The Giro Factor Techlace is an achievement. An extremely light, durable, and comfortable shoe that performs at the highest levels in terms of stiffness. The Giro is the shoe you choose to wear when you have options, it is slipper-like in fit and comfort, yet has the stiff and aggressive platform for racing or all-day riding efficiency.
For a shoe weighing in at 210 grams (depending on size), or about 7.5 ounces, the Giro Factor Techlace is remarkably stiff providing outstanding power transfer from the fore and midfoot. With out-of-the-saddle efforts, applying full torque, there was no discernible twist or flex, yet other shoes we tested are stiffer. The Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon sole is what provides this rigidity, and it functions superbly. When out of the saddle with full effort, the shoe is both feather-light, and invisible to the rider, just melding into the cranks for optimum and reliable stiffness, this is despite the depth of the sole (stack height of 4.3 mm, which is mid of the pack for high-end shoes).
The Giro Factor Techlace has a one piece upper, using Premium Evofiber SL, which has no seams and adds to the slipper like feel of the shoe. The heel cup is excellent – one piece and snug yet extremely comfortable. The transition from heel cup to mid-foot is smooth and indiscernible to the foot. The tongue had a tendency to get botched up, it is very light and flimsy, however when seated properly it is comfortable.
The Factor Techlace does fit tighter in the toe box (narrower in front), which makes for good power and efficiency, however a wide footed person may balk.
The Techlace system refers to the two Velcro enclosures on the front of the shoe, which tightens laces creating a low and snug enclosure across the front of the shoe. We test a lot of cycling shoes, all using different closure systems, and this is our favorite not dominated by Boa. It is infinitely adjustable on the fly, and you can really torque on it if that is your preference. Our testers liked the ability to really pull the forefoot in tight when doing a hard effort. That said, we didn’t find it easy to reach down and make a micro adjustment on the Boa or Velcro, say before a sprint, due to the nature of the Techlace.
There is one Boa IP1 dial which has excellent micro adjustment, both tighter and looser, for closing the top of the shoe. One complaint about this tightening system is that the laces unfurl from the Boa system when opened by the user, causing them to get caught around the Boa dial or other features of the shoe.
The craftsmanship on this shoe is superb. The sewing is accurate and clean, the glue lines are nonexistent, and the overall construction is above average. This shoe could outlast the rider. The Giro Factor Techlace strikes the balance of using hard and stiff materials along with soft and supple fabrics. Whereas other shoes use a specified mesh in the perforations, the Factor Techlace has simply perforated the Premium Evofiber SL microfiber upper. The tongue is made of the same microfiber and is also perforated, though it is quite thin at the edges and prone to folding under.
The Giro Factor Techlace has ample perforations to allow for air movement, yet they are biased towards the sides of the shoe. That is excellent for cooler weather riding preventing cold air from pouring onto already chilly toes, however the forefoot could use more air. Overall the Premium Evofiber SL microfiber upper is light enough that over-heating is not so much of an issue.
Drainage is accomplished through a port at the front of the shoe, and was adequate for moving water. We did test shoes with more places at the bottom of the shoe for moisture (and air) to escape, which we appreciated. The Techlace does not place drainage as a high priority.
Though not the cheapest shoe we tested, this shoe is one of the best values. At $350, the Giro Factor Techlace is comfortable enough to wear on a century (or longer) ride, and absolutely a go to shoe for racing. The use of high-quality materials shows up in the weight, comfort and overall performance.
Seth Portner has been riding and racing mountain bikes since the late 1990s, specializing in XC, marathon and ultra-marathon events. He also enjoys regular multi-day road tours, and is an accomplished ultrarunner and XC skier. Seth, his wife and their daughter all split their time between Lyons and Winter Park.