Giro Chamber II Clipless Shoe Review

The Giro Chamber II is a race-focused clipless mountain bike shoe that's designed for downhill and enduro riding.
Giro Chamber II mountain bike shoe

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t a lot of options for clipless, enduro-type shoes or pedals in a market that’s flooded with options for flat riders. Fortunately we have more choices than we did a few years ago, and the original Giro Chamber was one of the first decent options out there to rival Shimano, with significantly better visual appeal. The Chamber II is Giro’s most recent version of their clipless enduro shoe, and it builds on the success of that first model with skate-inspired styling.

Giro Chamber II key specs

  • Vibram sole with Megagrip rubber compound
  • EVA Midsole
  • Rockprint toe protection
  • SPD compatible
  • Lace-up closure with velcro strap
  • Water-resistant upper
  • Price: $150
  • Buy from Backcountry

The Giro Chamber II is the brand’s enduro and downhill clipless shoe, designed for the rigors of World Cup racing. Straight off the bat, it should be a few different things; stiff, tough, and well-made. When racing, you want to be able to put power down when needed without losing watts, and have a secure and confidence-inspiring connection to the bike.

The Chamber II is constructed with a Vibram rubber sole featuring Megagrip rubber and has a lugged tread that looks like the inverse of a Vans waffle tread. The midsole is EVA plastic, molded to have flexibility at the forefoot for pushing off the bike, and is stiffer toward the back of the shoe. The upper is made from a water-resistant and breathable microfiber with perforations for ventilation. Around the front and rear of the shoe there is a rubber coating designed to protect the toes and heel. The closure is lace-up, and has a velcro band to cinch things tight.

The Giro Chamber II is available in five colors –some mild, some wild — in EU sizes 35-50. On test is a size 45 in Black/Dark Shadow.

Giro Chamber II fit

The fit of the Chamber II feels decidedly racy. I’m a pretty solid size 45 in most shoes, and the size 45 Giro Chamber II definitely has a snug fit. Size-wise, the shoe is very close in dimension to other shoes I own, so the length is good, but the toe box is quite snug, especially the width. This results in a locked-in sort of feeling, with little room for movement. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is tight.

On the trail

I thought the snug fit might result in some problems on the trail, but despite it being fairly noticeable for the first few minutes of a ride, the shoes are not uncomfortable. The snug fit combines with the very stiff sole for good power transfer, and again, a locked-in sort of feeling. Sometimes a less stiff shoe can result in a squirmy feeling when trying to move the bike around. This is not the case with the Chamber II; any body input results into direct movement in the bike.

Throughout the ride, long or short, the Giro Chamber II is comfortable enough, though those that like a cushy, comfortable feel might want to look elsewhere. That said, sometimes ultra-stiff shoes can result in foot pain if they’re not supportive enough; again, I didn’t find this to be a problem. Despite the stiff sole, walking around off the bike is not laborious and they feel good to walk/push up the trail, with just enough flex for traction.

Giro talks about having shifted their cleat channel back 10mm to get the pedal under the rider’s foot to reduce fatigue and improve bike handling on technical trails. The cleat channel is shorter than some other shoes, so there’s not a ton of adjustment, however I did manage to find a position that works well for me, setting my cleats just a smidge behind the ball of my foot. I did have to trim a little rubber from edge of the cleat channel to be able to clip in properly, since I like to run my cleats as inboard as possible. Clipping in and out is simple enough, with the cleat channel guiding the pedal and cleat together pretty well.

The microfiber upper seems to work well. Splashing through puddles in the Chambers IIs doesn’t always result in wet feet, though the upper is no help in a downpour. The vents keep them comfortable on warm days, though the snug fit means it’s tough to wear thick socks on cold winter rides. I found that the shoe doesn’t keep heat in very well through winter, so those who ride solidly through winter should look at a winter-specific boot.

The overall quality seems decent so far; the stitches and craftsmanship are good, and the materials have held up well, with very little visible wear. The only real area of wear is on the laces, where the velcro strap tends to grab onto them and tear them up a little. When putting the shoes on, the velcro strap does get in the way of the laces a little; it’s a minor annoyance.

The rubber toe and heel protection is a nice touch, though it doesn’t feel particularly substantial. I haven’t had any toe injuries despite some rock strikes, though I feel the protection could be a little stiffer. Another complaint I have with shoes in this category is that there’s very rarely decent ankle protection for the inside of the foot in case of contact with the crank. A higher ankle would be nice.

Pros and Cons of the Giro Chamber II mountain bike shoes


  • Very stiff sole
  • Snug fit locks rider in for great bike control and a racy feel
  • Comfortable and well vented
  • Quality materials and construction


  • Snug fit isn’t for everyone
  • Not great in the cold
  • Ankle protection could be better

Bottom line

The Giro Chamber II is a race-focused enduro/downhill shoe with nice styling that doesn’t jump out too much, with quality materials and craftsmanship, a racy fit, and super-stiff sole. Those wanting a shoe that will give them a locked-in feeling for precise handling on technical trails will enjoy what the Chamber II offers. Those looking for something more casual may find this shoe to be too snug/stiff.