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Giant has released a new version of its Surge Pro shoes with changes to the sole shape, improved aesthetics and the offer of some cool colour options – all while maintaining the huge stiffness and excellent performance of the previous model. If you want a pair of what could be considered some of the best high performance road cycling shoes on the market, then the Surge Pros are worthy of your consideration.
The previous version of Giant's Surge Pros had a very narrow section for the sole's middle section, which meant there was more upper material in place that basically wrapped entirely around your foot. At first, I didn't find that design very forgiving, though it did get better after I'd ridden a couple of hundred miles, when it softened up a little, with comfort increasing as a result.
This version has a more traditional width sole that's made of full carbon fibre, rather than the nylon-reinforced composite used for some soles, and a twin-'beam' design that's intended to increase stiffness through the central section.
And straight out of the box I found this version much more comfortable whether I was riding on the road or the turbo.
This is Giant's top-end offering and is dished out to some sponsored pros, including Grand Tour winner Simon Yates, so it's no surprise that the Surge Pros are all about performance.
The soles are some of the stiffest I've used. Even with my – albeit amateur – legs pumping out full watts while sprinting or pushing through interval sessions, I couldn't detect even the slightest whiff of any flex. They are unbelievably stiff.
I like their shape too, they contoured my feet well with a slight raise to the arch, and there are various arch supports that allow you to tweak the fit too.
Front and rear bumpers aid walking and help to protect the toe and heel from scuffing, and there is a decent size mesh vent underneath the ball of your foot – though there isn't one at the rear that would allow a breeze to flow through.
They are designed for three-bolt cleat systems, and you'll find markings on the soles to aid alignment.
The uppers are created from a man-made material that is stiff enough for support while still allowing enough give and movement for comfort to not be an issue. They aren't as supple overall as some high-end shoes I have worn, but that didn't detract from the enjoyment of wearing them.
In fact, I barely noticed the Surge Pros while riding, which is what you want really. Even the soles, for all their stiffness, didn't cause any pressure points or hot spots to develop which, even with other high-end shoes, isn't always the case.
The only time I found them at all punishing is riding over very rough sections of road, where they can transmit chatter.
Anyway, back to the uppers.
Available in white, black or a very cool Chromaflair colour, the Surge Pro's uppers are made from very few sections, and where they are joined this is barely noticeable to the eye – or your foot – thanks to laser welding that minimises ridges.
The tongue aids fit by allowing the upper to wrap nicely over the contours of your foot, with everything in held in place by two Li2 BOA reels. These can be adjusted in both directions, you can tweak them on the fly and they spread tension evenly over the upper part of your feet. A quick pull on the dial releases tension altogether.
The BOAs are accompanied by a Velcro tab at the front for extra security.
On both sides there are sections with small holes for venting, which can make things nippy in winter but should be sufficient in summer, except perhaps for the very hottest days.
The sizing is fairly typical for cycling shoes. I wear a UK 10 in most brands' cycling shoes, which usually equates to an EUR 45.
As with some other brands, Giant says that a EUR 45 corresponds to a UK 11 – but I wouldn't say that they are that big, so you may want to go up a size. I know that you don't require as much space for movement in a cycling shoe that you would in an everyday shoe, but even taking that into account I wouldn't want to go down a size in the Giants.
I didn't have much room to spare, and what there was, would be taken up by my feet swelling in warm temperatures.
At £299 the Surge Pros are far from cheap, but this isn't extreme against some of the opposition, and I reckon you're getting excellent quality for your money.
Overall, not cheap and you might need to play about a bit with the sizing, but if you want very stiff yet comfortable race shoes that look as bling as you like, then the Surge Pros make an excellent choice.
High-level performance and comfort to match their price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giant Surge Pro shoes
Size tested: 11
Tell us what the product is for
Giant says: "The new Surge Pro is made for decisive bursts on the road and the long hours in between. Race days and training days. Phenomenal power transfer is combined with lightweight comfort and a personalized fit. It's the lightest, most efficient road shoe ever from Giant, and it's the top choice for pros including grand tour winner Simon Yates of Team BikeExchange-Jayco."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
All-new ExoBeam outsole features a dual-beam design made with ultralight 100% carbon fiber lay-up construction for superior toe-heel stiffness
An all-new 360° wrap-around upper with high frequency welded seams and laser cut micro-perforations for optimal ventilation and a balanced foot climate
All-new internal ExoWrap structure for an ultra-comfortable, 360-degree foot enclosure and a customizable fit
All-new exclusive performance last offers all-day comfort and increased fit options
All new micro-adjust Li2 Boa® reels give a super secure and comfortable fit
Ultra grippy SharkSkin heel liner gives a secure, slip-free fit even under the harshest conditions
Removable sock liner with tunable arch support and TransTextura Plus™ antimicrobial layer promotes a balanced foot climate
Great all-round fit thanks to a well-shaped sole and cossetting upper.
Go by the EUR sizing and you should be fine, as the UK sizing comes up a bit small.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The white colour marks easily but they are easy to wipe clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very stiff road shoes for all kind of efforts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive balance of stiffness and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing is a little off.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They sit at a high price point but, as mentioned in the review, there is plenty of 'stiff' competition at much higher prices.
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
The sizing can be a little off, though Giant isn't alone here, but for performance, comfort and quality they really can't be faulted.
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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!