The women's Giro Latch mountain bike shoe is a well balanced flat shoe offering a good level of comfort and grip in all conditions. The idyllic marriage of technology and style results in a capable shoe that also looks good off the bike. With little to find fault with, the Latch shoes are a decent contender in the market.
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Giro Latch shoes: the construction
Before getting into their performance, let's look at how the Latch shoes are constructed. Giro states that for this new model, they "started with a new fit that brings the foot closer to the pedal and flattens the sole profile, optimizing the contact patch between sole and pedal." The rubber sole uses a highly elastic compound, Tack Rubber, which, as the name suggests, provides grip in Giro's new Gamma tread design. This tech is integrated with a 3D molded footbed designed for an improved fit.
The midsole of the Giro Latch shoes uses Mute Foam that has been engineered to reduce chatter and vibration delivered through the pedal to your foot. Rockprint technology lines the toe and heel sections for additional protection on vulnerable areas to improve durability.
The Giro Latch shoes use a lace enclosure for fastening, assisted by an elastic loop for keeping the laces tidy and out of the way. However, this loop is hidden away under the flat laces so some wiggling is required to get use out of it.
In the women's model, the Latch shoes are available in three colourways in sizes EU 36 to EU 43. I've been reviewing a pair of EU 40 in the harbour blue and sandstone colourway. There is a men's model which features all the same tech and design but is on offer in larger shoe sizes and differing colourways.
Giro Latch shoes: performance
In hand, the Giro Latch shoes appear pretty solid. Well-designed, aesthetically pleasing, lightweight and of good build quality. They resemble a casual trainer-like shoe with a low profile, much like the Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes.
Comfort-wise, the Giro Latch provides a good level of support from the sole, with a tough build that still offers enough flexibility to deform with your foot's movement. This is especially noticeable when walking or pushing up the side of a trail. Unlike the crankbrothers Stamp shoes, which I find very stiff and a little unforgiving, the Giro Latch design is far more supple. Moreover, that suppleness hasn't given way to a collapse in support or diminished build integrity. In contrast, some shoes feel pliable at the start before progressively giving way, causing you to apply increased tension through the laces to keep the shoe feeling secure. That's not been the case here, however.
I've almost religiously ran DMR Vault Midi pedals on my bike for years, so these are what the Giro Latch shoes have been tested on. With regards to grip, I've not found there to be an issue, whatever the weather or slop. Once planted on the pedal, the Tack Rubber compound does a fantastic job of deforming around the pedal pins to provide a locked-in feel. I will say that depending on the pins you run, the sole has just begun to show signs of wear. When riding, you can certainly notice the Mute Foam midsole doing its job to reduce vibration felt through the pedal, which is particularly noticeable on rougher terrain and fire roads.
As for protection, the heel and toe use Rockprint technology to reduce abrasion on these vulnerable areas. It's worked. From all the scrapes and bumps these shoes have been through, the front and rear sections remain unscathed. As this shoe has a low profile design, your ankles are left exposed, and while that offers unrestricted movement, you're left open to strikes.
And before you ask, no, they are not waterproof. If saturated in water and trail slop, you can remove the insole to help them dry a little faster, but I can't say they were noticeably quicker to dry than other shoes on the market.
Giro Latch shoes: value & verdict
You can grab yourself a pair of Giro Latch shoes for £130. This is slightly more than the much stiffer crankbrothers Stamp lace shoes at £115, which features a much nicer netted lace tidy.
The style of the Latch shoes resembles that of the unreviewed Five Ten Freerider Pro shoe, which retails the same at £130. And they're £10 cheaper than the recently reviewed Ride Concepts Powerline shoe, which adopts a similar lace enclosure but has added ankle protection with its asymmetric design and additional toe guard.
Even after testing and subsequently moving on to other shoe reviews, I've found myself reaching for the Giro Latch shoes for my leisurely non-work-related rides. These shoes are comfortable to wear on and off the bike, providing fantastic pedal adhesion in all conditions. Despite showing some slight signs of wear on the sole, they've retained their build integrity quite well. They're well-priced against similar models on the market but would do well to consider increased ankle and mid-shoe protection and adopt a better lace tidy.