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Giro Latch shoe review

The flat pedal, sticky shoe wars have really heated up recently, so where does the new Giro Latch shoe stand in the battle?

Giro Latch review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Excellent grip from new rubber and damped low-profile sole with a lightweight, fast-drying-yet-secure upper make the Latch a contender. Tight toes make sizing crucial though, protection is limited and rapid wear potentially reduces high-priced value

For

  • - Excellent pedal grip
  • - Midsole damping for impact security
  • - Flexible enough to cling without cramp
  • - Secure sheet of stretchy laces
  • - Light and fast drying
  • - Men’s and Women’s sizes
  • - Lots of color options

Against

  • - Tight toes
  • - No mid foot protection
  • - Fast wearing sole
  • - Slightly pricier than benchmark products

Bike Perfect Verdict

Excellent grip from new rubber and damped low-profile sole with a lightweight, fast-drying-yet-secure upper make the Latch a contender. Tight toes make sizing crucial though, protection is limited and rapid wear potentially reduces high-priced value

Pros

  • + - Excellent pedal grip
  • + - Midsole damping for impact security
  • + - Flexible enough to cling without cramp
  • + - Secure sheet of stretchy laces
  • + - Light and fast drying
  • + - Men’s and Women’s sizes
  • + - Lots of color options
  • +

Cons

  • - - Tight toes
  • - - No mid foot protection
  • - - Fast wearing sole
  • - - Slightly pricier than benchmark products
  • -

We’ve been big fans of Giro’s Chamber aggro SPD shoe for a while but its Riddance flat pedal shoe has never made the grade in terms of grip, weight or feel. Thankfully if you get the fit right, the new Giro Latch is much better, but is it good enough to stick it to the best MTB flat pedal shoes

Design and aesthetic

One of the biggest complaints about the Riddance was high weight, so it was good to feel that Giro has slimmed the Latch down by almost 200g (20%) for a pair of 44s. The broad, flat, closely spaced six-hole lacing still creates a very secure but easily adjusted panel of pressure over the forefoot. The broad laces are slightly stretchy too, so they stay done up noticeably better and avoid the creeping crush you often get from overtightened shoes as your feet swell further into a ride. That’s not to say there aren’t sizing issues though, as while the Latch is broader than the Riddance the toe box is still low and relatively cramped, compared to other brands. I had to stick with thin socks to be comfortable in my normal shoe size and even then my little pigs felt factory farmed, not free range. They can also get hammered into the front of the shoe if your heels get bounced up and you slide forward under braking. The rear cuff of the shoe also feels quite open and exposed, although it grabs fine once you’ve heaved the laces a bit tighter. There are men’s and women’s fits and multiple colors in both too. 

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Giro Latch shoe review

If you can find a comfortable fit the low profile of the shoe gives a confidently planted feel straight away (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Giro Latch shoe review

The sole is flat so we got good connection off a range of pedal shapes (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Giro Latch shoe review

The microfibre upper helps keep weight low and dries fast when wet (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Giro Latch shoe review

Giro worked with a compounding specialist to create ‘Tack Rubber’ which is moulded into a new ‘Gamma’ tread design (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance and fit

If you can find a comfortable fit the low profile of the shoe gives a confidently planted feel straight away and the sole is flatter too so we got good connection off a range of pedal shapes. Giro worked with a compounding specialist to create ‘Tack Rubber’ which is moulded into a new ‘Gamma’ tread design the result is right up there with benchmark soles like Five Ten Stealth Rubber and Specialized SlipNot in terms of stiction even in wet and dirty. Giro has also added a slow rebound midsole layer it calls ‘Mute Foam’ that helps to suck up big hits and stutter bumps and stop your feet getting blown off when things get seismic. Unlike Ride Concept’s D30 layer it’s built into the shoe not the insole though so there’s no way of removing it if you don’t like the damped feel. There’s enough flex in the sole to keep it engaged rather then being ejected if you have to ride light over roots or rock spreads but it doesn’t droop badly if you need to pedal back up or put some power in out of corners. 

The microfiber upper helps keep weight low and dries fast when wet while toe, flank and heel perforations add some air con on hotter days. The holes let water in though and there’s no spare space to keep warm blood flowing when the temperature drops. While a moulded ‘Rockprint’ reinforced bumper protects toes the broadest part of the upper overhangs the sole so there’s nothing protecting the fat part of your foot from trail side sniper rocks. The sole is already starting to look more worn and torn in a month than some much older shoes.

Verdict

The Giro Latch flat pedal shoe finally gets a sticky enough sole to compete with the best for pedal adhesion and it’s damped enough to stay put when things get lairy. It’s light with a good balance between tactile wrap and pedalling push but toe fit is tight, protection is limited and it’s more expensive than established benchmarks. 

Tech Specs: Giro Latch flat pedal shoe

  • Price:  $150 / £129.99 / €139.95
  • Weight: 720g (pair size 44 dry but dirty) 
  • Sizing: Women’s: 36 - 42, Men’s: 40-48
  • Colors: Black, Dark Shadow / Sandstone, Harbour Blue / Sandstone (women's). Black Spark (tested) Trail Green, Dark Shadow, Black / Dark Shadow (men's)
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He got an archaeology degree out of Exeter University, spent a few years digging about in medieval cattle markets, working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit he’s also coughed out a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too. We trust Guy's opinion and think you should, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel Ltd MTBs, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Di2 Disc road bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg