The Riddance is an all mountain shoe from Giro that they say is intended to "provide the confidence you need regardless of the terrain or conditions". We found the shoes did perform adequately but there are other options that may serve you better, especially if your rides take you into bumpy terrain.
Giro Riddance Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Solid materials, durable and proven Vibram sole
Cons: Less grip, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Giro Riddance is an all mountain contender that has all of the features you'd expect in a top quality shoe: Sticky rubber sole, sturdy construction, synthetic uppers, heel and toe reinforcements, lace keeper, and a rigid EVA midsole.
We expected the shoes to perform well no matter where we took them and that's what we experienced, although with the shoe's stiffness, we found other contenders in our test like the Editor's Choice Raid Amp II may be a better choice for riders on rough trails. With a stiff sole, the Riddance really shined on the climb overall, pedalled efficiently on rolling terrain, and descended well in most terrain.
The Giro Riddance is equipped with a sticky dot Vibram ISR rubber sole that provides a secure connection between rider and pedals. Like the Best Buy Ride Concepts Livewire, the individual lugs of the sole are hexagonal which seems to do a great job at locking on to the pins of your pedals. We were initially impressed with the shoe's grip once we started riding up to a local climb and noticed little play even when we intentionally twisted and turned our feet on the pedals. The soles also grip well when climbing, allowing a natural cadence with good security in the pulling back phase of the pedal stroke. Once we topped out on the climb, we were excited to see how the soles interfaced with our pedals and overall the Riddance provided performed well. For straightforward flowy trails and the occasionally large feature, the Vibram soles kept us securely stuck to our pedals. We did find that when we descended more washboard types of trails, like the rapid fire rooty trails that we rode in the Canadian Rockies, it took a lot more effort to maintain a solid connection. It seems like the rubber provides a nice sticky connection, but the midsole's stiffness decreases the overall grip of the Riddance.
Off the bike grip and traction was good overall, although for a shoe with greater sensitivity you may want to check out the Editor's Choice Ion Raid Amp II.
A shoe's comfort is pretty subjective, and our test riders found the Giro Riddance was comfortable overall. The insole is a relatively soft EVA footbed with some arch support that provides a comfortable foundation for riders. Other shoes in our lineup like the Best Buy Ride Concepts Livewire include a higher quality insole that performed better but the Riddance's insole was adequate. The synthetic microfiber upper is fairly stiff out of the box and we assumed it would soften with use but found the material really didn't change much over time and remains pretty stiff. The upper makes your foot feel secure but has a tendency to pinch around the ball of your foot, especially when walking up steep slopes. The heel cup is very supportive and really locks your heel in but did put excess pressure on some of our testers Achilles tendons.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
This metric is where the Giro Riddance really shines. The full-length optimized EVA midsole is the stiffest in our test shoe lineup. This stiffness makes the shoe a great choice for flat riders who like to climb and hammer on the flats and rolling trails. Even though the Riddance weighs more than other shoes in our test stable, they still performed on par with clipless shoes. The rigidity of the shoe provides great efficiency in the solid riding platform.
The Giro Riddance came in as the heaviest shoe in our test, at 16 ounces per shoe for a men's size 9. For weight conscious riders, a shoe like the Best Buy Ride Concepts Livewire or Editor's Choice Five Ten Freerider Contact may be a better option. That extra weight didn't really affect our climbing though and even though heavier, the Riddance was one of the best climbing shoes in our test.
Depending on where and when your ride, breathability can be an important consideration. The Giro Riddance has a synthetic microfiber upper with generous ventilation perforation holes. We found that like other shoes with this type of construction such as the Five Ten Freerider Pro, the Riddance has good breathability until things really heat up. For short rides, the breathability of the water-resistant upper was adequate but when the miles started piling up, especially on warmer days, the Riddance didn't breathe as well as shoes with more mesh in their construction. Contenders like the Editor's Choice Five Ten Freerider Contact provide more breathability with the mesh in their uppers. For most climates on all but the hottest days, the Riddance should keep your feel relatively cool and dry especially when worn with lightweight socks.
When it comes to durability, the Giro Riddance doesn't disappoint. The durable Vibram sole showed almost no signs of wear even after being abused all over the Western US and Canada. Although the upper is stiff and may be an issue for comfort, that beefiness translates into good durability. We intentionally scuffed our test shoes over logs, rocks, and roots, and found the uppers and their heel and toe reinforcements were up to the test, coming out none the worse for wear. If your riding takes you into harsh terrain and durability is a concern, definitely take a look at the Giro Riddance!
At $120, the Giro Riddance is in the middle of the pack. For similar performance with a lower price tag you may want to check out the Ride Concepts Livewire.
If you're hard on your shoes and your riding takes you into harsh and abrasive places, the sturdy Giro Riddance may be the shoe for you, especially if you like the up as much or even more than the down!
— Jason Cronk