We wish Giro’s Terraduro Mid shoes were around 15 years ago. Back then, most clipless MTB shoes were basically road shoes with some rock-hard plastic lugs glued (or screwed) to the bottom. Shoe designers made them for scrambling up mud, but walking on rock slabs was next to impossible, roots were the slipperiest things around and extended hike-a-bikes were met with swollen feet.
Giro is aiming to put those bad memories out of our heads for good with the perfect Goldilocks formula of an efficient, stiff shoe that has good off-bike traction and comfortable walking performance.
Giro Terraduro Mid features
- Breathable Evofiber microfiber upper
- Empire lace system with cover
- Rubber toe and heel reinforcement
- Asymmetric ankle coverage
- Water sealed cleat opening
- Vibram high-traction lugged outsole
- Flexible forefoot zone for walking
- Molded EVA footbed with medium arch support
- Aegis anti-microbial treatment
Giro Terraduro Mid on and off the bike
The sole stiffness was more than sufficient. Was it up to XC levels like Giro claims? We wouldn’t say so, but it was plenty stout. We never felt the pedals underneath or felt like our feet were giving an awkward hug to the pedals. On the flip side, they’re not insanely rigid like some carbon-soled shoes that feel like you’re standing on a board.
We particularly liked the laces for providing a more exact fit, especially since we found the toe box a bit snug.
Throughout testing the lace cover kept the looks streamlined and, more importantly, kept the laces clean and damage free.
The front and rear rubber bumpers fended off rocks, branches and misplaced footsteps. They do show scuff marks but nothing of worry.
The Vibram soles have decent grip. We were confident enough to jump from boulder to boulder while scrambling up big rocks. The forefoot yields just enough to make walking and hiking a non-issue. But make no mistake: they still feel like bike shoes.
The well-padded tongue actually stayed that way, much to our early, incorrect assumption that it wouldn’t.
The shoes were decently weather-resistant as well. With our wide feet we struggled to fit heavier socks in during winter, but rainy rides as well as cold rides were conquered with dry, happy feet.
Cleat interface issues
About the only struggle was the cleat-to-pedal interface. We’ve gradually been moving our cleats back towards the middle of our feet to recruit more thigh muscles when pedaling.
Being labeled all-mountain shoes, we expected them to work perfectly with the clipless pedals with trail platforms, such as XT Trail and Issi Trail pedals. This wasn’t the case, however. Clicking in took a huge effort and clicking out was often met with a flurry of bad language as our ankle and calf muscles twisted like a juniper tree in a drought. More times than we care to admit we looked like a first-time clipless pedal user, coming to a stop, wobbling and teetering to and fro, then crashing down to one side, bike and human still firmly attached.
The clicking in and out frustrations were considerably less with standard (no surrounding platform) SPD pedals, but it's worth noting they're not as effortless as most shoes.
To remedy this, we cut away a bit of the rubber surrounding the cleat attachment point. That didn’t really make a difference.
Our next fix was to shim the cleat away from the sole as we saw the shoe tread was likely causing the interference. This made all the difference. Clipping in and out was almost as easy as non-platform pedals.
We should mention that we put the shoes' narrow fit as both a high and a low in our verdict. Whether this suits you or not of course depends on your feet. If your feet err towards the wider side, like ours, definitely loosen the forefoot lacing a lot.
Giro Terraduro Mid bottom line
Giro's Terraduro Mids are efficient enough to step up to almost any XC start line, yet versatile enough to not make you hate taking the wrong route and hiking the majority of the day. They're just as up for winter miles in sloppy, wet conditions as they are for hiking up sandy, rocky scree.
We're more than pleased that shoes like Giro’s Terraduro Mids exist. They're mighty trail shoes, especially if you have narrow to regular width feet. Just be sure to take the time to get the cleat interface set for your particular pedals.