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Giro made laces cool again with the Empire and last year introduced a new closure system to their performance cycling shoes. The Giro Factor Techlace combine the comfort and fit of laces with the convenience of straps. Laces provide a supple and snug fit but many cyclists appreciate being able to adjust their shoes on the fly. The Techlace technology uses a strap for convenience while keeping the comfort and fit of laces.

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The Factor Techlace also uses a Boa IP1 cable reel which is adjustable in 1 mm increments in both directions which does the brunt work of keeping the foot in place. The lightweight shoes have a carbon fibre Easton EC90 SLX2 outsole, a perforated one-piece synthetic upper, and replaceable heel-pads. The shoes also come with Giro’s SuperNatural Fit Kit which includes insoles with three different arch inserts that can be swapped out to find the perfect support.

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The Factor Techlace are certainly quick to get on and off. The Boa dial provides the adjustability that laces simply can’t offer and provide uniform pressure on the upper part of the foot keeping it securely in place. There is a reason they are found on so many pairs of performance cycling shoes. The Techlace on the lower part of the foot replicates laces very well without the inconveneince of needing to tie them. Laces of different length and colour can be swapped out to provide a more personalized fit. On rides, I found myself more often using the Boa to make slight adjustments rather than the Techlace.

The upper is not quite as form fitting as the Empire but that comes with the use of different closure systems, which also add some weight compared to the Empire SLX. A pair of 42.2 Factor Techlace tips the scale at 420 g. When I wanted to tighten them up it didn’t require pulling to the side of the road. On late fall rides wearing thicker socks than I was accustomed to that was greatly appreciated. Giro accomplished exactly what they set out to do with the redesign while not drastically changing the overall feel of the shoe compared to the Empire SLX.

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The ultra stiff Easton EC90 SLX2 outsole makes the shoes feel extremely responsive on the pedals. A bit of that is lost if you are using one of the arch supports which feel a little squishy underfoot. Despite my high arches I opted not to use the inserts which provide the adjustability for a wide range of foot shapes. The heel fit is excellent providing the stability expected from a top-end cycling shoe.

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The synthetic upper was easy to clean when dirtied from road spray. It’s lightweight and generous perforation meant I never found my feet heating up on warmer rides. The vermillion and black colour I tested them in was eye catching. The shoes are also available in white and black. Also avaialble is the women’s specific Factress Techlace model. The shoes retail for US$350.


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