Giro has eight mountain bike shoe
options, ranging from $80 entry-level
models to $290 cross-country racing
shoes. The $225 Gauge is Giro’s second-tier offering aimed at cross-country and
trail riders alike.
Tech features: Giro partnered with
Easton, a company that knows a thing
or two about carbon construction and is
a sister company to Giro. The Gauge
features an EC70 sole that is a blend of
carbon fiber and fiberglass. It features
dual-compound lugs for traction when
walking, and the upper is constructed of
microfiber with reinforced scuff guards
in high-contact areas, such as the toe
and around the front edges of the shoe.
Shoe closure is taken care of by two
hook-and-loop straps, with one offset at
mid-foot and an upper strap with a
The Gauge comes with three interchangeable arch supports to fine-tune
the fit of the shoe. Our size 44 shoes
weighed 14.5 ounces per shoe with
Shimano SPD cleats installed.
Field test results: One of our go-to
shoes for 2012 was Giro’s top-of-the-line
Code, so we were interested to see how the second-tier Gauge would compare.
With the Gauge on our foot, the first
thing we noticed was that the upper felt
a bit stiffer than the Code’s Teijin fabric.
While the shoe is less supple, the shape
is just as comfortable. There were no
pressure points, and the fit felt very
secure without any heel lift during hard
pedaling efforts. The shoes were a bit
warmer than some of our other shoes.
The SuperNatural Fit kit (the interchangeable arch supports) is an added
bonus for riders with high arches or flat
The Gauge’s EC70 outsole contributes
to a slight weight increase over Giro’s
top-tier offering, but the shoe is still well
within the weight range of what we
would expect for a cross-country or lightweight trail shoe. Pedaling stiffness
is very good. When off the bike, we were
pleased to find the walking tread lasted
longer than what we experienced with
our Codes, though the grip isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The shoes’
uppers are also very tough, and after
numerous run-ins with rocks, roots and
tough shrubs, they still look to be in tip-top shape.
The mid-foot scuff guard gives you
just enough traction to stay on the ped-
als if you miss clipping in or need to clip
out to dab a foot.
Overall, Giro’s second-tier offering
proved to be a solid shoe. With a high-quality carbon sole, tough construction
and a competitive weight, the Gauge is a
great mid-priced option.