Giro Tracker Overview: Flat-pedal ATB Footwear?

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The Giro Tracker is the model’s—and perhaps the world’s—first all-terrain bicycling flat-pedal shoe. On this long-term evaluate, Logan weighs in on the pair he’s damaged in all through greater than 1,500 miles of use whereas bikepacking, gravel driving, and testing the extent of their capabilities on tough singletrack trails…

I wasn’t fairly certain what I used to be entering into with the Giro Tracker. The advertising and marketing one who despatched them to me final fall succinctly described it as “a flat pedal shoe for bikepacking that it’s best to take a look at.” I assumed that meant it was simply one other informal mountain bike shoe that’s comfortable sufficient for shuffling round camp or mid-adventure strolling round city. The Tracker was unreleased on the time, and I truthfully didn’t even know the mannequin title; I believed it was known as the Tack.

It was effectively after I took this pair of blue Giro Trackers on just a few rugged Pisgah path rides after I discovered that they weren’t even for mountain biking. In truth, the Tracker is being marketed as a type of all-terrain biking shoe—purpose-built footwear for gravel, bikepacking, and all different sorts of biking that fall into the nebulous void between highway biking and mountain biking. Who knew the world wanted a flat-pedal ATB shoe? I didn’t, however I’m glad I attempted it. Right here’s my evaluate of the Giro Tracker after over 1,500 miles of use on bikepacking journeys, gravel rides, and—for the sake of science—tough and rugged path driving on my mountain bike.

Giro Tracker Review

ATB Footwear?

Whether or not you prefer it or not, manufacturers within the biking business are busy conceiving and creating merchandise constructed exactly for gravel and mixed-terrain driving. These Übermensch elements and equipment embody every thing from gloves to helmets to saddles, all dubbed gravel-specific, adventure-ready, or another cheeky marketing-forward time period. Nevertheless, there hasn’t but been a bikepacking/gravel-specific flat-pedal shoe, so far as we all know. At this level a few of you’re in all probability rolling your eyes and concocting a remark that begins with the phrases “isn’t this simply advertising and marketing…”, however I personally suppose product improvement for area of interest biking actions isn’t a foul factor. It may even be fairly nice in some cases. Positive, gravel- or ATB-specific shorts and socks are sometimes ridiculous, and I’m not simply speaking about their costs, however an ATB-centric flat-pedal shoe is an attention-grabbing prospect.

  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes
  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

Flat-pedal mountain bike footwear are sometimes judged by match, consolation, breathability, safety, and the way effectively they grip the pedals. So how a couple of flat pedal gravel shoe, an ATB (all-terrain bike) shoe, or a bikepacking shoe? These metrics may not apply in the identical methods. Actually good pedal grip is crucial irrespective of the shoe, in my view, however different traits is perhaps adjusted to swimsuit, similar to minimizing padding to avoid wasting weight, utilizing completely different supplies make them fast to dry after getting moist, and prioritizing consolation in sure areas.

Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

That’s to not say good MTB flats can’t accomplish this stuff, however mountain bike footwear are sometimes overbuilt with thicker outsoles, heftier insoles, and burly padding to supply safety and influence resistance. The Giro Tracker tones that down somewhat. It clearly takes cues from the Giro Ventana, certainly one of Virginia’s favourite SPD footwear she reviewed in this roundup. On the outset, it has the same higher with gridded nylon cloth and thermo-bonded polyurethane overlays. However, beneath the hood, it’s product of lighter supplies and a thinner final that’s a departure from the model’s MTB footwear. They declare its thinner design locations the foot nearer to the pedal for optimum pedal contact. There is perhaps somewhat snake oil in that assertion, however I discovered that the Tracker’s minimal building has just a few good advantages.

