Friday, November 29, 2013

Product Review: Giro Mele Triathlon Shoe

From Giro's website: Giro's Website Link.
Mele™ Tri Shoes

The Mele™ Tri offers a snug, supportive fit with breathability, power transfer and fast transition in mind. The upper features a wide throat opening with a stout upper strap for secure fit, as well as an integrated scuff guard at the heel. Our acclaimed SuperNatural Fit footbed with Aegis® anti-microbial treatment provides adjustable arch support to optimize fit and power transfer, creating a perfect complement to the best-in-class Easton® EC70™ composite outsole.
Manufacturer Video: Link here.

From Tri Coach K:
My initial aesthetic impression of these shoes is overall positive.  The shoes have a visually wide mouth to the upper, as stated by the manufacturers description; I can attest that the design of this part of the shoe definitely lends itself well to easy slip-on.  I really like the color options they make available as well.  I chose the Chrome/White style but it was a toss-up between those and the Obsidian/Highlight Yellow-the website pictures doesn't do justice to the Obsidian has a very nice shimmer/gloss finish that looks killer in the sun.  The Obsidian is actually more of a mocha/charcoal color in certain lighting. 

Giro has done us right by utilizing two straps instead of just one; some shoes I have used have had only one strap, to evidently speed up the transition and slip-on, which in most cases actually seems to diminish the quality of the shoe fit to the foot, by leaving the forefoot and toe-box somewhat roomy and not snug enough to reduce blisters.  Not the case with Giro...the two strap design allows for good fit without cutting off circulation in the forefoot.  The larger of the two straps, by the ankle, is reversed to allow for on-the-bike slip-on without the worry of getting the strap tangled in the chain.

The mesh on the front of the shoe could be easily covered by a forefoot style booty, for the cooler spring or autumn rides.  The ventilation is nice for indoor spinning on the trainer, or hot arid summer days. 

In the past I have ridden several brands of shoes including Carnac, Shimano, Bontrager, Sidi, Pearl Izumi, and Giro.  Giro's description is true to my testing.  They felt good, kept my feet well aired, and while either socked or barefoot, my feet were secure so as not to blister.  

One really cool feature in addition to the already mentioned features is the 3 different arch support inserts provided.  The Aegis anti-microbial insole has a small, medium, and large arch insert that is seamlessly integrated into the in-sole so as not to create points of irritation or chafe.  For riders with a very wide and high foot, with little to no arch or flat feet, the in-sole could be taken out, but a thinner in-sole would be recommended in its place.

The shoes retail on the Giro site for $200 which is very competitive to similar shoes of similar quality and intended use.  A comparable model would be Bontrager's Hilo RXL Triathlon shoe which retails for about $180.  I have been riding on Bontrager's RL Road shoe on the trainer for the last few weeks and I like these as well, so I can't say anything bad about Bontrager's Hilo RXL shoes.  Giro and Bontrager are using their composite technology honed from wheel building to make their shoe soles stiff and able to transfer power efficiently.

Giro utilizes top notch innovation from its composite sister company Easton, for the soles on this shoe.  The EC70 Carbon Composite is similar to the caliber and quality used in Easton's engineering of the famous racing wheels like their EC90's, a favorite among triathletes and time-trialists who are looking for something different from the standard issue Zipp wheel.

Maple Grove Cycling is a dealer of Giro, Bontrager and several other great cycling shoe brands.  Tri Coach K was not paid by any of the companies mentioned in this review and the review was done solely and autonomously from any outside input or guidance.  The italicized text at the intro to the review is from Giro's website, and the photo and video are produced by Giro and can be viewed on Giro's website.

I hope this review is helpful.  Please give me feedback and direct comments/questions in the comment box below!

Train Smart, Keep Balanced,
Tri Coach K   

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