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Verdict: 
A really great commuter or touring option with practical touches on top of a beautiful design
Weight: 
663g

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.

  • Pros: Easy to walk in, reflective, good looking
  • Cons: Only two-bolt cleat mounting, more flexy than a carbon sole

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.

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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.

Giro Republic LX R-2.jpg

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.

Giro Republic LX R-3.jpg

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.

> Buyer's Guide: The best casual cycling kit for commuting

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.

Verdict

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?

Giro lists:

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

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Really well-made shoes throughout.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

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.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Really durable thanks to the rubber buffers across the bottom of the shoe; they are likely to last for a long time.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

They are slightly wider than the Giro Empires, but this didn't seem to impact fit at all.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

The 43s I tested fitted exactly as I would expect 43s to fit.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

They certainly aren't light compared to road race shoes, at 663g for the pair, but they aren't designed for that.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Really comfortable, as long as you get the lacing right.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

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 flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

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.  

16 comments

Avatar
Cowoner [5 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

When I first saw these I thought they were a downgrade to the original Republics because they dropped the exchangable walking pads.
After having owned the old model for two years I'm close to binning the second set of pads because they just disintegrate within a couple months of moderate use and they get increasingly hard to come by.
On top of that it looks like this new model would have loads more grip on hard surfaces, just due to the tread design and they are probably not as clanky having waaaay thicker rubber.
Although I wonder about the durability of the upper and the soles. Mine started looking pretty horrible after just a couple gravel outings...

Avatar
Wafty Crank [30 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Look similar to the Shimano RT4 which cost less than half the price.

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theCiSCOkid [11 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Good review, you should make people aware that the rubber is so poor it disintergrates rapidly.

I have the knitted Republics, sent them back because the sole had deteriated so badly after only a few months. They wouldn't honour the warranty so I would steer clear of these.

Apparently the rubber on the old replacement pads have the same issue.

Go for the Quoc Gran Tourer. A quality shoe that will last!!

Avatar
sanremo [2 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Cowoner wrote:

When I first saw these I thought they were a downgrade to the original Republics because they dropped the exchangable walking pads.
After having owned the old model for two years I'm close to binning the second set of pads because they just disintegrate within a couple months of moderate use and they get increasingly hard to come by.
On top of that it looks like this new model would have loads more grip on hard surfaces, just due to the tread design and they are probably not as clanky having waaaay thicker rubber.
Although I wonder about the durability of the upper and the soles. Mine started looking pretty horrible after just a couple gravel outings...

....agree completely.
I commute daily and found the pads all but useless. Also costly and difficult to source.
I'm now wearing the shoe without pads relying on the bolts for added grip !  1

Other than this the shoe is fine and has worn reasonably well.

Avatar
Simon E [3788 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
Quote:

tou can't put the same kind of power through the pedals as you would with a regular road shoe with a carbon sole.

Is that a real fact or is it b*ll*cks yet another cycling myth?

Avatar
AfterPeak [160 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

I have had mine for 3 years, done around 15,000 miles in all conditions commuting. Never replaced the pads but have replaced the laces 3 times. They were comfy straight out of the box. Only issue and its a big one is that the sole started detaching around a year ago (still holding). Pictures below as evidence  1

Avatar
AfterPeak [160 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Top

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AfterPeak [160 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Side

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iso2000 [116 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

"Only two-bolt cleat mounting" is a con? How can this be when they are designed and sold as a two-bolt cleat mounting shoe? It's like criticising a lightweight summer jersey for letting in the cold.

Avatar
bobbk [21 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Had mine around 4 years. On my 3rd set of sole pads (never had a problem sourcing replacement pads). I use touring pedals and over pronate, leading to uneven wear on the soles. Knees start to play up when the soles wear down on one side - replacing the pads always fixes my knees. 

Heel cup is starting to collapse on my pair so went to buy replacement shoes. Was seriously annoyed that they've been downgraded to a moulded sole. Shop salesman tried to persuade me that the sole would last years even after I told him I was on my 3rd set of replacement pads... 

Would never pay £180 for a pair of cycling shoes that would only last me a year, might take a look at those Quoc's.

 

Also would genuinely like to know the power loss from a flexible sole. Tried googling the answer but came up blank. 

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

seems massively over rated for what are clearly not very good 'commute' shoes.

Best all around Shoes I've had are Northwave Mission, Vibram sole so make for epic walking shoe and you'd be hard pushed to find a comfier walking shoe IMHO and they were good enough for off the beaten track.

For touring where I might not be walking so much and/or off road then I'll use my Shimano MO89, great closure system, sole that's slightly stiffer so more performance orientated than the Northwave but not compromising comfort. 

On the face of it, it looks like a very pretty shoe but clearly is woeful in terms of the important things you want from an all round shoe. At the price it probably doesn't deserve 2.5 stars never mind 4!

Avatar
Cugel [77 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

If you like the look and function of these then get a pair of dhb Doricas, which are almost identical but perform & last very well, as I can attest. I have three pairs, all bought for £50, which they often are at Wiggle.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-dorica-mtb-shoe/

Why pay 3X as much just for a label? Why pay more for something that disintegrates?

Cugel

Avatar
Simon E [3788 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
Cugel wrote:

If you like the look and function of these then get a pair of dhb Doricas, which are almost identical but perform & last very well, as I can attest. I have three pairs, all bought for £50, which they often are at Wiggle.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-dorica-mtb-shoe/

Why pay 3X as much just for a label? Why pay more for something that disintegrates?

Cugel

Bookmarked, thanks.

But why did you need 3 pairs? I'm still using a pair of Shimano MTB shoes I bought in 2008, I'm having great difficulty trying to wear them out (averaging ~5,000 miles/year).

Avatar
Cugel [77 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:
Cugel wrote:

If you like the look and function of these then get a pair of dhb Doricas, which are almost identical but perform & last very well, as I can attest. I have three pairs, all bought for £50, which they often are at Wiggle.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-dorica-mtb-shoe/

Why pay 3X as much just for a label? Why pay more for something that disintegrates?

Cugel

Bookmarked, thanks.

But why did you need 3 pairs? I'm still using a pair of Shimano MTB shoes I bought in 2008, I'm having great difficulty trying to wear them out (averaging ~5,000 miles/year).

A white pair size 45 for summer. A black pair size 46 for winter (with thick waterproof socks). A spare blacjk pair size 45 for use at a different place 200 miles away where there is also another bike and clothes.

None of them are showing any significant wear after thousands of miles.

Cugel

Avatar
simonmb [715 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

I'm still using a pair of Shimano MTB shoes I bought in 2008, I'm having great difficulty trying to wear them out (averaging ~5,000 miles/year).

I'm still using a pair of Bontrager RL mtb shoes - same vintage. Every time I put them on I think about getting a new pair, but the simple fact is that they're still great shoes. No idea what I paid, but certainly not three-figures. Goes to show that to be good, an mtb / commuting shoe doesn't need to be over-designed nor too technical. 

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John_S [95 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I have the previous versions of these shoes with the detachable pads and so far touch wood I've not had a problem with them.

The shoes are used for year round commuting and the main reason that I bought them is because of the reflective qualities which I wanted for commuting in the dark and for me this was & is the big plus of the shoes.

I walk only a short distance from where I park my bike and then go into the office and to date I've not had a problem with the soles or detachable pads.  I probably wouldn't plan on walking a long way in them but if anyone was then maybe a shoe like the Giro Rumble would be worth considertion as an alternative because that has a Vibram sole.