless Shoe

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Dave Trumpore // Photos by Dave Trumpore and Lee Trumpore (action)

Not XC and not DH - it is sometimes hard to find the right balance for an "all mountain" shoe. Giro's clipless Terraduro attempts to bridge the gap by including pedal-friendly, XC-type features in a shoe that is also meant to function when you are off the bike. Eager to find out how well they succeeded, we sent out our resident enduro correspondent Dave Trumpore to scramble around as many mountain sides as he could to figure out if the Terraduro was up to the task. Read on for the answer!

Giro Terraduro Shoes Highlights

Review by Dave Trumpore // Photos by Dave Trumpore and Lee Trumpore (action)

Not XC and not DH - it is sometimes hard to find the right balance for an "all mountain" shoe. Giro's clipless Terraduro attempts to bridge the gap by including pedal-friendly, XC-type features in a shoe that is also meant to function when you are off the bike. Eager to find out how well they succeeded, we sent out our resident enduro correspondent Dave Trumpore to scramble around as many mountain sides as he could to figure out if the Terraduro was up to the task. Read on for the answer!

Giro Terraduro Shoes Highlights

  • High-quality, breathable microfiber with scuff guard reinforcement
  • Reinforced toe box with molded rubber cover
  • Strong and secure MR-2 ratcheting buckle closure (replaceable)
  • Offset strap “D-ring” at mid-foot
  • Molded SPD-compatible shank with optimized cleat zone
  • Full Vibram Mont rubber with high-traction lugged outsole designed for maximum durability
  • Flexible forefoot zone for walking
  • Sizes 39-49, including half sizes 39.5-46.5
  • Women’s specific Terradura model available in sizes 36-43 including half sizes 37.5 – 42.5
  • Estimated weight: 420 grams (men’s size 42.5)
  • MSRP: $180

Initial Impressions

Fresh out of the box and onto my feet these shoes felt extremely comfortable and very light, even walking around in them felt pretty natural for a stiff soled clipless shoe. The ratchet closure system makes tightening everything up a breeze, and the two Velcro straps are the perfect length which believe it or not many brands just can’t seem to get right.

The shoes run true to size and the 9.5/43 fit just as well as the four other random shoe brands I own in the same size so there is no need for guesswork when it comes to ordering yourself a pair. Set up and cleat installation was a breeze as it should be with any shoe these days (note: I run SPD cleats so I can’t comment on the setup of Crank Bros cleats which do involve a bit more fine tuning).

Enduro pinner Adam Craig played a big role in the development of the Terraduro (that Jared Graves also races with), so before we get into the nitty gritty of my experience with the shoe,here's a chance to hear from Adam directly and catch him in action too while you're at it:

On The Trail

The interface with Shimano pedals is spot on and there is very little gap between the sole of the shoe and the platform of a DX or XT pedal. No rattle or floating sensation is present and you feel well connected. Clipping in is as easy as it should be, and since there is a minimal amount of excess material nothing gets hung up on the crank arms when trying to clip out. Again this seems pretty straight forward but not every shoe company gets it right. Giro did.

The ratchet closure is a fantastic feature and it was nice to be able to tighten or loosen the shoes as need be throughout a ride. My initial worry of breaking it or having it self-adjust  via impact with rocks and other trail features never turned into reality despite my best attempts to destroy it.

The Terraduro is light and the breathability is very good, especially for an “all mountain” shoe, and while not on the same level as a pure xc race shoe, it still ranks up there with the best in this regard. There is also just enough protection around the toe box that you don’t feel as if you will smash your toes to pieces on rocks either. My feet never felt excessively hot, and when I did get the shoes wet (as in soaked in a river crossing) they dried out very very quickly during the same ride.

Slightly more disappointing was the experience off the bike. Hike-a-bike sections were definitely not this shoe's forte as the lack of sticky rubber coupled with a non-aggressive tread pattern made them a bit slippery at times.

