The Giro Berm Cover is built as a shoe for trail riding and adventuring, according to the brand.
Its lower price point means features are less fancy than some rival shoes, but how much does that really matter when you’re clipped in and ready to ride?
Giro Berm Cover specifications and details
The obvious spec detail here is the use of a pair of broad Velcro straps to secure the foot in the shoe. This is likely a cost-cutting measure, but with both straps being wide, they’re designed to provide ample foot security. The top strap reaches further over the foot than the lower strap, as would be expected.
The rest of the upper merges a synthetic base material with extensive mesh ventilation panels over the toe, as well as a little around the inside of the foot and the relatively exposed tongue. Toe and heel sections are reinforced, but not quite as stoutly as some shoes in this category.
The tongue is also fairly thin, suggesting good airflow and speedy drying.
Inside, the insole is pretty flat compared to some, with less arch support on offer. Shaping around the heel is moderate, rather than highly contoured, though there’s good padding in general around the ankle area.
The sole is built around an injected nylon shank and ranks mid-table in terms of stiffness.
It’s shrouded in a rubber outer sole, which has fairly deep and aggressively treaded blocks, with provision given to boosting toe and heel grip, useful when pushing up or down slippery slopes.
There’s a notable step between the mid-foot and heel portion of the shoe’s sole. So, if you miss the pedal’s mechanism, there should be a little more security on the pedal.
The cleat sits in a fairly broad bed, but there is only 28mm of fore to aft adjustability, which is limited compared to many other shoes, which offer up to 38mm.
The channel also sits relatively far forward in the shoe, so riders looking for the most aggressive, rearward cleat position might need to look elsewhere.
I also found I needed to locate the cleat as close to the inside edge as possible to avoid the inside edge of the shoe fouling on the crank when unclipping from pedals with a wider release-angle cleat.
Sizing is limited to a relatively narrow 40-48 band.
Giro Berm Cover performance
As one of the cheapest shoes in its category, the Giro Berm Cover is noticeably less refined than some of the others. However, the basics should still be ticked off, and the Berm Cover performs reasonably, if not amazingly, across the board.
Comfort from the upper is good. There’s enough flexibility for your foot to be able to move naturally and not feel cramped by a slightly closer fit in the toe box than some other shoes.
However, there’s a noticeable gap between the foam that surrounds the ankle opening and the edge of the tongue, which feels a little odd at times.
The insole and footbed are virtually flat inside, with minimal arch support – I’d like to see a hint of support to help reduce foot fatigue, though the level of arch support required varies from rider to rider.
It’s also not the most plush-feeling insole – if you push your toes or heel down, you can feel the harder shank beneath the foam.
Ventilation is excellent, with toe and inside-foot mesh panels ensuring plenty of airflow through the shoe.
The shoes quickly soak up a lot of water, but despite their capacity to hold water, they still dried faster than many.
The two Velcro straps offer good, if not excellent, foot hold. They’re broad enough to be secure, though my experience of Velcro straps suggests it’s a good idea to keep them mud-free in the long run.
They’re quick to get on and off, especially with cold, wet fingers. Though the top strap comes high enough up the foot to hold it securely, I didn’t find heel hold was as good as shoes featuring laces or Boa dials.
With middling levels of shank flex and an up-turned toe area, walking is comfortable, save for the heel lift. The deeper, wide-spaced tread offers good grip in a range of conditions.
Giro Berm Cover bottom line
At the cheaper end of the scale, I can forgive some of the issues I found with the Giro Berm Cover. They’re fairly comfortable, pedal well and are nice to walk in.
However, I’d prefer a more comprehensive lace rather than the Velcro straps, because this would boost heel hold and fit adjustability.
Being able to run the cleats further back would be a bonus too.
How we tested:
Mountain bike shoes have a hard life. All your power is transferred through their soles, as well as an awful lot of bodily bike control.
At the same time, they’re stamped onto pedals (some of which have platform cages with sharp pins), are walked in on rough surfaces, have to sit in the firing line of mud and water, and shrug off impacts with trailside rocks, roots and vegetation.
As such, the best mountain bike shoes have to satisfy a wide range of requirements to reach the top of our table. In this group test, we pitted 12 pairs of clipless shoes from leading brands against each other during several months of sloppy winter testing.
We tested all these shoes with both Crankbrothers and Shimano SPD pedals to check that they’re compatible with the most common platforms. They were ridden with one foot in one brand of shoe and the other in a different type, to better grasp their differences.
Steep banks were scrambled up and down, while we carried our bikes on our shoulders to see how much our heels slipped in the heel box and our feet slipped in the mud. We even sprayed them with a hose to see how water-resistant they are, then timed how long they take to dry out.
Other shoes we tested:
- Bontrager Rally review
- Crankbrothers Mallet Speedlace
- Endura MT500 Burner Clipless review
- Five Ten Kestrel Lace review
- Fizik Gravita Versor Clip review
- Ion Rascal Select BOA review
- Leatt 6.0 Clip V22 review
- Mavic XA Elite II review
- Ride Concepts Transition review
- Scott Crus-R review
- Shimano AM5 review
- Specialized 2FO Roost Clip review