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Giro Latch Women's Review

A lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption make this shoe stand out in the crowd
Giro Latch Women's
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatter
Cons:  Minimal foot protection
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 10, 2022
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85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Grip - 30% 10.0
  • Comfort and Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 8.0
  • Breathability - 10% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0
  • Weight - 5% 10.0

Our Verdict

We are thoroughly impressed by Giro’s newest flat pedal shoe the Latch. The Latch eats up trail chatter and remains glued to our pedals, with no bouncing, even on the chunkiest of trails. It is comfortable for all-day wear and flexes nicely underfoot, allowing you to feel the pedal, but not too much. To top it all off, it’s lightweight and has a low profile. It’s not the most breathable shoe we tested, but microfiber uppers kept our feet comfortable on sunny, 80-degree days and never felt too hot. Overall, there is a lot to like about this shoe and it scores very high in most of our metrics, earning it our Editor’s Choice award. If you’re looking for an all-purpose shoe to wear on cross-country or trail rides, we highly recommend putting the Latch on your short list of shoes to consider.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Giro Latch Women's
This Product
Giro Latch Women's
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$119.99 at REI
Compare at 4 sellers
$120 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$140 List
$69.95 at Backcountry
$54.97 at Backcountry
Compare at 4 sellers
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Pros Lightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatterLightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durableExcellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable priceProtective, excellent grip, durableInexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip
Cons Minimal foot protectionBreathability is not the best in hot conditionsLong laces, minimal foot protectionWarm on the feet, velcro strap is cumbersomeNot the grippiest, moderate weight
Bottom Line A lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption make this shoe stand out in the crowdA great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfortAn excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and valueThis beefy shoe has a great grip, absorbs the trail, is highly durable, and has tons of protection making it a great choice for the gravity crowdThis is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price
Rating Categories Giro Latch Women's Five Ten Freerider Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Ride Concepts Wildcat Ride Concepts Livewire
Grip (30%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Comfort and Protection (25%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Breathability (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (5%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Giro Latch Women's Five Ten Freerider Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Ride Concepts Wildcat Ride Concepts Livewire
Outsole Tack Rubber Stealth S1 SlipNot™ ST Max Grip Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip
Tread Pattern Gamma tread design Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot
Measured Weight Grams (pair) 593g 616 g 669 g 715g 754 g
Upper Material Microfiber synthetic Synthetic Leather, Suede Microfiber synthetic Synthetic, mesh
Footbed 3D molded Ortholite Body Geometry Dual-density EVA D30 High Impact Zone
Midsole Mute Foam 3D EVA EVA EVA EVA
Size Tested EU 40 8 EU 40 8.5 9

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Giro Latch women’s is the shoe that surprised our testers the most during this flat shoe review update. Previous iterations of Giro’s flat pedal shoes left us wanting, but the Latch is unlike shoes released by Giro in the past. It impressed us with its grip, comfort, and midsole absorption. It also happens to be the lightest flat pedal shoe we have tested. The Latch features a redesigned fit and flattened (think thinner) profile and comes in at only 593 grams for a women’s size EU40, making the Latch very light on the foot and easy to spin. The newly designed Tack Rubber grips a variety of pedals very, very well, and the Gamma tread design provides plenty of nooks for pedal pins to bite into.

Giro uses Mute Foam for the shoe’s midsole, which is designed to “…cut chatter and vibration and help keep you connected to the pedal…” We put this to the test on a variety of trails and were surprised at how well the Latch absorbed trail chatter, especially on chunky trails, and how well our feet remained glued to the pedals. The midsole is thinner than most, meaning you can slightly feel the pedal underfoot, but not so much that the shoe is compromised or that it feels like you are wearing running shoes. The only area where the Latch falls short is protection since it lacks designated impact protection areas. Overall, the Latch is a well-balanced shoe combining great grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption all in a lightweight package earning it high marks in most metrics and our Editor’s Choice award.

Performance Comparison


Our testers were very impressed by the grip and trail absorption...
Our testers were very impressed by the grip and trail absorption that this super lightweight shoe offers.
Credit: Byron Adams

Grip


One of the unique characteristics of the Latch is the use of Mute Foam. Giro developed Mute Foam to reduce the bouncing you get between your shoes and your pedals on rocky terrain, similar to how suspension rebound works. Mute Foam uses a slow rebound to help your feet stay planted on the pedals with a foam injected midsole. It may sound like a gimmick, but it works, and it works quite well in combination with the Tack Rubber and Gamma tread sole.


Giro worked with a team of engineers to design the Tack Rubber found on the sole of the Latch shoe. This rubber is soft to the touch and provides great grip on the pedals. We tested the Latch with four different flat pedals and always had excellent grip. During our testing, we never experienced our feet slipping on the pedals whether going up or down, and it was easy to plant our feet and find our sweet spot on the pedal. These characteristics earn the Latch high marks in this metric.

Working in tandem with the Tack Rubber is what Giro calls their Gamma tread design, which is comprised of two different-sized squat pentagons extending from toe to heel. These “treads” are soft, well-spaced, and deep. The tread pattern helps the pedal pins bite into the sole and the Mute Foam helps your foot stay firmly in place, with no bouncing. However, the sole is not so sticky as to make repositioning your foot difficult. During testing, we found it easiest to reposition our foot on the fly with the Latch shoe and were never concerned about losing grip even on loose, chunky terrain.

Overall, we’re very impressed with this new combination Giro has designed and find ourselves reaching for the Latch again and again for our daily rides.

The Gamma tread pattern hooked up with a variety of pedals and held...
The Gamma tread pattern hooked up with a variety of pedals and held its grip.
Credit: Byron Adams

Comfort and Protection


Unlike many shoes in our review, the Giro Latch has an initial break-in period, and those considering it should be aware of this as the shoe may feel awkward at first. Initially, the shoe creased oddly just in front of the most forward lace, putting pressure on the top of the foot when walking. However, after two hours of wear, this went away and we have not since experienced any pressure points on the top of the foot.


