Giro’s Prolight Techlace shoes need to be seen – or rather, held – to be believed. In a sport seemingly fascinated by low weight, it takes something to stand out from the crowd but these shoes are extremely light indeed – and we’ve just had a pair land at RCUK HQ.
Giro first debuted the Prolight Techlace as a prototype at the 2016 Eurobike trade show before officially launching the shoe in July. Let’s deal with the weight first, but that’s the real talking point here. Giro calls the Prolight Techlace ‘the only 150g cycling shoe with pro-level performance’, with that claimed weight for a size 42.5 shoe. We weighed our pair (43) at 163g and 158g per shoe but that’s no surprise given the (marginally) bigger size and manufacturing tolerances.
That low weight has been achieved by the use of a mesh upper bonded with polyurethane reinforcements that apparently don’t stretch under use, giving the Prolight its distinctive look. That’s combined with a Textreme full carbon sole, where the composite is apparently woven in flat sheets instead of threads. The resulting carbon fibre is said to be lighter because it requires less resin, while remaining extremely stiff. To put a number on it, the sole is more than 20 per cent lighter than that used on Giro’s Factor Techlace shoe.
Speaking of which, these shoes are part of Giro’s Techlace family, which along with the Factor Techlace also includes the Sentrie Techlace, which we reviewed earlier this week. Those two shoes combine a Boa dial with two Techlace straps, whereas the Prolight ditches the Boa and adds a third strap in pursuit of all-out low weight.
If you’re not familiar with Techlace, it’s Giro solution designed to offer the even, personalised fit of laces, with the easy adjustability of velcro. Giro pioneered the modern lace-up shoe with the Empire and Techlace is a development of that, for riders intrigued by laces but who want the option to quickly slip the shoes on before a ride or adjust things on the go. The fact it’s a lightweight system helps here, of course.
As with all things in cycling, the low weight of the Prolight Techlace comes at a cost. More than a pound per gram, in fact – at £349.99 these are Giro’s most expensive shoes. Even so, weight means nothing if comfort and fit are sacrificed, and that’s what we’ll be looking out for when we put these shoes through their paces. Watch this space.
Something for the weekend showcases our pick of the latest tech to arrive at RoadCyclingUK. You can see more here.