Giro’s Sector comes from the world of mountain biking, with its one-piece upper that features a bonded exo-structure and a carbon composite sole that has a dual-injected rubber outsole.
Fastening comes courtesy of a dual-Boa system, there are reflective heel details and some light protection over the toe and heel.
The first thing you notice about the Sector is its good out-of-the-box comfort. The tongue and collar are well padded and the upper’s innovative material moulds to your foot without requiring a breaking-in period.
The Sector’s supportive footbed is also a cut above many and that dual-Boa setup offers precise adjustment, and once you’re in and they’re tightened up they deliver a comfortable around-the-foot feel.
At first glance, the Sector doesn’t look an obviously wider style but it feels roomier on the inside and there is plenty of room in the toe box. If you have squarer-shaped feet that can feel cramped in standard shoes, the Sector should be on your short-list for consideration.
You can feel the Sector’s from-new comfort when you’re riding too – the carbon sole supports efficient pedalling and the lightweight upper is supportive without being restrictive.
The result is that the Sector is a very wearable all-day cycling shoe that doesn’t build up hot spots or pressure points when you’re riding, though it didn’t work quite so well for me off the bike.
The rubber outsole extends the length of the shoe, which provides a solid platform on uneven dry ground but the lack of pronounced lugs makes it less grippy in wet mud.
I also found that despite them being a good fit lengthways for my size 46 feet, there was a tendency for heel slip when walking – though I think my skinny feet are more a factor than the design itself.
Giro’s Sector is an undemanding shoe to wear and its comfort from the off allows you to get on with the job of bother-free riding. It has just about enough walking functionality for most terrain but it’s the Sector’s all-day comfort that’s most likely to win you over.
How we tested
Gravel shoes need to balance stiffness and efficient power transfer, comfort for longer rides and walkability for rugged terrain or off-the-bike use.
Throw into the mix the special individuality of fit and it is easy to see why there is unlikely to be one perfect solution so the best place, as with everything bike, is to start by considering your own skills, fitness and preferred riding in order to understand whether you might want to trade off some walking ease for stiffness or if comfort is everything.
So, to help you choose what’s best for you, we’ve mixed up country lanes with dirt tracks, bridleways and forest roads on day-long routes. Nothing too extreme technically but all calling for dismounts to push up steep climbs, open gates and to hit the coffee queue.
Also on test:
- Bontrager GR2
- Giro Sector
- Lake MX176
- Mavic Allroad Pro
- Northwave Rockster
- Rapha Explore
- Scott MTB Comp Mid
- Shimano XC501
- Specialized Recon 3.0