The Giro Stylus is an entry-level road shoe that lives up to its claimed airiness and delivers clean lines in an affordable package.
The Synchwire upper is a particular highlight but I found that, in testing, the top Velcro strap cinched tight and I could feel the metal loop a little.
However, comfort is good, I like its SPD compatibility and I really appreciate the generous reflective detailing.
Giro Stylus specifications
That neat one-piece Synchwire stitchless upper is the shoe’s standout feature. The upper has numerous neat laser-cut perforations stretching along the front two-thirds of both sides.
The over-moulding means these are very neat. The 524g weight of our size 42s was slightly lighter than the claimed 542g, and is in the ball park for road shoes around this price.
It’s very good to see more reflective detailing than usual, with a reflective strip on both sides, reflective logos and a reflective heel tab. Other companies, take note. The Stylus is available in sizes 40-48.
Giro Stylus performance
The shoes feature three wide Velcro straps for a secure fit. The nylon and glassfibre sole has fittings for both two-bolt mountain bike style SPD cleats or three-bolt road bike cleats. This is quite unusual these days but adds versatility.
However, unlike more gravel or off-road-orientated shoes, such as Triban’s GRVL 500s, the SPD cleat isn’t recessed in a deep rubber sole, so you’d be clip-clopping around loudly and awkwardly if you do decided to go for two-bolt cleats.
The heel and toe protection is very neatly done, though the heel bumper is on the shallow side, and there’s no venting on the soles.
The outsole is made from fibreglass-reinforced nylon, which feels a little stiffer than the sole of the Shimano RC3, but not as stiff as the carbon soles of the Boardman Carbon and dhb Aeron shoes or the carbon-mix soles of Bont’s Riot Buckles.
This makes them good for big days out and sportive-type rides when you want a reasonable balance of stiffness for efficient riding and all-day comfort.
However, if you’re after super-stiff shoes for more competitive outings, they’re not going to be a match for shoes with carbon soles. Pick the shoes up and flex them, and these feel stiffer than Shimano’s RC3s but no match for the soles of dhb’s extremely hard-to-flex Aerons, for example.
The Stylus’ Synchwire upper is a very elegant one-piece stitchless design with extremely neat laser-cut venting perforations running along about two-thirds of both sides, which is more clearly visible on the white and red models, and the tongue is similarly well vented.
These did make for cold riding in winter but promise an airy coolness later in the year.
The three Velcro straps may not have the cachet of a dial or the elegance of laces, but they offer an adjustable fit and stayed secure even when sprinting – three wide Velcro straps are not going to loosen easily.
The downside is that I was able to feel the metal loop of the top strap a little, even through the well-padded tongue.
The 524g weight is slightly lighter than claimed, and while the Stylus is fractionally heavier than some of its competitors, I never noticed the extra few grams.
One of the things I really liked about the Stylus shoes is that Giro has been generous with the reflectives.
Because your feet are moving when you’re pedalling, shoes are a great place for introducing reflective materials, and as somebody who cycles all-year round, I appreciated the extra visibility this offers.
The Stylus’ two- and three-bolt compatibility makes them a versatile choice. They’re comfortable and well made with decent stiffness and good comfort, and though they’re well priced, they are up against some very stiff – pun intended – competition.
Giro Stylus competitors
Bontrager’s Circuit Road shoes also have soles with two- and three-bolt fittings, but at 538g the Bontragers are not only very slightly heavier, at £144.99 they’re much more expensive than the Stylus – and when we tested them two years ago, they were just £100.
As you also have to pay extra for the Bontrager’s SPD cleat plate, Giro’s Stylus takes it on value.
If you don’t need SPD compatibility, Giro’s Stylus compares well with Shimano’s similarly priced RC3 shoe, and though the Giro shades it for sole stiffness, there’s little to choose between them when it comes to day-long comfort. Both are very tidily made with clean, modern-looking designs.
|Price||AUD $162.00EUR €110.00GBP £100.00USD $110.00|
|Weight||524g (42) – as tested|
|Features||Sizes Men's: 40-48
Colours Men's: Black; Red
Sizes Women's: 36-42
Colours Women's: Black; White
Upper: Synchwire single-layer synthetic upper
|Cleat fitting||2 bolt and 3-bolt look type|
|Sole||Nylon and glassfibre|