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Giro Republic Cycling Shoes

I love the simplicity of Shimano SPD Double Sided Pedals. (Left.)

I never have to look down to see which side is up, and they are easy to click in and out of.

They are ideal for the tourist or commuter, or the non-racing leisure rider like myself.

The main drawback I have found is finding a decent pair of road cycling shoes that are compatible with the two bolt cleats.

Strictly speaking these SPD pedals are mountain bike pedals and there is an abundance of mountain bike shoes available, but these all have the thick knobbley, rubber soles that look more like hiking boots than cycling shoes.

I also found the rubber knobbles tended to get caught up in the pedals, preventing a smooth clip in. Most road shoes have the three bolt cleat pattern and it is possible to fit adapters to covert to the two bolt cleats.

I tried this for a while, but road shoes have either a carbon fiber, or hard plastic sole, that is slicker ‘n snot. With these somewhat tiny SPD pedals this is not a good combination. More than once I failed to clip in on the first try and my foot slipped off the pedals, carving chunks of flesh from my ankle.

So I was more than pleased when I recently discovered the Giro Republic cycling shoe, designed with people like me in mind. (See picture above.)

The shoe has a stiff hard plastic sole, with two replaceable rubber pads either side of the SPD cleat. These rubber pads, along with a replaceable heel, not only make the shoe comfortable and easy to walk on, but acts as a guide for the cleat to engage with the pedals.

These shoes have laces that give them the old school look that I like. There are all manner of high tech fasteners for cycling shoes these days, but shoe laces are old tech and have been around since shoes were invented. They wear out, you replace ‘em.

The price of these shoes was around $150, but I shopped around and found a pair in a color I could live with, (The grey ones above.) for $74.98. I bought them from Competitive Cyclist. I have bought other clothing and helmets from them before, and have been very happy with their service.

Buying shoes online is always a crap shoot, conversions from European, to US sizes vary wildly between different brands. It seems these Giro shoes tend to run small, and as a result the first pair I got were too tight.

No problem, shipping was free, and a quick phone call to Competitive Cyclist and they emailed me a return label. I just resealed the box, stuck the label on, and dropped it off at my nearest UPS store.

I reordered another pair one Euro size bigger, they arrived within the week and fitted perfectly even with thick winter socks. If the length of the shoe is right, the laces take care of the width, and ensure a custom fit.

For those who might think about going to their local bike store to try on shoes then buy online ‘cos it’s cheaper. Please don’t do that, it is tacky. I don’t have decent bike store within 25 miles of my home, so I don’t buy much there. But if you are lucky enough to have a good bike store nearby, it is all about building a good relationship with them.

If you try on shoes but don’t buy, then show up a week or so later with a new pair of shoes on, they will know what you did, and all trust has flown out the window. So by all means buy online and save some money, but if you get the wrong size, send ‘em back like I did, and wait patiently for the right size.

Anyway, back to the Giro Republic shoes. I am very pleased. Clicking in and out has never been easier. These would be perfect for someone commuting to work. They come in black or brown leather, stylish and comfortable, you could walk around in these all day.

The purist roadie will say that cycling shoes are designed for riding the bike, not walking. That may be true, but at my age I do not want to be slipping and landing on my arse, as I carry my bike down my front steps. This could happen if I am wearing carbon fiber sole road shoes.


Addendum 11/22/15: I am using these Giro shoes with Shimano M540 Double Sided pedal pictured at the top of this piece. People are emailing me to say they have a problem clipping into these pedals with these same Giro shoes. I have experienced no such problem which would suggest there are variations either in the pedals or the shoes. Please take the issue up with Giro, as I don't have an answer.


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Reader Comments (27)

Nice shoes Dave. Are the pads either side of the cleat thick enough to avoid the cleat itself touching the ground when you walk?

January 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJW

Yes, the cleats are about 1/16 in. below the rubber.

January 28, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Sometimes it just takes the right person, saying so to influence a person. Nice photography also helps. Wonderful review.

January 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTom Knoblauch

Another similar option, although not so stylish, is the Shimano RT-82. I use them with Shimano's A520 pedal and have found them to be very comfortable on long rides.

January 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKen B

I like the idea that these shoes have replaceable walking pads, but I don't see anywhere on line to buy the replacements. Anyone know how much they cost?

January 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Giro tells me the pads are available, they didn't give me a price. Call 800 456 2355 Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM EST for more info.

January 29, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Hi Dave, As a person who off and on have spent many years in the bike business I was wondering how wide / narrow those shoe are ? My feet are narrow and finding cycling shoes let alone any shoes that fit can be a real chore. I found that some Sidi shoes run narrow or are offered in a narrow width. The average person has a "D" width. My feet like 'B" widths. When I do find any footware that fit me I usually buy more than one pair. For what it's worth, most of the "Spin" bikes in gyms also use the Shimano SPD cleat. I used to sell many shoes to people who never rode anything but a spin bike. Imagine what they are missing !!!! Thanks for the post.

January 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

As a non-racer, I like spd shoes for their practicality and convenience. I can mount my road bike even on a steep road.