  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

Minimalist Consolation

I actually recognize the informal, breezy really feel that comes from the lighter nylon higher and Giro’s total use of much less padding and bulk. For reference, my pair of dimension EU 43 (US 9.5) Trackers weighs 708 grams. That’s solely ~20 grams lower than my beloved Freerider Execs, however the Trackers really feel a lot lighter and extra ethereal. On that word, their skinny nylon higher materials doesn’t do a lot to maintain water from coming into, however they appear to dry out shortly after a stream crossing or passing bathe. And so they additionally breathe fairly effectively, making the Tracker one of many higher summer season footwear I’ve tried shortly.

Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

Higher but, they’re fairly snug whereas pedaling, even on lengthy days. The most important journey I took with them was a 750-mile scouting mission for the Jap Divide Path throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. My bike was misplaced by the airline at the start of the journey, and I used to be delayed in a resort for a pair days. Because of this, I needed to make up for misplaced time and miles as soon as I lastly acquired shifting. That meant averaging greater than 100 miles per day, generally as much as 125, which required a whole lot of time mashing the pedals. I’m pleased to report no foot ache or foot cramping points with the Trackers, an issue I’ve had with different footwear. That’s fairly spectacular contemplating that they’re pretty pliable. They’re additionally fairly comfortable to hike and stroll round in, though they don’t have as a lot assist as some people may like. Nonetheless, their soles aren’t overly flexy or too stiff, and in my view, they provide a pleasant middle-ground that works on and off the pedals. That mentioned, they acquired extra versatile over time, and in any case these miles, they’re considerably extra flexy than they had been out of the field, a trait widespread among the many flat-pedal footwear I’ve ridden long run.

The Trackers match me very well, too. I’ve comparatively slim ft and bizarrely lengthy toes, requiring a large toe field with biking footwear. In any other case, I find yourself with extreme ache or numbness in my toes after a protracted day. The Tracker has a pleasant and roomy toe field that maintains a cushty, strong match that doesn’t make your ft really feel like they’re floating round.


That very same minimalism interprets to the closure and ease of entry/exit. This might need been certainly one of my favourite traits of the Trackers, which bests all the opposite different footwear I’ve tried through the years on this regard. In brief, they’re tremendous quick and simple to placed on and take off. That’s not one thing I’ve actually thought of earlier than, however whenever you’re touring with a goal—aka making an attempt to get someplace on a schedule—little issues that save time are welcome. Additionally, getting up and out of the tent to pee in the course of the night time doesn’t get a lot simpler.

  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes
  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

What’s extra, the Tracker’s single L6 BOA and cable lacing does an awesome job at balancing the stress all through the shoe. I believe this (and the shoe’s ease of use) might be largely attributed to the molded plastic lace-keepers. They’re effectively designed and permit the cable to freely slide by them, translating to a fast launch and even stress throughout the shoe from fore to aft. Notice in addition they make a less expensive lace-up model for many who are against BOA dials.

Pedal Grip

The Tack rubber compound used on the Tracker’s outsole is best than a whole lot of flat-pedal MTB footwear I’ve tried. In truth, it’s simply as sticky as lots of my favourite footwear. One of many some ways I choose that’s whether or not the pedals transfer or come unglued underfoot when spinning. This can be a downfall of footwear with inferior rubber compounds, and having to regulate my foot placement irks me after I’m grinding out the miles on a protracted journey. The Tack rubber appears to do a superb job of holding them in place, however there may be one caveat: they’re not nice for extra aggressive mountain biking.

Giro Tracker Review

One factor that makes some mountain bike footwear grip pedals higher than others is the midsole and cushion between the foot and outsole, or tread. That is sometimes called the EVA midsole. The cushion and the rubber compound act as a workforce to offer pedal grip on tough surfaces. The rubber supplies the grip, and the midsole acts as a shock absorber whenever you hit bumps or encounter jarring impacts like a rock drop on a path. Having the correct mixture of thicknesses and supplies performs an enormous half in maintaining your foot on the pedal whenever you encounter such impacts. The Giro Tracker has an EVA midsole, nevertheless it’s pared down as compared with true mountain bike footwear. When driving a hardtail on the tough trails right here in Pisgah, I had just a few “oh shit!” moments when huge roots or rock drops had been concerned and the pedal rotated beneath the shoe. The Tack rubber is sort of sticky, however the lack of correct damping cushion makes these footwear unfit for extra aggressive path driving.

