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Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes



Nearly great shoes for all types of riding, but the buzzy insole and sizing/cleat adjustment niggles all detract
Comfortable, secure shaping
Easy to get on and off
No sole vents – good for winter
Take two and three-bolt cleats
Good reflective heels
Size up rather short
Very stiff insole transmits road buzz
Cleat adjustment could be wider
No sole vents – bad for summer

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes offer a secure and comfortable fit, a usefully stiff sole, and they're easy to get on and off. They have issues, though: they size up a little small, the insole is too harsh for long-ride comfort, and the cleat adjustment is only just enough for some riders.

After a few hours, these feel like very stiff shoes, but they aren't – and that's perhaps not the best two worlds to combine. While the carbon-reinforced sole is certainly stiff enough for most of us and most riding (if not quite for racers or powerful sprinters), it's not as stiff as your increasingly buzzy feet suggest.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - instep.jpg

That's down to the thin and extremely firm 'sport insole', which transmits more road buzz than any other insole I've ridden with. They're not harsh enough to particularly notice from moment to moment – these shoes don't spank your feet over broken tarmac like genuinely stiff-soled ones can – but it's certainly enough to notice cumulatively over the course of a ride.

I found my feet felt noticeably buzzy and just faintly tender after little more than an hour over pretty average road surfaces.

It's a shame, because the supple upper (a one-piece Synchwire thing, apparently, with a thermo-bonded exo-structure) is very comfortable and very well shaped. The deep heel cup is very secure and, despite there only being a single L6 Boa dial to secure them, I had zero issues with lifting.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - side and BOA.jpg

The uppers and the tongues are perforated all over with laser fire, which is exciting, and certainly in the temperatures I had for the test – mostly from 10° to not quite 20°C – they breathed very well. There are no vents at all in the sole, though, so they won't be the very coolest option for high summer. On the other hand, that's better for the other three seasons, off-road use and wet rides with covers.

> How to choose the best cycling shoes for you

At 569g (size 44) they're not the lightest out there, but they're not trying to be – and with their steel inserts for both two and three-bolt cleats, you don't expect it. They don't feel heavy, though.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - sole heel.jpg

There are toe and heel bumpers to protect the sole, and though neither is replaceable they're pretty substantial. The adjustment scales are very clearly engraved, but I did find that actual range of adjustment slightly limited.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - sole.jpg

I like my feet set quite far apart, but could only just get them out to acceptable spots at full adjustment. I was also maxed out for adjustment towards to the toes. The eventual result was fine, just, but these could definitely use a few more millimetres of travel to match most other shoes I've used.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - sole toe.jpg

I feel a little bad about all this complaining – with a bit of fettling and a good insole these solidly built, attractive shoes could be just great – but I'm not quite finished. Having initially tried my usual size (EU44) I had to swap to an EU45, as these come up quite short. The 44 was unusually cramped at the toes. The bigger ones are a perfect fit, at least, and they're available in EU39-50.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - side.jpg

To throw in a random positive, the large grey logos on the heels light up nicely when they reflect headlights, which is a detail I appreciate.

2022 Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes - heels.jpg


At £159.99 they're around mid-level, though more expensive than some quite prominent shoes such as Shimano's highly rated RC5 SPD-SLs and the Scott Road Team Boas, both £139.99, which is also how much Giro's own Republic R Knit shoes cost.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best high-performance road cycling shoes

They're hardly expensive overall – it's easy to spend twice the amount and more – but they do feel a little spendy given the spec, especially as you may well want to factor in new insoles too.


Get the right size, find a good position within the slightly limited cleat adjustment, and fit some more forgiving insoles and the Giro Cadets could be just the thing for a great deal of riding and training, both on road and gravel. That's a few too many things to overcome to seriously recommend them over the competition, though.


Nearly great shoes for all types of riding, but the buzzy insole and sizing/cleat adjustment niggles all detract

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Make and model: Giro Cadet Road Cycling Shoes

Size tested: 45 (weight is for size 44s)

Tell us what the product is for

Giro says: "The Cadet combines a supple, breathable Synchwire upper with a stout carbon fiber reinforced plate for pedaling efficiency, plus a supportive footbed with Aegis anti-microbial treatment for optimal comfort and fit.

"The single BOA L6 dial offers micro-adjustable tuning in 1 mm increments, and combined with the adjustable forefoot strap, cradles your foot securely. This shoe is a great choice for riders looking for inspired performance, lasting comfort and value."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

One-piece Synchwire upper with thermo-bonded exo-structure

Laser-perforated ventilation throughout

BOA L6 dial featuring 1mm adjustment and macro release, with steel lace and soft lace guides

Reflective heel tab


Carbon fiber reinforced outsole with universal cleat mount (2- or 3-bolt)

Dual injected TPU toe and heel pad


Die-cut EVA footbed with medium arch support


265 grams (size 42)


39 – 50 in whole sizes only

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:

Having sized up I found these a great fit all over.

Rate the product for sizing:

They come up short – I needed to go up a size.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:

The basic fit is very comfy and secure, but the insole is very firm and transmits a lot of buzz – though it could be cured by changing the insoles.

Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

These feel secure and stiff enough for regular riding and training, but their initial excellent comfort degrades over a ride – the very firm insole transmits too much road buzz.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to get on and off, stiff enough for most, look good, comfortable fit (once you size up).

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Harsh insole leads to vibration-induced discomfort.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

At £159.99 these are around mid-level, though more expensive than some quite prominent shoes such as Shimano's highly rated RC5 SPD-SLs and the Scott Road Team Boa Shoes, as well as Giro's own Republic R Knit shoes, all £139.99.

They're hardly expensive overall – it's easy to spend twice the amount and more – but they do feel a little spendy given the spec, especially as you may well want to factor in new insoles too.

Did you enjoy using the product? Kind of.

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe – I'd need a better insole for them.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? With caveats.

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are very nicely made and – once you've found the right size – a comfortable and secure fit. The price feels a little high for the spec, however, and I personally found the very firm insole meaningfully impacts the comfort.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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