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Giro Republic R Knit Review

Nice bike shoes with a lot of versatility for commuting, spinning, and even a little offroading if you don’t mind getting these pretty things dirty
Giro Republic R Knit
Photo: Giro
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Solid comfort, durable, great for walking, stylish
Cons:  Premium price, can be too snug, toes hard to adjust, limited breathability
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 23, 2021
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 15% 4
  • Power Transfer - 25% 5
  • Adjustability - 20% 4
  • Durability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Giro Republic R Knit is a great shoe for townies looking for a good shoe to run around town with, but they're broad enough to handle a lot more than grocery runs. We think they're actually pretty great for delivery riders and couriers who need to tear across town and sprint up stairs too, which is no lackadaisical affair. A big selling point is actually how deep-set the cleatbed is because it reduces the walking pain (and hazard) normally experienced in other shoes when the center of the cleat scrapes against the ground, especially if you're power-walking across sleek surfaces. Read on to see where it excels and where it might not.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Solid comfort, durable, great for walking, stylishStylish, breathable, great adjustability, great power transfer, fits like a gloveLightweight, stiff, affordable, simpleStiff, large toe box, uses two-way BOA dialAffordable, snug, lightweight
Cons Premium price, can be too snug, toes hard to adjust, limited breathabilityPricey, sole scuffs, may be narrow for some feetLimited comfort, one fastener, mid-range power transferLess comfortable, limited adjustability, upper can create hotspotsFit's not universal, can be warm, lower power transfer
Bottom Line Nice bike shoes with a lot of versatility for commuting, spinning, and even a little offroading if you don’t mind getting these pretty things dirtyA sleek, stylish, refined road shoe ready to lay down the wattsSturdy and simple, this is the right shoe for serious road riders on a budgetIf you’re looking for an affordable carbon sole and don’t mind sacrificing comfort, these are for youAn entry-level road shoe with a few finer features to get you over the hills
Rating Categories Giro Republic R Knit Fizik R1 Infinito Fizik Tempo Overcur... Specialized Torch 2.0 Shimano RC3
Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Weight (15%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Power Transfer (25%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Adjustability (20%)
4.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Durability (15%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Giro Republic R Knit Fizik R1 Infinito Fizik Tempo Overcur... Specialized Torch 2.0 Shimano RC3
Measured Weight (Pair) 26.7 oz 20.0 oz 20.8 oz 21.4 oz 19.4 oz
Size Tested 45 44 45 45 45
Outsole Co-molded nylon and rubber Carbon Carbon reinforced nylon Carbon, rubber Fiberglass reinforced Nylon
Upper Material Xnetic Knit Laser-perforated 1.2mm microtex PU laminate, mesh Mesh, TPU Synthetic leather
Closure Lace BOA BOA and hook and loop strap Boa IP1 Fit System Boa L6 dial
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular, Wide Regular

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Giro Republic R Knit uses SPD or Crank Brother cleats, which are pretty typical of mountain bike or off-road pedals. The smaller cleat also makes it easier to walk around off the bike, so this is a solid choice for commuters. The Republic R Knit, in particular, is a pretty good option for bike delivery riders who need to run around off the bike quite a bit because of the robust tread in the outsole. Quite a bit goes into the design of these shoes, so read on to see how they break down across our performance measures.

Performance Comparison


The Republic R Knits are really quite nice shoes that are great for...
The Republic R Knits are really quite nice shoes that are great for commutes and spin.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Comfort


The Republic R Knit is the sweet successors to the earlier Giro Republic. This version uses most of the same materials, but as the name implies, its upper uses a supple, breathable knit upper now. The footbed is molded EVA with a little bit of arch support, which allows the foot to sink into the shoe and feel more natural. It also has thick padding around the heel collar with a micro-suede liner that transitions nicely into the rest of the inside lining. This makes a huge difference, and it's the reason we think the shoe belongs in every rider's closet for spinning, commuting, and touring.

Nothing like a cushy collar and smooth-edged tongue for a padded...
Nothing like a cushy collar and smooth-edged tongue for a padded, comfortable fit.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Weight


These are among the heaviest shoes in our lineup, coming in at 26.7 ounces in a Men's size 45 (Euro sizing). That might be a concern for weight weenies, but these are fun, classy shoes meant for comfort and practicality, not charging to the front of the pack on a sprint - though any rider who has put in the work shouldn't be using gear as an excuse not to feel shame for underperformance.

What did you expect? Of course they're a little heavier than the...
What did you expect? Of course they're a little heavier than the racing shoes.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Power Transfer


For what they are, they transfer power fairly well. The DuPont Zytel nylon sole has a little flex in it, but it's pretty stable. The microfiber upper is flexible to improve comfort rather than rigid to transfer power. These are nice for a spin, even if you're standing for 20 minutes because your instructor makes you drop the hammer, but we wouldn't intentionally choose these for a day of climbing out in the wild on the road.

The nylon sole has some flex to it, but it's just fine to get you...
The nylon sole has some flex to it, but it's just fine to get you across town and through some spin classes.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Adjustability


Going with the classic lacing design adds a certain hip appeal. Some riders even prefer the way they can get a uniform fit across the foot using laces. The Republic uses a nice, open design that allows the lacing to tighten or loosen the upper without fighting a tough upper that doesn't want to tighten as much at the toe as at the neck.

There's also a little leeway in how far fore or aft the cleats can...
There's also a little leeway in how far fore or aft the cleats can be shifted.
Photo: Ryan Baham

As appealing as laces can be, they don't offer the ease of adjustment or minute adjustment afforded by ratchets, dials, buckles, or even straps.

Durability


These come in about average in durability. Their nylon sole should last a good long while, but their fine upper, with its exposed stitching and open wings, may come loose or deteriorate earlier than is ideal. Furthermore, their toe pad isn't replaceable, which will expose the sole and upper to wear sooner.

What usually makes a long-lasting shoe is a tough upper material with a design that protects stitching and cuts down on open flaps, and a robust sole that has replaceable pads that protect the sole and the junction points between the upper and sole.

Value


These come in somewhere around the lower end of the mid-range, which can be a bit of an ask for a commuter shoe, but we think their great walkability, comfort, and style make them an ideal choice for spinning, commuting, and touring.

Of course with shoes like the Giros it's important to be able to...
Of course with shoes like the Giros it's important to be able to hoof it up stairs and through shops and such. They're great for that.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Conclusion


We found these to be pretty ideal for running errands and getting across town, especially when we had to get up steeper bits, and we'll be happy to pull them back out of the closet when the remote work days come to a close and bike commutes resume. That said, they're not pure road bike shoes. They're cross shoes that do great out on the road but can also get you through some tough spin classes and some moderate offroading. We think they're especially well-suited to couriers and delivery riders, given their versatility and, of course, because of how easy it is to walk in them. While they're not a good substitute for proper road bike shoes, every cyclist ought to have a pair of them in the closet for their townie bike or the occasional spin class.

Maybe they're not gorgeous like the pro racing shoes, but the Giros...
Maybe they're not gorgeous like the pro racing shoes, but the Giros are super functional and great choices for spin and commuting, especially in cooler climates.
Photo: Ryan Baham

Ryan Baham

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