With so many styles of biking riding nowadays there are a lot of gear options to go with each discipline. Whichever discipline you do, it can be nice to have a shoe that’s specifically up to the task. But why not have a shoe in your closet that works with more than one discipline and is very versatile? I recently added gravel adventure biking into my lifestyle and the Giro Tracker Shoe couldn’t have come at a better time for me as my closet is mostly full of heavy, rugged, MTB-specific gear.
Giro Tracker specs
At first glance, you might think that these are clipless pedal shoes. These are, in fact, flat pedal shoes — and if you look closely, the shoe is built from a textile upper and what Giro states calls thermobonded PU overlays. There’s also a die-cut footbed, a BOA L6 lacing system, and a tack rubber outsole dual-layer EVA gamma tread which is optimized for pedal pins. The Giro Tracker shoe comes weighs 337g for a size 43.
Giro fit and sizing
I generally wear a regular men’s size 10.5, landing me at a size 44 on Giro’s size chart, and I found the shoe to fit true to size.
The Tracker shoes are a breeze to slide into. The instant release function of the BOA L6 dials make in and out of the shoe quick and easy, and it offers fine adjustment in 1mm increments to dial in the fit. I was able to do a quick tightening adjustment while riding my bike with a simple and quick turn of the BOA knob, which is super convenient when you want to keep your eyes on what’s ahead.
On the trail / pavement with the Giro Tracker
I took my Shimano clipless pedals off my gravel bike, threw some flat pedals on, and immediately a gray cloud appeared over my head. Just kidding. We started a ride at Golden Gate Park with Crissy Fields as our final destination. With about forty percent road, forty percent gravel trails, and roughly 20 percent walking around the farmers market, this shoe performed extraordinarily.
The Tack rubber outsole worked well with my large CrankBrother Stamp pedals, with excellent outsole and pedal pin engagement. On this mixed terrain ride, the trails were mellow so I never once felt my foot moving around even when getting out of the saddle to put some extra power in. The shoe was easy on the sole of my foot with its dual-layer EVA midsole which allowed me to hike the bike and walk around comfortably when needed.
The shoes are feather light without compromising on sturdiness and stiffness. The textile upper is what gives the shoe its lightweight properties and excellent breathability. They really do breathe well, which is a plus if you’re like me and tend to have hot feet all the time. The thermobonded PU overlay construction gives the shoe sturdiness and added some toe protection as well.
I also tried the Giro Tracker shoes on trail with my full suspension mountain bike running the same CrankBrother Stamp 11 pedals. The outsole is large enough to comfortably sit on the platform and the shoe performed well on both the climbs and descents that my local green/blue trails had to offer.
Now, when things got fast, chunky, rowdy or I hit some jumps on the black diamond trails, I had a few foot slips that made me uncomfortable. To be fair, the Giro Trackers are not advertised for this type of aggressive riding. This was more of a “what if” moment in my testing. Giving the Tracker a go on aggressive trails helped me better understand what disciplines this shoe is capable of. All in the name of Science of course….
The Tracker flat pedal shoe is a simple, yet well executed shoe that is excellent for light trail, XC, gravel, urban adventures, or even commuting. It breathes well, offers all day comfort, has good shoe stiffness for a lightweight shoe, and a tacky enough rubber outsole to keep your feet in place. However, they are not ideal for more aggressive riding, so don’t plan on “sending it” with these. I will be getting a pair for my wife, as she is not comfortable riding clips yet and has been looking for a lightweight breathable flat shoe.
Personally, I would have preferred to have the BOA knob at the side of the shoe rather than on the tongue itself. This made the top of the tongue a bit stiff, I would have liked more flexibility on that area of the shoe, though it hasn’t compromised comfort on my rides. The Giro Tracker shoe fits right in between my clipless gravel shoes and my all-mountain flat pedal shoes.
Throw the Trackers on, ride through some dirt trails, ride through downtown, walk around, and ride back home. For $130, these are very well worth it. They come in a fast lace version, but I would recommend spending the extra $20 for these BOA versions making fitting fast and easy.
- BOA L6 system allows for quick and precise adjusment
- Lightweight at 337g for a size 43
- Well ventilated upper
Pros and cons of the Giro Tracker bike shoe.
- BOA ratchet system location makes top of tongue stiff
- Rubber outsole could be grippier