The Giro Code shoes are designed for cross-country racers and elite trail riders. The Code is built off of an Easton EC90 unidirectional carbon sole that provides stiffness and efficient power transfer. The bottom is equipped with a lugged outer sole for traction and durability, and features a mid-foot scuff guard for enhanced traction when not clipped in. The scuff guard also serves to protect the carbon sole during hike-a-bike sections. The front of the shoe features screw holes to accommodate steel toe spikes for wet and muddy conditions.
The upper portion is constructed with a Teijin microfiber upper designed to conform to the rider’s foot. The Code uses small mesh vents on top of the toe box for cooling, while welded scuff guards provide durability and protection. The closure system consists of a replaceable upper ratcheting buckle combined with two Velcro straps. The mid-foot strap moves the D-ring to the center of the shoe to prevent pressure points. The Code’s insole uses Giro’s X-Static anti-microbial fiber and features the SuperNatural Fit Kit with adjustable arch support system. A slightly padded, seamless tongue completes the build. The Giro Code is available in black, magnesium/black and black/white.
Our black Code shoes featured a classic gloss black finish with insets of diamond-textured sections for increased material pliability and scuff resistance. The all-black design was highlighted with a red inner lining and red tipped traction blocks. For added safety when riding to the trail, Codes feature a reflective Giro logo on the back of the heel cup. The overall look is understated.
The fit was perfect. A lot shoes take a few rides to break in, this was not the case with the Giro Codes. We never had a chance to test the SuperNatural Fit Kit since the insoles felt right in their standard form. Tightening down the straps, the Codes were free of pressure points, while the heel cup is deep and prevents heel slip. The centered D-ring on the mid-foot strap is well-placed, allowing the rider to really tighten the strap without pulling up on the inside of the shoe. The ratcheting buckle has a positive feel with solid, defined clicks. The ratchet lever has a curved shape that angles back toward the shoe, making it difficult to use while on the bike or with gloves.
Locked in the pedals, the Giro Codes deliver power efficiently to the pedals. The Easton EC90 carbon soles resist any flex when stomping on the pedals and the ratchet and strap closure system kept the foot firmly in place through the up stroke. Together, the shoes provided a solid, direct connection to the drivetrain. It is in the saddle that the shoe’s light weight became more noticeable. Ticking over the pedals in the Giro Codes felt more like a pair of lightweight road shoes than a pair of mountain clogs. Charging hard, the Codes delivered every ounce of power generated to the pedals. Regardless of effort put to the pedals, the Codes provided the fit, feel and comfort for marathon rides.
Off the bike, the Codes provided adequate traction during hike-a-bike sections and run ups. The tread blocks are constructed of dense rubber, which adds durability but also reduces traction in wet conditions. Long hikes will take a toll, as the stiff sole is meant for on-the-bike efficiency and not walking. The only real drawback to the Codes is that the tread blocks are quite tall around the cleat area, limiting pedal options to those with small platforms that will fit within the cleat channel.
The Giro Code is designed for the racer or heavy use rider looking for top-of-the-line equipment. The rider choosing the Codes will be looking for comfort, light weight and efficiency, and this shoe possess all three. Giro has done a good job of mixing comfort with maximum power transfer, and after months of riding the Giro Codes have proved their durability. The construction is first rate, comfort is superb, and performance is on par with established market leaders.
Giro’s mountain bike shoe line contains three models. The Code sits at the top of the range, followed by the Gauge and Sica. The Gauge contains many of the same features as the Code, but uses an Easton EC70 carbon sole, breathable microfiber upper material and forgoes the SuperNatural Fit Kit insoles. The Sica is a women’s specific version of the Gauge. Containing the same features, it is available in women’s sizes 36-43 (half sizes) with a women’s medium arch profile insole.