Giant Surge Pro
The Giant Surge Pro is the brand’s premium road cycling shoe worn at WorldTour level by Giant-sponsored Team BikeExchange-Jayco.
Giant says it has made several changes to the previous Surge Pro, which first launched in 2019 and earned 4.5 stars in our review.
To hold and wear, the Giant Surge Pro seems light yet resilient. Its sole feels exceptionally firm and the glossy upper is more supple than it appears.
If you fancy a more eye-catching colourway than black and white, the iridescent ‘Chromaflair’ option leaps out.
The price has gone up £25 to £299.99 / €360 / $399 since 2019. This remains cheaper than rivals’ high-end models.
For this money, you’d expect the Surge Pro to be among the best road cycling shoes. And I think it is.
Determined not to be swayed by the sight of the Surge Pro on the fast-pedalling feet of Simon Yates on his way to Grand Tour stage victory this season, I’ve ridden thousands of kilometres to see how the shoe performs.
Giant Surge Pro shoe spec details
The original Surge Pro used what Giant calls an ‘ExoBeam’ design, in which a narrow piece of carbon connects the forefoot plate to the heel plate.
For 2022, Giant says it has added another carbon beam to the sole, forming a ‘dual-beam’ plate.
This is supposed to make the sole stiffer and more accommodating for broader feet, as well as cutting weight, compared to a standard full-carbon sole.
Giant’s claim to have reduced the shoe’s weight sounds right. My pair in size EU45 weighs 526g, which is 38g trimmer than the previous version.
Giant hasn’t given the Surge Pro’s sole a stiffness rating, but I found it unflinchingly firm, which I really like. Bear this in mind if you prefer a bit of give in your shoes.
Having not ridden the mono beam carbon plate in the previous model, I can’t say for sure what the dual beam adds.
But since the Surge Pro is lighter, feels stiff and didn’t cause me foot fatigue, I can’t complain.
The insoles that come with the Surge Pro provide good support if, like me, you have low arches. Two levels of arch support are possible and a flat insole is also included.
The Surge Pro has perforated polyurethane uppers and a small gauze vent on the sole, which are effective at keeping your feet cool on hot days (more on this later).
Two Boa Li2 dials on each shoe adjust Dyneema textile laces. These run horizontally across the tongue, instead of diagonally to the bottom of the instep as they did on the previous model.
Giant has also added a Velcro strap, which unusually folds from right to left and sits just above the toe.
Fit and comfort
As for the shoe’s width, the profile is sleek with little bulge around the toe box. This suits my narrow feet, but won’t work for everyone – and there’s no wide fit option.
The Surge Pro is so snug, I thought the Velcro strap at the bottom of the shoe would be redundant.
The shoe’s ExoWrap system, where laces from the lower Boa dials loop through the upper and instep, holds the foot without digging in anywhere.
Despite my scepticism, I found the Velcro strap restrains the lower part of the shoe when pushing up through the shoe, for instance when sprinting out of the saddle up a steep gradient.
I could ramp up the Boa dials’ tightness a long way without experiencing numbness. Even when extremely tight, there were no pinch points.
Moreover, I like how the Surge Pro’s Dyneema textile laces do not cut into the foot, as plastic wire ones occasionally can if over-tightened.
The Surge Pro is amply cool for riding in the British summer.
I haven’t ridden the Surge Pro in sweltering conditions, but my feet haven’t overheated on rides well over four hours in 15- to 20-degree warmth.
On the soles, there’s only a small gauze outlet for air. By contrast, the upper is made of a polyurethane mesh of varying sizes.
The largest run in diagonal lines from the centre of the toe box. Round holes are dispersed through the instep and tongue.
A thin layer of padding lies beneath the instep and ExoWrap material, which folds on top to secure the shoe.
As a result, the vents are a refreshing addition to a shoe that has a complex closure system, creating more bulk and less scope for ventilation.
Giant Surge Pro shoe performance
The carbon soles are seriously stiff, but only feel awkward off the bike.
In their element on tough climbs and intense efforts on the flat, their rigidity seems to reward force through the pedals.
If, like me, you dislike the sensation of shoes sagging as you pedal hard, you’ll get on with the Surge Pro.
More importantly, for recreational riders like ourselves, the shoe caused no discomfort on faster, shorter outings or big days out.
The Surge Pro was as comfortable on the 297km Dragon Ride ride with nearly 4,300m of climbing. After 10 hours, I could not attribute any aches to the shoe.
The Sharkskin material in the heel delivers on its promise to be grippy. It cupped my foot to prevent slipping or rubbing.
Giant Surge Pro shoe bottom line
The Giant Surge Pro is far from cheap, but it’s not the priciest in its class of performance road cycling shoes.
Though it’s marginally more expensive than its three-year-old predecessor, this new model makes several improvements to a shoe that was already highly rated.
The single, relatively narrow fit means the Giant Surge Pro won’t suit everyone’s feet.
But if it suits yours, and you’re after a firm, fantastic-looking shoe, you won’t go wrong.
Giant Surge Pro
|Price||AUD $509.95EUR €360.00GBP £299.99USD $399.00|
|Weight||526g (45) – Pair|
|What we tested||Giant Surge Pro road cycling shoe|
|Cleat fitting||3-bolt look type|
|Shoe closure||Dial and velcro|