Giro sent over a pair of their Chamber Mid shoes for us to checkout. Inside you can read some of our thoughts on this shoe after spending some time in them.
Words: Toni Walbridge
The Chamber Mid is Giro’s no-holds-barred downhill racing clipless shoe designed in coordination with top athletes including Aaron Gwinn. Design highlights include a full leather upper extending to mid top height with a lace cover strap and a thick, sticky Vibram sole. In hand these shoes are substantial. The thicker material in the upper and reinforced toe box offer a lot of protection. The range of cleat placement is well tuned for gravity riding, allowing the option to slide the cleat well up under the ball of your foot.
All this protection and stiffness does come at a price. Still, at only 1069g, the Chambers are only 100-150g heavier than a light weight trail shoe. Considering their intended usage, it’s probably worth.
The simple design of the Chamber is good looking and easy to match to a variety of riding gear. You can have them in any color you want as long as its black. I particularly dislike bulky shoes and appreciate that Giro managed to work in a lot of protection without making them feel like boots. The lace cover doubles to cinch the ankle down tight creating a snug fit that stays put.
The padding around the ankle is refreshingly not overly bulky. I have a fairly wide size 10 foot and often have to go up to a 10.5 and occasionally an 11. In the Chamber I was able to comfortably able to fit an EU 43 which is a US 9.5 so they run quite large. Keep this in mind if you’re ordering these up online.
Since my Chambers showed up in the fall, long after most of our DH terrain had closed down due to snow, I wound up mainly putting hard trail miles on them. I didn’t take them on any epic rides but the weight was no bother for a 20 miler with moderate climbing. The stiffness through the soles creates excellent power transfer with just enough give to be able to feel the pedals beneath you. Riding unclipped the rubber did a good enough job gripping the pedal to get you by for a second or two but nothing to write home about there. I did find these shoes to be really warm and could perhaps use some additional breathability in the design. Riding in fall temps, often in the 50’s or cooler this was rather welcome but I could see them being a bit too warm for trail riding in the summer time. For straight up downhill riding, as they were intended, I expect this would be a non-issue. From a comfort standpoint, these shoes earned an A+ straight out of the box. They are one of the few mid-tops that didn’t feel overly bulky and at the same time I had zero rubbing or other discomfort. Long term durability still remains to be seen but so far are no signs of excessive wear despite being ridden in some really harsh conditions. Notably the soles still look like new after a few months of riding.
– Uppper: Asymetric high-top design; High-quality, synthetic leather; Laced closure with lace keeper strap; Internal “bootie” construction system; Rubber toe cap; Water resistant design
– Outsole: Molded SPD-compatible shank with optimized cleat zone; Vibram® MegaGrip™ rubber outsole
– Footbed: EVA midsole with Poron® XRD™ heel cushioning; Molded EVA footbed with medium arch support; Aegis® anti-microbial treatment
– Weight (claimed): 576 grams (size 42)
– Sizes: EU M-37 to M-48
– Colors: Black/Gum
– Comfortable right out of the box
– Ample protection
– Stiff soles for efficient power transfer
Food for thought:
– $160 MSRP is a bit on the steep side
– At over 1000g these are best kept for DH riding
– Sizing runs big, be sure to try them on
Visit www.giro.com to learn more about the technologies and details of the Chamber Mid Shoe.