We previewed the Giro Junction trail shoes last month, with first impressions, in terms of looks, of a trail running or bouldering shoe.
Futuristic race shoes with diamond-hard soles you clack-clack-clack across café floors in like a supermodel in broken heels might be amazing for power transfer, but they’ll also get you stared at like you’ve been required to sign some kind of special register the instant you get off. For many riders, they’re just too much.
Lurking under the Junction’s stealthy exterior is a fair bit of bike shoe-specific tech. Shoes for pedalling are different from shoes designed for walking or running. If you’re walking you need a flexible sole that allows your foot to flex, whereas for cycling a shoe that doesn’t flex means more of your effort is transferred to the pedals.
The Junctions walk the fine line between the two, with a stiff sole up to the forefoot for pedalling efficiency and a flexible area up front so your toes can move a bit when walking. It works pretty well both on and off the bike, though you wouldn’t want to use these for a day-long hike. And yes, they’re clipless pedal compatible too.
The aggressive tread means there’s plenty of grip for any periods where you need to hike your bike, while welded scuff guards help protect the breathable uppers from everyday wear and tear. The laced closure works well, too, proving that simple is often just fine.
The low cut and lack of any weatherproofing means you’re one deep puddle away from cold, wet feet, but for fair weather trail riding their bike-friendly efficiency – hidden under that cloak of ordinaryness – is a great combination.