Giro Carbide shoes £75.99

Budget trail footwear

BikeRadar score4/5

An entry into clipless pedals can be a daunting task, but it’s arguably the single biggest performance benefit you can bring to your mountain biking. The Carbide is Giro’s base-level off-road clipless shoe, with a list of basic features keeping these at an affordable price point.

The upper is made of a breathable synthetic material that does well to ventilate the foot on hot days and helps to rid water after a creek crossing. A basic triple Velcro strap layout keeps fitment simple, easily adjustable and lightweight. Keep in mind though, that compared with a replaceable buckle system, this will wear out over time.

The injected nylon sole is on the stiffer side for the price point and so gave no signs of hotfoot or similar hints of underfoot flex. With standard two-bolt SPD cleat compatibility, pedals from Time, Crank Brothers and others will work perfectly too.

Two screws at the front allow for steel toe spikes to be mounted for further traction on steep run-ups:

Two screws at the front allow for steel toe spikes to be mounted for further traction on steep run-ups

The aggressive looking outsole makes for an extremely durable, yet slightly slick tread when walking over slippery terrain. Steep hike-a-bike sections can be aided with the fitment of steel toe spikes, a feature that will likely better suit the aspiring racer rather than the everyday trail rider.

The removable foot bed features a medium arch support, something that this tester felt was a comfortable balance for their low-arch foot shape. An anti-microbial treatment helps keep odours at bay.

The fit neither overly wide nor very narrow, so should be a comfortable option for the majority of users – though take care if you're at either extreme. The shape is borrowed from Giro’s higher end offerings and so has gone through plenty of refinement.

At 674g (size EU43), the Carbides are weight competitive with the likes of similar shoes from Shimano, Specialized and Bontrager – however a heavier, tackier soled shoe should be considered for those seeking ultimate levels of underfoot traction.

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