January 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterResty

These shoes are quite narrow and would probably work well for you. Because they are lace up and the laces go the length of the foot, they will also work for a wider foot. I'm not sure what my show width is, but I think I am average.

February 1, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Hi Dave, I have the exact same shoes,I have used them daily for the last 6 months and have worn through my walking pads. I've talked to shops and they say that their distributor doesn't stock them at all! Perhaps is it worth it to check for availability of replacement pads in the US for yourself as well.


February 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDenton

Hi Dave,nice review!I'm thinking about buying those but i read,that there were Problems to clip into some pedals. I got the a600 and I'm worried i lose the walking bonus if i attach spacers. What do you think?

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Looking at a picture of the A600 pedal, I can see no reason why they wouldn't work. My wife also has these shoes, and she uses a Shimano PD-M324 pedal that is platform one side and SPD clip in the other. They work fine, no spacers needed.

February 12, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Thanks a lot, Dave! I think i will try them out!
keep up the nice work!

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Based on your article on shoes, I made the jump to 'clipless pedals' and ordered these exact things from Competitive Cycle. I am not only thrilled with the result but you saved me $100.
Dave P.

March 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave Pater

Those of us who have been cycling for more than four decades are instantly drawn to this kind of design because of our nostalgic yearning for the old days of simple shoes that were essentially cycling gloves for the feet -- Duegi, Detto Pietro, Vittoria -- the very names bring tears to our eyes (seems like just yesterday that I was peening over the cleat nails on a pair of wooden soles). Sigh.

The idea of cycling shoes that have MTB soles together with old-school, racing-style lace-up tops seems to come and go, but I think we're going to see more of these throwback hybrids in the future. Check out these vintage designs from Taiwanese maker Hasus (apparently not yet available outside of Asia):


May 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve B.

Very nice shoes... Want to get a pair! what should i do?

June 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJaunita Daggett

Hi Dave - such a great review that I went and brought a pair! However - having some pedal issues (similar to those mentioned previously). Can I ask which pedals you use with yours? Thanks

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

I use the Shimano PD-M540 Double sided, the ones pictured at the top of this piece. I have never had a problem. My wife uses PD-M324 Platform one side and clip-in the other. Also work fine with the same shoe.

August 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Good review. I have been looking for a pair of road shoes I can also walk in, hate that whole clicking, Frankenstein walk thing that happens with normal road shoes and like you wrote mountain shoes look more like hiking boots then bike shoes.

Was going to get the Shimano rt82's but these look interesting.

For those looking for replacement pads looks like Giro has them on their site, see WALKING PAD SET at Giro's site.

August 24, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterfrank

I use these shoes with the shimano A600 and the popular M520 and found them to be too tight when clipped in because of the soft pad compressing which inhibited free sideways movement. Being movement is important for comfort and the knees, I used an emory board to file down just enough of the contact portion of the pad which worked to give me freedom of lateral rotation in the pedal. I personally wish they would do away with the pad. Otherwise the shoe is great with a stiff sole for riding performance and a very soft upper for foot comfort.

If you call Giro they will send replacement pads.

September 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

They are a very nice set of shoes there Dave! The color and style is a perfect match for a vintage CX/town bike in my opinion. Many friends have raved about the latest range of MTB shoes from Giro, but my next set will be for commuting/touring so the Republic are now on my list.

RE: the pedals. I have been using Shimano SPDs for commuting for the best part of a decade now. The ability to have one pair of shoes on both my mountain bike and commuter is a big drawcard, but more importantly I find even the cheapest Shimano SPD pedal to be very reliable and have a very long lifespan. I'm sure there are lighter alternatives out there, but for reliability and value these are on the money!

October 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJase

I just wondered how you find these in the rain? I found they seem to let water in very easily, and it feels like it was coming through the toes. Admittedly I haven't tried them with overshoes (I had oversocks on) yet, but my RT82s cope much better in the same situation.

November 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRob Williams

Giro cycling shoes are ok but they definitely arnt the warmest pair on the market. When it rains they dont handle great and the quality of the shoe isnt good. But thats just my opinion. The best road cycling shoes are either the Spiuk ZS15RC or the Shimano R08

January 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commentertj

Most comfortable cycling shoes I have ever had. For some reason I seem to have more power on them but may be just wishful thinking. It may be true about the water retention but I try not to ride in the rain. Anyway that is what plastic bags are for.

August 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAdenough

I've set these up with my A600 pedals and I can't clip in. The rubber soles get in the way and leave the cleat too recessed.

Has anybody used these with A600 and did you need to use shims?

September 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlev

hi Alev... i am using Giro paired with A600.. yes .. you can't clip in due to the rubber pad at both side.. what i did is put a plastic sheet that i cut from the packaging of the cleat and place it between the sole and the cleat. it will effevtively bring up the height above the edge of the pad lto solve the clip in issue.

October 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Cycling shoe area way meant to be used in association with clipless parts and help. Clipless checks don’t truly operate although not expert plays shoe.
i like this shoes.

December 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercycling shoes
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