Giro Prolight Techlace Shoes
Giro's Prolight Techlace shoes are exceptionally light, but their thin material is not very supportive.
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At 327 grams for the pair (size 44), Giro’s Prolights easily live up to the name, and they go well beyond that. They’re exceptionally comfortable, simple, and flashy. But this isn’t an especially supportive pair of shoes, so before buying, ask yourself what you’re after: the lightest, or the most rugged. If you want the former, you’re on the right track, but for the latter, take a hard pass.
Climbers looking for the lightest kit out there can stop the search now. Without buckles or Boa dials, the Prolights barely register on the scale. A pair of Prolights weighs only about 30 grams more than a single Sidi Shot shoe, in fact. The Techlaces contribute to the featheriness, and the upper Ultralight Techmesh with Teijin TPU skeletal overlay material, reminiscent of ripstop backpack material, is almost see-through. The heel cup works like a charm. Even with the super-thin upper material allowing my foot to flex and wander a bit, the heel cup kept the rear of my foot firmly in place.
The downside of that upper material: It doesn’t hold its form. If you’re looking for a super-supportive upper to leverage your foot against during violent sprints, the Prolights aren’t your jam. The Techlaces also have a tendency to loosen slightly as you ride. Contrast that with the TeXtreme Advanced Concepts carbon outsole with titanium hardware, which is super-stiff but seems at odds with the flimsy upper.
About those Techlaces: They work wonders on Giro’s other high-end race shoe, the Factor Techlace. Those shoes have a Boa dial at the ankle to keep things snug, while the dial is replaced by a third Techlace on the Prolights. Two things keep this from being a great system. First, the shoe’s tongue ends slightly lower than the top Techlace, so the lace crosses your foot directly rather than being cushioned by the tongue; and second, the laces have a tendency to stretch over the course of your ride. This is less of an issue on the forefoot where your foot will probably swell a bit anyway during your ride, but more of an issue at the ankle where it’s important to keep your foot secured in the shoe.
Still, the three-Techlace system is quick and easy to adjust, and that supple feel over the foot could be ideal for you, especially if you love the feel of laces but hate tying (and sometimes re-tying) shoes before a ride to get the snugness just right. And that’s what makes the Prolight exceptional: a sock-like feel that makes it one of the most comfortable shoes out there. The feathery weight is the kicker. Just remember the Prolights are more Contador and less Kittel.