Giro CODE Review

Pro Reviews Shoes

Unless the shoe is tightened down properly, which means a good crank down of the ratchet strap and middle Velcro strap, you will get some heel lift, which is more noticeable when walking. After the shoe breaks in, they perform decently for a short hike-a-bike sessions, but I wouldn’t want them for long distances, as they hurt my feet, and anything that involved an extreme amount of slick rock was problematic (they slip). I regularly hike some difficult terrain for significant distances to get to the good gnar, and they aren’t what I would call a pleasant hiker, although they are more comfortable, and easier to hike in then the usual high performance bike shoe.

I really appreciated the well-thought-out ratchet system on the top strap, as it was easy to open or loosen with a simple and light push down on the button, and it can be altered on the fly. The ratchet did accidentally pre-release on occasion, but it was usually when getting on and off the bike, and to a rarer extent when hitting rocks, bushes and tree branches. When the straps were clamped down tight, they gave a nice snug fit, and while spinning it increased the tactile feel and power, but I found they hurt the outside of my foot just below the ankle bone when I stepped off the bike, although the issue was easily remedied by loosening them for comfort. During a long ride or when your foot swells or gets hot, a simple on the fly loosening helped relieve the tension, at a small loss to heel lift and power. The offset Velcro straps prevented any hot or bind spots from happening under the tongue, and they gave them a more uniform pull across the top of the foot. The well-padded tongue helped immensely with comfort, and any sort pressure from the strap system never propagated onto the top of the foot.

The insole’s SuperNatural Fit Kit with it’s adjustable arch support system worked nicely, and the modular nature of it made fitting the shoes a breeze. I played around with the different arch heights (S, M and L) and found the highest one worked the best for me. It was very simple to pull the insole out of the shoe, detach the arch insert from its Velcro attachment strips, and replace with another height. The sole fit system is quite innovative, and it helps fit a larger variety of foot shapes and widths.

Measured Specs:
Weight – 705 grams

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Would stick with Sidi says:

    First ride about 30 miles broke buckle at strap. My foot hit the hillside and broke the plastic strap which attaches at shoe. Response from Giro is pretty slow.

  • Bob says:

    I have the road version of these and like them although I did get some pain on the outside of my left ankle as you mentioned. They do seem like they would be hot for mountain biking here in the steamy south as there is not much ventilation.

  • Bryan says:

    A shoe this expensive and hyped by the press should not have heel lift, and spontaneous ratchet release problems are a formula for disaster (maybe you cinched them ungodly tight, but I doubt that). My specialized road shoes are half the cost of these, stiffer and very comfortable, and none of these glaring issues. These giros supposedly went through lots and lots of redesign and testing but I guess they released them before they were ready. I’m glad I couldn’t find any when I went mtb shoe shopping the other day.

  • matt says:

    i’m a die hard shimano rider…but am always looking for a cheaper buckle-type shoe…can you give me a price im too lazy to google right now…typical lower end shimano runs like $80…anything lower and i might give these a try

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