Things That Could Be Improved

Apart from a major issue with the early batch of Terradoru's (see the Durability section below), I would like to see a sticky rubber sole or at least some kind of lug pattern to aid in off-the-bike situations as there were many occasions where I really needed to have sure footing and just couldn’t get it with the Terraduro.

The Velcro closure could also be made a bit more “aggressive” as the current system uses very small and fine teeth that struggle to grip together when packed with dirt.  If you live in a muddy climate this might be an issue for you.

Long Term Durability

We pride ourselves with being brutally honest here at Vital so I have to admit these shoes were a work in progress through the entire test period. The first pair I had were stiff and uncomfortable out of the box before breaking in, and the soles began to tear off after just a few rides. The second pair I was sent felt better out of the box but still the glue on the sole wasn’t doing its job and once again the sole ripped off  in just a few rides. I am sure a lot of people reading this review had a similar experience with the first batch of shoes so it is not something we can ignore if we want this review to be at all credible.

That said, Giro identified the problem, changed manufacturing facilities and added a few extra steps to the whole process to ensure quality control. The result? Perfection. The latest pair of shoes I have been testing, which are the ones you will find out in the market now, have had zero issues despite being thrown into the deep end of the abuse-pool for a few months now. My current test shoes have hundreds of miles on them, and have been used to cover three Enduro World Series races with an exceptional amount of hiking and running around off the bike and off the trail. My line of work can be pretty destructive to riding shoes and the final production version of the Terraduro is holding up just fine.

What's The Bottom Line?

Once the issues with the self self-destructing sole were finally resolved I really struggle to find any fault with these shoes. They are light, comfortable, dry quickly and have a secure interface with the pedals I use on all of my bikes. The ratchet and Velcro closures make taking them on/off a breeze which is especially nice if you like to take knee pads on and off like me (I don’t to the pads around the calves thing, sorry). Not ever having to mess with muddy wet laces is a definite plus too. That said, the Terraduro could be improved with regards to off-bike, off-trail performance, but I've been able to make it work even in demanding terrain.

Aesthetics are a personal thing, but these strike a good balance of something I could wear in public with something that also performs well. Not XC-race shoe ridiculous, and while not “skate shoe” cool they were not heavy and hot as a result of trying to look trendy. I’ll take the good middle ground any day. Ultimately, I think the good measure of a pair of shoes is if you forget they are there and your feet don’t feel hot, wet, sore, etc. I often spend 8+ hours a day in my riding shoes and the Teradurro's have yet to let me down in any of these aspects.

For more information head on over to www.giro.com.


About The Reviewer

Dave Trumpore’s 20-year riding career has seen him sling a leg over the best and the worst the mountain bike industry has produced during that time. From Junior Expert XC in his early racing days to Pro DH from 1998-2009, a handful of World Cup finals take pride of place on Dave’s resume. Not being the biggest guy out there he has a smooth style focused on carrying speed rather than smashing his way down the trail. He has always taken a very technical approach to bike setup, in particular with suspension and brakes. After trading number plates for a camera, Dave can now be found chasing the fastest riders on the planet when he’s not out racking up thousands of feet climbing and descending while exploring the vast high alpine trail networks of the Rocky Mountains.

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Specifications

Product Giro Terraduro Shoe
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Rider Unisex
Construction Upper: Breathable Microfiber; MR-2 Ratcheting Buckle Closure (Replaceable); Offset Strap “D-Ring” at Mid-Foot; Rubber Toe Cap // Outsole: Molded SPD-Compatible Shank; Full Vibram High-Rraction Lugged Outsole; Flexible Forefoot Zone For Walking // Footbed: Molded EVA with Medium Arch Support; Aegis Anti-Microbial Treatment
Pedal Type Clipless
Sizes 39-48
Colors Glowing Red/Black
Weight 0 lb 14.8 oz (420 g)
Miscellaneous
Price $180
More Info

Giro Website

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