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Hands-on Gear Review
Giro Terraduro Review
Cons: Heavy, does not clear mud well
Bottom line: The Terraduro set a benchmark for versatile all-mountain/enduro mountain bike shoes and continues to deliver the same performance it is known for.
When the Giro Terraduro debuted several years ago, it quickly became the go-to shoe for many enduro and all-mountain riders and set a benchmark for high-performance shoes with grippy rubber soles designed to meet the demands of enduro racing and modern trail riding. It returns virtually unchanged, other than the current colors, but remains a good choice for enduro and all-mountain riders with the versatility to be used for all types of mountain bike riding with a great fit, excellent power transfer, and grippy Vibram soles. The Terraduro is comparable to other all-mountain style shoes like the Specialized 2FO Cliplite, the Shimano ME7, and the Five Ten Hellcat Pro. This won't likely be the first choice of the XC race crowd, but Giro has made a great shoe for most other riders that strike a balance between pedaling performance and off the bike confidence.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Giro Terraduro was designed to meet the demands of enduro or all-mountain riding, but we found it to be well suited to everyday use on trail and cross country rides, even shuttle and chairlift laps. It was primarily tested on the small platform clipless Shimano XT Trail pedals but works well with a variety of styles including full platform pedals like the Crank Brothers Mallet E. This model also pairs with pedals with no platform, such as the Shimano XTR M9000 Race. The soles on either side of the cleat mounting area make very positive contact with most clipless pedals that have any platform. This makes for a more engaged feel and less "float" than you might find with other shoes, which some people like this some don't. We used this shoe for all types of riding, from shuttle laps to big backcountry epics, even a couple of long gravel grinds.
The Terraduro is most certainly a comfortable shoe and has a very similar fit to that of the Giro Privateer R, but with a heavier, beefier and more protective feel. The Terraduro employs Giro's Microfiber material for its uppers, a supple material that feels like a synthetic leather, with an abrasion resistant coating that wraps around the entire shoe just above the sole and a thicker harder layer around the toe and heel. There is minimal padding in the shoe, but the tongue, ankle gasket, and heel pocket have a little for added comfort and protection. The Vibram sole creates a wide platform, and overall the shoe feels very protective of the feet, not as much as a downhill model, but significantly more than an XC shoe.
The uppers conform nicely to your feet after only a couple of rides, and the medium support footbed provides a surprisingly comfortable cradle for your arch and heel. The shoe is held on your feet by two wide offset Velcro straps over the bottom and middle of the tongue, with a traditional ratchet strap at the top, all of which are positioned nicely for a comfortable and secure fit. The uppers are perforated by lots of small holes for ventilation, but we found air and sweat had a hard time escaping, and the Terraduro was quite warm on the feet especially compared to the better ventilated Shimano ME7.
The Terraduro is not a lightweight shoe, in fact, it is the second heaviest shoe in our test selection behind the gravity focused Five Ten Hellcat Pro. While the weight of the Terraduro is by no means a deal breaker, weight conscious riders may want to look at similar shoes such as the Shimano ME7. We'd also recommend our Top Pick for Enduro/All Mountain Riders, the Specialized 2FO Cliplite, for similar features and performance in a slightly lighter package. That said, the Terraduro offers impressive power transfer, comfort, protectio, and walkability with a mere 30g weight penalty over the competition.
The current version of the Giro Terraduro has a stiff molded nylon shank that offers impressive rigidity and power transfer. In fact, we noticed virtually no flex under power, even the hardest efforts or when sprinting. There is a small amount of flex through the toe of the shoe to facilitate walking, but this isn't noticeable while pedaling. Overall the shoe is impressively stiff, perhaps not enough for XC racers, but they would likely look elsewhere due to the weight of the Terraduro.
The Terraduro's full Vibram sole provides excellent grip and traction during the inevitable dismounts and hike-a-bikes that most riders face during adventurous mountain bike rides. The Vibram rubber is very grippy, second in grippiness only to the Stealth Rubber on the Five Ten Hellcat Pro, and will gain your trust the first time you walk in them. The rubber is full coverage and creates a relatively wide platform, while the slight flex through the toe of the shoe makes walking easier and more comfortable while not sacrificing stiffness underfoot. The tightly spaced sole lugs are prone to holding onto mud snow and debris and clearing it from your soles can be harder than other shoes like the Shimano ME7 and the Specialized 2FO Cliplite.
One of our testers used a pair of Giro Terraduro shoes for three seasons before passing them on to a friend to use because they still had life in them. The current Terraduro appears to be identical in design, craftsmanship, and materials to the previous version and we have no reason to believe they won't last just as long, especially because after weeks of abuse, they look brand new. The upper shows no signs of wear since they are protected in all of the abrasion prone areas, especially the reinforced toe box and heel. We've had no problems with ours, but the ratchet is located laterally on the shoe near the ankle and may be prone to damage from rock strikes, although it is replaceable just in case. The only minor durability issue we have to note is that a couple of the heel lugs have lost small chunks of their rubber over the course of our testing. This has in no way affected the performance or traction of the shoes but is worthy of mention since the soles of these shoes are known for their longevity.
The Terraduro was designed with enduro racing and all mountain riding in mind, and it excels in these applications. It is also an ideal choice for nearly all other types of riding, from competitive trail rides, big backcountry epics, even occasional shuttle runs or chairlift laps. These days there are numerous other similar shoes on the market such as the Shimano ME7, or our top pick for enduro/all mountain the Specialized 2FO Cliplite. Hardcore XC racers will also probably look for lighter and stiffer options such as the editors choice Giro Empire VR90, the Pearl Izumi X-Project PRO, or the Sidi Cape.
With a retail price of $180, the Terraduro falls near the low end of the price spectrum for the shoes in our test selection. We feel it is a good value due to its quality construction, comfort, power transfer and off the bike walkability.
The Terraduro is a durable, and versatile mountain bike shoe. The Vibram sole provides excellent traction, and despite a less than racy appearance, power transfer is excellent. It was edged out of the top spot as our pick for the best shoe for enduro racers by the Specialized 2FO Cliplite by the slimmest of margins, but we still 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($180) which offers a higher volume fit, and a new model called the Terraduro Mid($190) which has higher ankle cuff and a similar style to the Shimano ME7.
— Jeremy Benson
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