The Giro Republic LX R shoes are excellent for commuting or touring, offering great hold and the ability to walk like a normal human being. There are a couple of downsides in that they only take two-bolt cleats and the soles are nylon, but these are relatively minor inconveniences when you take into account all of the positives that they offer.
Having recently started a new job that requires me to walk from the office to a gym to shower, I was increasingly finding that traditional road shoes just wouldn't hack it. The Giro Republic LX Rs offer the best of both worlds.
I already have a pair of Giro Empires and there are some definite similarities in shape and most noticeably in the lace closure. The Republics are slightly wider, but the general aesthetic is the same, almost like a 1970s football boot. I personally think they're great looking shoes.
The lace system takes a little bit of getting used to because you can't adjust on the go like you can with dials or ratchets, but I found that if you get them right when you put them on, there aren't any issues later in the ride.
One of the slight downsides of the shoes is that they can only take two-bolt cleats, so traditional road pedals are not compatible. The shoes also have an injected nylon sole which means they don't have the same kind of stiffness as a carbon sole. These two elements combined mean they are not high-performance shoes, so you can't put the same kind of power through the pedals as you would with a regular road shoe with a carbon sole.
However, off the bike these excel, with large rubber buffers and loads of grip meaning that you can walk in them as you would in a regular non-cycling shoe. It's where the slight flex in the sole is useful – you don't need to struggle up stairs or need to put on a coffee shop cap to walk for a couple of hundred metres. One element I particularly like is that the buffers have a slight curve to them, helping you maintain the same kind of gait as you would with a regular pair of shoes.
Ventilation is good, though I wouldn't necessarily want to wear them in 30 degrees. I also wore them in freezing conditions with a couple of pairs of socks without an issue, so they can be used in a wide range of conditions.
The shoes come in two options, either brown leather or reflective. I tested out the reflective option and although they don't necessarily have the same kind of classic look as the leather versions, they offer additional safety. In the dark they shine like beacons when hit with light, but look like regular grey shoes in normal lighting, which makes them ideal commuting shoes.
They're not the lightest, coming in at 663g for the pair, but they are 22g lighter than the Specialized Mixed Terrain Shoes, which are £10 more expensive, and over 100g lighter than the identically priced Shimano XC7 shoes.
The RRP of £179.99 is steep for a set of shoes with no carbon sole, but given their quality everywhere else, they're about where I would expect them to be. You can also find them closer to the £100 mark if you search around, which is a great price.
Overall, I was really impressed with these Giros. They don't offer the same kind of performance as regular road shoes in terms of stiffness and power transfer, but they more than make up for it in other ways.
A really great commuter or touring option with practical touches on top of a beautiful design
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Republic LX R
Size tested: 43
Tell us what the product is for
They are a set of commuter or touring shoes that aim to look good while also offering strong practical qualities.
Giro says, "TIMELESS LUXURY WITH CO-MOLDED DURABILITY
Cycling shoes can do more than just provide a great connection to the pedals''they also can get you wherever you want to go in comfort, with confidence and style, even when the ride ends. The Republic LX R combines an elegant upper with a new nylon and rubber co-molded outsole for improved durability and better traction for stable footing on roads, sidewalks and gravel when you're off the bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High-quality leather upper or reflective options
Laced closure with non-slip laces
Micro suede heel counter
Co-moulded nylon and rubber outsole with 2-bolt cleat mount
Mid-foot scuff guard
Moulded EVA footbed with microsuede top sheet and medium arch support
Really well-made shoes throughout.
These aren't race shoes, and what they slightly lack in power transfer and stiffness they more than make up for in quality and practicality.
Really durable thanks to the rubber buffers across the bottom of the shoe; they are likely to last for a long time.
They are slightly wider than the Giro Empires, but this didn't seem to impact fit at all.
The 43s I tested fitted exactly as I would expect 43s to fit.
They certainly aren't light compared to road race shoes, at 663g for the pair, but they aren't designed for that.
Really comfortable, as long as you get the lacing right.
They are a high-quality set of shoes with some really great practical elements, so they are priced about where I would expect.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, a simple wipe down with a damp cloth and I could get any dirt off.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, decent on the bike and excellent off it. They also look great, to the extent that I wore them to the pub a couple of times without bothering with a 'regular' pair of shoes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The rubber buffers at the bottom are great. They have clearly been designed to allow walking to be as simple as possible.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The two-hole cleat system limits them slightly and means you can't use regular road pedals.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Shimano XC7 shoes offer a similar 'do everything' design and come in at the same price while the Specialized Recon Mixed Terrain Shoes are £10 more.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Excellent commuter or touring shoes that allow for a lot of practical use off the bike as well as on it. They're expensive for non-race shoes, but given the high quality I think 8 is fair.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.