Giant was showing off a major update to its mountain bike shoe line at Sea Otter, appealing to the cross country and gravity crowd.
With Giant putting more effort into its cross country program, the Charge Pro pushes the XC race category. At the other end of the spectrum, the Shuttle Flat looks to the more gravity-oriented and casual riders who don’t want to clip in.
The entire line is made with hydrophobic materials to help keep your feet clean and dry while riding, and to make sure the shoes dry out fast when they do get wet.
Giant Charge Pro
The Giants Charge Pro, an XC race shoe in bright blue team colours
A hard plastic toe piece keeps feet safe
Dovetail carbon fibre sole, and mounts for toe spikes if you want to race cyclocross
The slip last wraps completely around the foot to get a better fit
Giant has been working on custom insoles for its pro level riders, and will be looking at offering different options for consumers in the future
Giant uses a slip last for the top-end Charge Pro XC shoe, which wraps around the foot instead of attaching at the base of the shoe. The dual Boa system pulls the shoe up to the arch of the foot, giving a better fit compared with single Boa systems.
The shoe features a full carbon-fibre plate on the sole. This sole dovetails toward the heel to provide some concession to comfort while walking, without sacrificing pedalling efficiency. There’s a hard plastic toe box to keep your feet safe from the occasional rock strike.
The Charge Pro comes in Giant blue or an all-black colour.
Giant Charge Elite
A single Boa fastens the Charge Elite, along with a lower hook-and-loop strap
The olive green colour is a limited run
Like the top-end shoe, the Elite can double as a cyclocross platform
Grey colour, single Boa
One step down from the Charge Pro, the Charge Elite keeps most of the top-end slipper’s features. The Elite does use a composite sole in place of the carbon fibre. It also goes to a single Boa system, which does not wrap all the way around the foot.
The Charge Elite comes in a grey/black colour, and a limited-edition olive green version.
Giant's flat-pedal shoe comes in two colours.
The black shoe gets a single colour sole to match, but still has two rubber compounds on the tread
The black/gum colour sole makes the dual compound construction more obvious
Durable gum-colour rubber makes up much of the sole, while the sticky centre compound keeps you on the pedals at all times
Giant’s flat-pedal shoe is new for 2019, after nearly a year in development. The shoe uses two rubber compounds on the sole. Grippier rubber in the centre of the sole will hold you in place on your pedals, while a more durable compound on the heel and toe area of the shoe is intended to make the shoe last longer.
The shoe uses hydrophobic materials, even down to the laces. The tongue has a tidy little pocket built in, which the laces tuck into to keep them securely in place while riding.
The EPA foam protective padding has been built into the Shuttle Flat’s insole instead of the sole of the shoe. Giant has plans in the future to offer these insoles in different stiffnesses, so you can tailor the shoes’ pedal feel to your preferences.
The shoe comes in black/gum or an all black colour, with a limited run in olive green available.