Giant has long been known as a leader in cycling, but not necessarily for cycling shoes. This week, the company announced their first foray into that world.
The company’s new shoes are called Surge, Charge and Amp, and they constitute a brand new line of performance footwear with new design concepts and technologies built into them. Using a method called the Motion Efficiency System, the shoes—encompassing both on- and off-road cycling—are designed to maximize a rider’s power, by emphasizing comfort, fit and other means of letting the human foot bend and flex naturally.
That design philosophy is called Dynamic Cycling Fit, something that involves extensive research and engineering to create gear that functions best while in motion. “We developed our Dynamic Cycling Fit approach a few years ago,” said Giant’s global executive director of gear, Stan Mavis, “to rethink product development from a dynamic point of view.” The design approach—called DCF, for short—focuses on using advanced research and testing methodologies to push the envelope in developing innovative gear, improving the cycling experience.
“This new line of footwear, which introduces some never-before-seen technologies for cycling shoes, really represents that idea,” Mavis said.
The Charge and Amp are the off-road shoes, meeting the various needs of cross country and cyclocross riders. Each shoe has a rigid sole plate, but only toward the front of the foot. Toward the back, there’s a “beam.” The plate allows for excellent power transfer, while the beam allows for a comfortable, natural range of motion for the foot and ankle is ideal. The Charge is designed for performance-oriented riders, while the Amp is for the more recreational rider.
The Amp line of shoe, meanwhile, is an off-road model with a single buckle and two velcro straps, and is designed for largely the same purpose. The only difference between the two off-road shoe models is their purpose: while Charge is designed for competition, Amp is designed for those off-road riders seeking comfort above all, with efficiency in terms of allowing natural foot flex and a seamless connection to the bike forming the core of the design.
Used by both is the ExoWrap design, a 360-degree foot enclosure that permits natural movement. It’s accompanied by ExoFlex, a feature that allows the shoes’ toebox to move independently of its sole, and it bears a certain necessity in the off-road world. Given the need to occasionally hike-a-bike up steep climbs, the design allows these shoes to exert maximal traction, while also reducing heel slip.And while incorporating the ExoWrap enclosure, the Surge line of shoes — the on-road element of Giant’s new line — is designed to give competitive road riders a performing edge. To achieve that, Surge uses ExoBeam, a composite sole technology that blends a necessary stiffness in the front of the foot, the source of a road rider’s power, with flexible shoe segments meant to reduce strain in the lower leg. With the same design philosophy of functionality and natural flex, Surge uses Giant’s Motion Efficiency System to provide riders with better power transfer, optimized efficiency, and a more comfortable fit.
Giant’s new shoes will be available in select markets later this year.