Happy Riding

Giro Ventana MTB Shoes Stand Between XC and Gravity Footwear [Review]

Happy Riding

The green, black, and gumshoe colorway blends naturally into the forest.

What does it mean to say these shoes “stand between XC and gravity footwear?” The Giro Ventana clipless mountain bike shoes are less rigid and-weight conscious than true cross country kicks, and less armor-clad than most gravity shoes. This recent model from Giro is nestled in an important place that covers nearly all use cases for daylong adventures in the mountains, or dirt roads. It’s a “do it all shoe.” Furthermore, the cleat channel doesn’t extend toward the mid-foot as it does with a lot of modern gravity shoes, keeping a more forward XC-like cleat placement.

The Ventana also don’t look like your typical trail shoe. From above they bear some resemblance to a pair of indoor soccer shoes, and their natural colorway blends well in the forest. They come in whole sizes between 38 and 48, in all black or with green uppers and gumshoe soles.

The uppers close tightly around my bone-thin feet, with on-the-fly adjustability thanks to their handy BOA dial. I have trouble finding shoes that can tighten adequately around my feet, and won’t allow my heel to slip out while walking uphill. The closure on this pair cinches up plenty taught, and a click or two is all it takes to dial in the fit throughout the ride. The closure opens up with space for a foot roughly two times the girth of mine, which should satisfy nearly anyone’s shoe retention preferences.

I expected the lower velcro strap to be a cursory or aesthetic addition to the BOA system, but it’s not. It pulls the upper together at the widest point of your foot, and does a lot to make the Ventana more comfortable for both walking and riding. If you regularly hike-a-bike, you will likely appreciate these quick adjustments that pair well with the shoe’s grippy hiking sole.

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