Giant's Phase 2 Road Shoes offer a very comfortable upper and nicely shaped sole for general riding, with a bit of flex when riding hard the only real thing to go against them.
The first time I slipped my foot into the Phase 2 I was really impressed with the comfort levels, not just from the supple upper but from the shape of the sole which just felt right. I was a little concerned that the thick tongue might induce hot spots over the top of my foot, but in reality it worked nicely with the ratchet strap pulling down tight to keep my foot secure. The tongue acts like a little pad to remove any pressure.
The ratchet is really easy to use and has a defined click, so it's easy to adjust on the fly when you're wearing gloves.
As well as the ratchet you get two Velcro straps for retention, with the top one tightening in the same direction as the ratchet and the bottom one going the other way. I don't know whether there's supposed to be any performance or comfort benefit to this, but it certainly didn't bring up any issues.
The sole will take any three-bolt road cleat system and there is also an option to fit two-bolt mountain bike cleats as well, which could be useful. There are a few measuring lines on the sole for refitting cleats, although they are a little difficult to see.
With everything set up and clipped into the pedals, that initial comfort remains when you are out on the bike. The shape of the Phase 2 just feels right around your foot and I rode along for miles in total blissful comfort.
The only issue I did have was when getting out of the saddle to sprint or climb hard: I found the ForceDrive nylon sole a little on the flexible side, which did lead to a few hotspots once I'd knocked the pace back.
To be fair, the Phase 2s aren't out and out racing shoes and for those kind of efforts you are going to be better off with a firmer carbon fibre offering, so I'm not going to be too critical.
For steady riding, audax or touring they are very suitable, and the large heel bumper helps when walking on smooth surfaces. It isn't replaceable, but it seems pretty hardwearing.
The sole itself has plenty of venting, which Giant calls Airstream. You have two mesh vents at the front and two larger ones under the arch. As the weather has got cooler, you don't half notice the chilly wind whip through, so if you are wearing them in the winter you might want to tape them up.
The upper has a decent amount of vents too, but not like a summer race shoe, so there is less of a chill coming through this way. They are breathable, though.
That upper, as I said, is very supple and it moves well with your foot when you are pedalling. During testing I caught the end of the warmth in September and even if your feet start to swell, they don't feel confined.
The Phase 2s are available in black or white and come in a range of sizes from EUR 39-48. I have the 45s, which Giant says should equate to a UK11, but they fitted my size 10 feet spot on.
When it comes to pricing, the rrp of £89.99 is about right for a pair of shoes that come with a nylon sole. They stand up well when compared to something like Shimano's RP4 SPD SL shoes, which come with a fibreglass-reinforced nylon sole for £109.99, though you are getting a bit of Boa action.
There are cheaper options, such as the FLR F35.III for £64.99, but when comparing the two, the Giants come out better in pretty much every aspect, which is impressive considering the mere £15 extra that they cost.
Overall, for any type of riding that doesn't require you putting out huge efforts the Phase 2 shoes are hard to fault, backed up by that great fit and shape.
With a nice shape and fit, the Giants are great for long distance riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giant Phase 2 Road Shoes
Size tested: 11
Tell us what the product is for
Giant says, "The all-new Phase give you the comfort and power transfer you need to increase your mileage and push yourself harder. The ForceDrive™ nylon airstream outsole and fast ratchet buckle deLiver great power transfer, while the Airstream™ 4-vent cooling system and TransTextura Plus™ antibacterial footbed combine to keep you fresh as you soak up the miles."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sole: ForceDrive™ nylon Airstream™ outsole
Tread: Streamlined tread, anti-slip studs in front and rear
Foot bed: TransTextura Plus™ antibacterial foot bed
Ventilation: Airstream™ 4-vent cooling system
Upper: Quick fit vented mesh upper
Closure: Fast ratchet buckle + 2 Velcro® straps
My size UK10 feet fitted the 45s perfectly, which Giant says should be a UK11... so it might be worth going up a size. In most shoe brands I would say I always wear a 45 over 44 though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For the type of riding they are designed for they do a decent job of balancing comfort and performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They can get chilly in the winter.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are priced competitively when you take into account what you are getting in terms of finish. Some brands, like Shimano, Giro and Specialized, all have shoes with nylon soles that are more expensive than the Giants.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not for my style of riding.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A quality pair of shoes for the money, especially when it comes to the shape and fit. If you need to put the power down, though, you will have to cope with the slightly flexible sole.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!