Enduro racing, without a doubt, has propelled the progression of trail/all-mountain bikes. Prior to this era, trail riding bikes tended to be bastardized XC bikes – heavier, with a tad more travel, but far less fun than the modern 140mm full squish bikes we see today. Good thing the bike industry decided to swing this direction- it’s making mountain biking a whole lot more fun.
Catering to the enduro crowd, bike companies have developed helmets, clothing, and gear, filling the wide chasm between XC and DH mountain bikes. That’s where the Giro Terraduro/Terradura shoes step in. (Excuse my pun…)
While it’s billed as an enduro shoe, the Terradura isn’t just for racing. In fact, this shoe might be just what most mountain bikers are looking for. It’s stiff enough for efficient pedaling, yet comfortable and durable enough for real trail abuse.
I tested out a pair of brand new Giro Terradura mountain bike shoes, the women’s specific version of the Giro Terraduros. The shoe is built around a stiff nylon platform, which runs from the cleat back to just before the heel, designed to offer XC-level stiffness along with walkability. The Vibram outsole is low-profile enough that it won’t interfere with platform pedals, but is lightly lugged and sticky enough to handle hike-a-bikes on rocks and roots.
The closure system is snug and secure, with one ratcheting mid-foot strap and two Velcro straps. For further comfort, the upper is perforated to allow airflow, although the combo of black synthetic leather and a good amount of padding left my feet sweating uncomfortably under the Utah sun. To be fair, I’m not sure any material would keep one’s feet cool in this high desert climate. Lastly, to increase durability, the shoe is reinforced at the toe, heel, and outer edge.
First impression on sliding my feet into the Terraduras? They fit like a glove, probably due to the well-padded heel and ankle area. But, more importantly, how did they perform? The nylon shank was about as stiff as Giro claimed, and even for someone who is used to pedaling in carbon XC race shoes, the Terraduras felt firm and secure in my Crank Brothers Candy pedals. As we say too often in the bike industry, there was ‘optimal power transfer’.
As far as walkability, I had mixed feelings. Yes, the Vibram outsole flexed slightly at the toe for steep hike-a-bikes, and stuck to dry Utah rocks. And while the low-profile lugs allow the Terraduras to be used with platform pedals, they offer little traction in muddy conditions. But, you can’t have it both ways.
The wide outsole at the heel seemed unnecessary, and slightly interfered with my crank arms, as I like to run my cleats at a heel-in angle. Other than that, the Terraduras felt great on the bike, had decent walkability, and were supremely comfortable. For all-day trail rides and backcountry adventures, I’d wear this shoe instead my XC race shoes.
The Final Take
I’d say there’s nothing revolutionary or groundbreaking with the Giro Terradura bike shoes, but sometimes, a few tweaks on already established gear is all you need. The added flex at the toe combined with excellent mid-foot stiffness bridges the divide between pedaling-oriented XC shoes and comfortable freeride shoes. My only complaint was the poor breathability, although that probably comes with the added durability of these trail shoes.
Functional, comfortable, and durable? Yes, please, I would pedal these on any rough, out-there terrain.
Technical Features: 4/5 – Giro executes the concept of a performance-oriented trail shoe well. The Terraduras won’t fall apart, and are plenty stiff for enduro racing.
The Ride: 4/5 – A snug fit and stiff sole ensure that you don’t need to continually ratchet the buckle throughout your ride, and pedaling feels on par to an XC shoe, albeit with a hefty weight penalty (420g).
Evelyn Dong, White Pine Touring powered by jans.com Team Member