Giro Riddance Mid Shoes

Giro Riddance Mid Shoes

Words by Drew Rohde; Photos by Nic Hall

When we opened the box packed with the new Giro Riddance Mids we gave a soft fist bump into the air. Yes, even after all these years of opening boxes of bikes, parts and gear, sometimes we still get packages that genuinely stoke us out. As a rider in my mid 30’s with decades worth of ejections, my ankles are far from the springy joints they used to be. I’ve grown accustomed to riding in mid and high top shoes and was really excited to have another pair cool looking to shoes to add to my rotation.

The Lab

Let’s start by looking at the sole and work our way up. Giro worked with Vibram to make that stickiest rubber compound they’ve ever created. Vibram’s Megagrip ISR rubber outsole features a full-length EVA midsole that is claimed to reduce vibration thanks to increased damping characteristics. Vibram claims they have three objectives when creating soles: to guarantee the best performance, offer the maximum level of comfort and deliver quality over time.

The Giro Riddance Mid uppers are made of a breathable, water-resistant microfiber that held up incredibly well. Laces secure the shoe and a Velcro “power strap” over the top of the shoe offers an extra bit of adjustability while retaining the laces nicely. The front and rear portions of the shoe sport some heavy-duty rubber reinforcements which really help them last in rocky terrain.

If you fear change and just can’t pull the trigger on a new pair of shoes without trying them first, you’re in luck.  Giro offers a comfort guarantee. You’ve got 60 days to decide if the shoes are right for you.

Giro Riddance Mid Shoes

The Dirt

Over the last few months I’ve ridden my Giro Riddance Mids on all day epics, e-bike rides and long days in the bike park testing DH bikes. I’ve even ridden them on days when it was snowing out, with puddles all over the trails. While the ventilation left my toes a bit chilled, the water resistant treatment worked as advertised! The shoes were dry and ready to use the next day.

Highlights of the shoe include great traction on the pedals and while walking, a comfortable fit and soft, easy to pull laces. The tread pattern works very well and my shoes stayed put no matter the bike or terrain I was on. I also appreciated the damping properties of the shoes, as my feet didn’t feel quite as fatigued during long days in the park.

While there are plenty of things I do like about the Riddance Mids, one large issue I have with them is the stiffness of the soles– specifically when it comes to lateral movement. Other rider’s may love a stiff shoe, however I found the shoes to be too stiff when I was trying to use my feet to press on the pedals to lean the bike over into corners, or make micro-adjustments mid-turn. Some shoes will flex and conform in those situations. However, with the Riddance shoes I could feel the inside of the shoe lifting off the pedal as I weighted the outside of my foot to dip the bike into a corner.

Likewise, when it was time to put in a dig day or hike back up the trail to session favorite hits, the shoe wouldn’t mold or flex with off-camber terrain. Walk up a hill with a perpendicular root or rock and your entire ankle will shift rather than just the sole of your foot.

Is this enough of an issue to be a deal breaker? To me, no, but it is something I will take into account when selecting my shoes for the day. The stiffness was extremely welcome on e-bike rides. The extra weight of the bike and tendency to smack my toes while pedaling through big rock gardens means these shoes cater perfectly to this discipline. I also liked the stiffness on jumpy days or big hit DH laps. However, if I was digging on steep, off-camber hillsides, riding tight trails with lots of berms or sharp corners where foot placement and pedal sensitivity are required, I’d choose something else.

Giro Riddance Mid Shoes

The Wolf’s Last Word

I like the Riddance Mids a lot, but I think the sole stiffness, especially in side to side movements, is a little bit of a concern for me. I was hoping they would soften up a bit, but I haven’t quite noticed much of a change yet. The good news is, I also haven’t noticed any other deterioration yet. That can’t be said of my favorite FiveTen Freerider Highs, which wear out after just a few months of riding.

Beyond impressive durability and strength, Giro’s Riddance shoes pack an impressive amount of grip thanks to the Vibram ISR rubber outsole. I also enjoyed how comfortable the shoes are. Whether it was a long day in the park or back to back days pedaling big miles, the shoes breathe well, don’t create any hot spots and wrap my feet in a very comforting way. Beyond my qualm of the sole’s lateral stiffness, I have a hard time finding anything I don’t like about the Giro Riddance Mids.

Price: $140; Website: giro.com

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We Dig

 Looks

Price

Grip

Durability

Fit

 

We Don’t

Sole Stiffness

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