The area surrounding the ankle and the tongue is nicely padded without being bulky and helps to provide a comfortable fit. The shoe has a wider fit than many of Giro’s past models which were fairly narrow. The Latch features a new fit by Giro, runs true to size with a medium-width toe box, and has a medium volume. The fit reminds us of a slightly wider version of the Five Ten Freerider Pro or Ride Concepts Hellion. There is enough space to comfortably wiggle your toes, but not so much that the fit is sloppy. The 3D molded footbed remains comfortable for hours and we never experienced any pressure points or hot spots during our testing. The Latch is one of the lightest in our line-up adding to its comfort both on and off the bike.

The Mute Foam midsole reduces vibrations going into the soles of the feet, but the Latch lacks impact protection for the top and sides of the feet. Giro wraps the sides of the toe box and heel in Rockprint reinforcement to help prevent abrasion and increase durability. This extra layer adds a smidgen of rigidity to both areas and is more noticeable at the very front of the toebox, however it should not be seen as an impact protection layer. If you’re prone to hitting the crank arm or chainstay with the inside of your shoe, it is worth noting that there is no impact protection along the midfoot, only the layer of microfiber upper. Because of the lack of protection, the Latch ranks a little lower in this metric.

Here you can see the Rockprint reinforcement extending from the ball...
Here you can see the Rockprint reinforcement extending from the ball of the foot around the toe.
Credit: Byron Adams

Rigidity and Power Transfer


One of the first things we noticed was how thin the midsole of the Latch is in comparison to other shoes. In the past, thin midsoles have typically meant a soft shoe that does not dissipate much trail chatter and is uncomfortable. Giro designed the Latch so that your foot is closer to the pedal and flattened the sole profile to increase contact between the shoe and pedal.


The thinner midsole and sole allow you to feel the pedal underfoot, but not in a negative way. Unlike shoes that are so stiff you can’t feel anything underfoot, we can always tell exactly where our foot is in relation to our pedal helping us to make adjustments on the fly. When riding chunky terrain, trail forces are quickly dissipated before they reach our feet.

Inside the outsole is an HD Polyethylene Power Plate that helps transfer power from your foot to the pedal. The Latch flexes easily just in front of the first lace underhand and then quickly stiffens through the midfoot, right where the sole contacts the pedal. During our testing, we were able to easily power up a variety of climbs and never felt like we were losing power. Overall, the Latch strikes a great balance when it comes to rigidity, being neither too soft nor too stiff and allows the rider to easily put power into the pedals earning high marks for this metric.

Throughout our testing we stayed connected to the pedals and were...
Throughout our testing we stayed connected to the pedals and were able to easily power up and over obstacles.
Credit: Byron Adams

Breathability


The Latch may not be the most breathable shoe in our review but we found them to be breathable and comfortable in temps in the low 80’s, even in full sun at elevation.


The uppers of the Latch are made up of a fast-drying microfiber with very small ventilation holes above the toebox, at the back of the midfoot, and at the front of the heel, creating above-average breathability. Even though our test shoes are black in color, which can typically feel warmer than a lighter color, our feet did not feel excessively hot while wearing them in the sun.

Small perforations in the microfiber upper help with breathability...
Small perforations in the microfiber upper help with breathability and even in 80-degree temps our feet never felt hot.
Credit: Byron Adams

Durability


Giro uses a layer of Rockprint reinforcement around the toebox and heel as an added layer of abrasion resistance and durability. These areas have fared well during our testing and the only noticeable wear is a few scratches from an unknown object on the inside of the upper of the left shoe. Aside from being dirty, the soles of the shoe show no signs of scarring from the pedal pins or wear. The uppers are perfectly bonded and overall the Latch seems to be a quite durable shoe scoring well in this metric.


Something that often gets overlooked in shoes is lace length, and having the proper length laces for your shoe size helps keep them out of your crank or pedals. The laces on our women’s size EU40 Latch shoes are perfectly sized with no need for double knots to tuck excess length out of the way. Hidden under the laces on the tongue is an elastic lace retainer with a small pull tab that helps ensure your laces stay on top of your foot and out of your chain.

The lace length is just right and tidy's up nicely in the elastic...
The lace length is just right and tidy's up nicely in the elastic lace retainer.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Weight


The Latch is the lightest shoe in our review, weighing just 593-grams for a women’s size EU40. While weight is typically not the most important factor for most wearers of flat pedal shoes, we can say that the lightweight nature of these shoes can be felt on the bike. They are light on the foot while walking, hiking, and spinning the cranks earning top marks in this metric.


Coming in at 593 grams for a EU40 women's, this is the lightest shoe...
Coming in at 593 grams for a EU40 women's, this is the lightest shoe in our test.
Credit: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Value


The Latch falls into the upper price point of the shoes in our review, however, we feel the shoe's weight and overall performance, especially in terms of grip and trail absorption, warrant the price tag.

Conclusion


The Latch strikes the balance between absorption, rigidity, comfort, and grip. The Latch lacks the impact protection typically desired for park or enduro riding but is a solid choice for riders looking for a cross-country or trail shoe. The trail absorption provided by the Latch is unlike any shoe we have tested and its sole is one of the better we have ridden, balancing grip and the ability to reposition your foot. We’re excited about this new offering by Giro and feel it is deserving of our Editor’s Choice award.

Striking a balance in stiffness and grip this shoe has quickly...
Striking a balance in stiffness and grip this shoe has quickly become a favorite.
Credit: Byron Adams

Tara Reddinger-Adams
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