Get your gear drool bucket ready. Giro has dropped a one-piece, seamless mountain biking shoe that looks like the future and rides like it, too.
The Sector is built with a cool BOA closure system and a supple, breathable upper made out of Giro’s “Synchwire” material. See all those little triangles in the fabric? That’s actually an internal layer of strong, structural reinforcements that make the fabric resistant to stretching along its length, but still allows the fabric to be pliable and wrap your foot closely and comfortably. There’s just enough stretch to boost the comfort of the fit without draining much power at all.
Those big triangular gaps are also wide open for ventilation, making this a superb hot weather shoe. If you hold the shoe up to the light, you can see light pouring through the gauzy air vents. Those vent holes are covered up on about half the shoe by a thermo-bonded film that adds additional structural support.
The advantage of a single piece upper is that you don’t have a lot of extra stitching weight and overlays. These shoes weigh in at an admirable 12 ounces (342 grams) for the size 9 (Euro 42). It also reduces the number of components on the shoe that could be subject to delamination after heavy use.
Make no mistake, this is a stout, stiff shoe. You can barely bend the carbon-composite plate. You’ll want to avoid extended bike-hiking, although there’s a fair amount of rubber on the outside (and two toe cleat mounts) for traction on dirt and rocks. The Sector is race ready, although the upper is certainly comfortable enough for daily rides, no question.
The Sector uses BOA’s L6 dial system, which allows for one-way closing adjustments of 1mm at a time, with an easy pull release. You can easily tighten the shoe on the fly, or quickly pop open and retighten to loosen the fit.
The fit is down the middle of the road – not too narrow, not too wide. My foot is on the narrower side, with medium-high arches, and the shoe fit me well, although I did have some puckering in the top of the toebox. The toebox itself is fairly narrow — if your toes splay, you might feel cramped.
I know I’m probably overthinking it, but I get a little nervous about the fabric eyelets for the thin steel BOA cables. Anytime I see a fabric eyelet, I see the ghosts of the old, dead shoes with ripped eyelets. There’s always the potential for a lace to rub through a fabric loop after many years, especially when dirt starts working like sandpaper on the fabric.
That said, I honestly doubt that’s going to be an issue with these shoes–and the eyelets are very long for extra durability and to reduce friction. I’ve been to BOA’s laboratory in Denver and seen the machines they use to test these sorts of issues, so I’m confident that they have approved the durability of these eyelets. Also, the tiny steel cables are coated in a smooth plastic, so that should reduce the mount of friction on the eyelets.
One other note of confidence – all BOA components are backed by a lifetime warranty. So give ’em hell!
The Sectors are unisex, and come with an adjustable 2-bolt plate for SPD cleats. They retail for $225.