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Hands-on Gear Review
Giro Terraduro Review
Cons: Heavy, does not clear mud well
The Giro Terraduro is a top quality clipless mountain bike shoe, designed to excel in the demanding conditions of enduro racing. It is the winner of our Top Pick Award for enduro racers, and while it excels when used for the intended purpose of enduro racing, it is a versatile shoe and will meet the needs of many types of riders. It is comparable to other gravity-oriented shoes such as the Five Ten Kestrel and the Five Ten HellCat. Like many gravity oriented or enduro specific shoes on the market, the Terraduro features a nylon shank that is very stiff in the area where the pedal contacts the shoe, but allows a high degree of flexibility in other areas of the shoe to allow for comfortable and confident walking. You will not mistake the Terraduro for an XC shoe when pedaling, but Giro did an excellent job balancing pedaling characteristics with a shoe that is comfortable to hike or walk in.
RELATED: Our complete review of mountain bike shoes
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Giro Terraduro is an enduro or all-mountain specific shoe, but we found it to be well suited to daily use on trail and cross-country rides. The shoe works well with a variety of pedals, including full platform clipless pedals such as the Crankbrothers Mallet 3, mini-platforms such as the Shimano M530 and even cross-country oriented pedals such as the Shimano M520 with no cage or platform. We used this shoe for all types of riding, from days at the bike park to big backcountry rides, and even some cyclocross.
The Terraduro is a very comfortable shoe; our first impression was that it feels more like a hiking shoe on the foot than a mountain bike shoe. Despite an almost casual feel, the Terraduro is high performance. The upper is a soft and pliable synthetic leather material, and does not feel boxy or stiff on the foot. The ankle cuff and tongue are heavily padded when compared to the minimal padding found on the Pearl Izumi X-Project 1.0, and while we like the minimal padding, the heavy padding seems to work well with this shoe. The closure system is a combination of an upper ratcheting buckle and two offset Velcro straps, one at the forefoot and one closer to the toe.
This is not a shoe for gram counters. It weighs in at 2lbs 1oz, and while this is not extreme, it is almost a half pound heavier than some of the lighter shoes we tested. Much of this weight comes as a result of the full Vibram rubber sole that extends about 1/2 inch up the sides, toe, and heel of the shoe. The toe cap is also burly and stiff to provide toe protection. So you sacrifice a bit of weight for more durability and protection.
The Giro Terraduro does not have a fully rigid midsole or shank like most purebred XC race shoes. It utilizes a nylon shank under the pedal zone and a flexible forefoot area for walking. Despite not having a fully rigid sole, the power transfer is quite good. Other shoes we tested that are more downhill oriented like the Five Ten HellCat do not pedal as well, and really require a pedal with some sort of platform to get the most out of the shoe. The Terraduro, in contrast, feels stiff and efficient under a pedaling load with a cageless cross-country oriented pedal like the Shimano M520, and also works well with mini-platforms and full platforms if you prefer a platform for those times when you don't quite get clipped back in before you need the support. Overall, the Terraduro has great power transfer, and you would have to be coming off of a period of riding on a very stiff XC shoe to notice the minimal flex when pedaling.
Walking, Running and Traction
The Terraduro excels when the terrain forces you off the bike. The full Vibram sole grips slick rock and the semi flexible sole makes walking feel natural. This makes a big difference on backcountry rides that have some hike-a-bike sections, and can make navigating rock sections less nerve-racking and safer. While the Vibram sole excels on dry rock, it lacks aggressive lugs for moving and clearing mud in heavy, sloppy conditions. Another drawback to the Terraduro in the wet is the lack of toe spikes or the ability to use them. This is not a big deal if you live in a dry area and the majority of your time off the bike is spent on dry rocky trail.
The Giro Terraduro is the most durable shoe we tested, it shrugs off abrasion from rocks and other trail debris with a reinforced toecap and a very abrasion resistant material that wraps up the first 1 inch of the upper. The Vibram sole is incredibly resistant to wear. We walked, hiked, ran, and used these shoes for commuting and trips to the store, and the sole hardly looks worn. The softer more flexible portion of the upper also proved durable, with no obvious abrasions or cracking in areas that frequently flex or bend. The ratcheting buckle is located on the lateral portion of the shoe, making it prone to rock strikes, but this is a luck of the draw type of weakness. You might break the ratchet on the first ride or you could ride for years and never break one. Over all this shoe is incredibly durable and should last for multiple seasons of use.
Yes, the Terraduro is indeed an enduro shoe. However, most of us don't race enduro, we just ride. If you like to ride trails, enter an occasional race, and hit the bike park when the opportunity arises, then this shoe is right for you. It is probably not the best shoe if you are a hard core XC racer or as your primary shoe for cyclocross, but for everything else, this is a hard shoe to beat. XC racers may prefer something like the Sidi Dominator Fit.
The Terraduro retails for $180, but due to its incredible durability and the likelihood you will get multiple seasons out of this shoe, we feel it is a good value.
The Terraduro is a durable, and versatile mountain bike shoe. The Vibram sole is unrivaled in durability, and despite a less than racy appearance, power transfer is excellent. We give it our Top Pick Award as the best shoe for enduro racers, but while marketed as an enduro race shoe, we feel comfortable in saying it is just a great mountain bike shoe that will appeal to the vast majority of recreational trail riders.
Other Versions and Accessories
Giro also offers the Terraduro HV, designed for those with a higher volume or wider foot. The price is the same as the standard version we tested at $180.
— Curtis Smith
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 1, 2015
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