I don’t suppose that is essentially a foul factor, nevertheless. The part of Jap Divide Path I used to be scouting (EDT2) is fairly tough. It consists of a whole lot of primitive tracks shared by ATVs that get fairly rocky and bumpy. I didn’t have any notable sketchy off-pedal moments on that experience. At that tempo and kind of driving, that wasn’t a problem. For most individuals who aren’t hitting jumps or ripping by rock gardens, this gained’t be an element.

  • Giro Tracker Review
  • Giro Tracker Review, Boa Flat Pedal Shoes

The grippy rubber sole interprets pretty effectively to hike-a-bike grip. Simply this previous weekend, I pushed my bike up a steep, moist, rudimentary path and observed how effectively they did. With out extra vital lugs on the toe and heel of the shoe, they fall somewhat quick on rubbly steep hikes, however in any other case they’ve surprisingly good hike-a-bike grip. Regardless of this comparatively sticky (and theoretically tender) rubber, the soles have held up effectively over the lengthy haul. As you may see in these pictures, there are a few pedal pin scars, and I discussed them getting somewhat extra flexy over time, however I believe they may simply see one or two thousand extra miles of pushing the pedals.

The Giro Tracker is out there out of your native Giro seller for $130, which isn’t a foul worth. The Tracker is available in sizes 39-50 for males in three completely different shade choices, and so they additionally make a girls’s model in sizes 36-43. And when you don’t need the BOA closure, you will get the “Quick Lace” model for $110.

  • Mannequin/Measurement Examined: Males’s Measurement 43 US (9.5 EU)
  • Precise Weight: 708 grams (pair)
  • Place of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Value (Males’s): $130 at Backcountry
  • Value (Ladies’s): $130 at Backcountry
  • Producer’s Particulars:


  • Tremendous gentle and ethereal design
  • BOA dial is exact, and clean cable guides make getting them on and off very quick and simple
  • Minimal soles are snug to stroll round in and nonetheless strong sufficient that they are often ridden all day with no discomfort
  • Aesthetic isn’t annoying or excessive
  • Tack rubber is fairly grippy, even when simply spinning


  • Thinner insole isn’t cushioned sufficient for larger impacts and might trigger a sudden lack of pedal grip; not precisely a con, as described above
  • Not a lot padding or safety for the rowdy stuff
  • Flat sole doesn’t provide a ton of hike-a-bike grip in free/steep circumstances

Wrap Up

The Giro Tracker has so much going for it. For one, there merely aren’t many choices on the market prefer it, and it undoubtedly isn’t simply one other flat-pedal mountain bike shoe. It’s a minimal and light-weight shoe that’s surprisingly snug on all-day rides and whereas mountain climbing or simply sauntering about. The Tracker has a extremely breathable design that’s supreme for lengthy summer season days and has additionally confirmed to be fairly sturdy. For multi-mode bikepacking, the BOA dial is a wonderful contact for with the ability to shortly put them on or take away them to maneuver quick, get out and in of your tent, or simply stretch your ft round camp. They’re fairly grippy, too, and so they make an awesome all-around biking shoe for quite a lot of mixed-terrain rides.

Positive, there are many good mountain bike footwear that do a whole lot of this stuff effectively. I’ve just lately been impressed with the brand new Specialised 2FO, for instance. Nevertheless, when you’re on the lookout for a very specialised shoe for weight, ease of entry and exit, and breathability—particularly for less-than-rowdy MTB pursuits—the Giro Tracker is perhaps exactly what you want. It’s turn out to be a favourite of mine and the one which I attain for greater than many others in my assortment primarily based on the convenience of use and luxury.

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