Giro rarely comes to Eurobike without a product to get the crowds talking, and this year it was Empire VR 70 Knit--the "shoe of the show," according Giro PR guy Peter Nicholson. That's because the latest iteration of the Empire eschews traditional upper materials for knit (insert Grandma knitting joke here).
Giro opted for the running-shoe-inspired material--topped with a TPU skeleton for abrasion resistance--as an alternative to leather or microfiber because it's ultra-breathable, comfortable, and the manufacturing process requires far less waste as it doesn't necessitate cutouts of large sheets where leftovers are tossed. The shoe sports a Vibram sole and a DWR coating so it dries quickly should you cross a creek.
The Empire VR 70 Knit mountain bike model, with an ankle cuff, runs $250 and is only available in men's sizing right now.
While it was the knit that lured people in, there was plenty of other note-worthy gear at the Giro booth this year.
Here's a sampling: