Giro Apeckx Shoes

When I first pulled the Giro Apeckx shoes out of the box, my reaction was lackluster. The problem wasn’t with the shoe, it was with me. It just took me a month to figure that out. What I didn’t appreciate when I first looked at them or when I first wore them or even when I got back from my first three-hour ride in them was what a value they are. Without really thinking, I had assumed these were the next step down the Giro line from the Factor.

That would be the $224.95 Trans, not the Apeckx. I was wrong.

When I lived in Massachusetts I often rode with a compass. The roads in the Berkshires twisted and turned with so little logic that I’d often find myself at intersections in the middle of nowhere and pull out the compass only to realize, “Oh, that’s east. Wow.”

Finding out the Apeckx retails for $149.95 was a similar experience. It was a helluva a shock, if I’m honest. And I couldn’t resist running this review on the heels of my assessment of the Rapha Grand Tour shoes.

Here’s all I’m going to say about the appearance of the Apeckx: I dig the interplay of black and white on this shoe. Even after riding in sloppy conditions, they are easy to clean up. Okay, I’m done. You’re either going to like them, or not. Let’s move on to the stuff that will get the conversation rolling. They also make a black shoe with silver highlights for those who want a more conservative look.

My 42s are a relatively high-volume shoe. Theoretically, the fit is the same as the Factor, but there are some minor differences in the fit. Some of it is volume in the instep and some of it has to do with the strap just behind the toe box. The strap behind the toe box appears to be slightly longer and more flexible on the Apeckx. I end up with less exposed velcro but also less restriction behind the toes.

Now, I’ve tried the Apeckx with both the included footbeds and Giro’s SuperNatural adjustable-fit footbeds that came with my Factors. The footbeds included with the Apeckx aren’t garbage, but there’s nothing special about them. When I added the SuperNatural footbeds they went from good to remarkable. The sole is made from Zytel—nylon—and is exceptionally stiff, perhaps the stiffest non-carbon fiber sole I’ve ridden. That detail becomes all the more impressive when you look at just how thick the soles are, which is to say, while they aren’t as thin as the EC90s used in the Factor, they are a good deal thinner than those found in many competitors’ shoes I’ve worn.

When I think back on all the shoes I’ve worn over the years, and how many of them retailed for more than $200 and how superior these are to most of them, I’m really impressed. Sure, it’s unfair to compare this generation to the previous, but the mind can’t help but draw comparisons. Honestly, I didn’t think you could get this much shoe for $150.

Here’s my one real criticism of this shoe: Someone inclined to spend $150 on a pair of shoes strikes me as unlikely to spend another $50 (that’s a 33 percent add-on) to ride with the SuperNatural footbeds. And that’s a shame, because with the addition of those footbeds I’d put these shoes up against a great many shoes in the $200 to $250 range. The question on my mind is what it would cost to  add the footbeds to the shoes. They are great shoes given their price. But suppose they included the SuperNatural footbeds and charged $180. The improvement in fit and ride quality (not to mention power transfer, because every time your foot flexes and flattens during the pedal stroke that’s a loss in power) would make them easily the best sub-$200 shoes on the market.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

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13 comments

  1. dstan58

    Footbeds, however, can be transferred from shoe to shoe. In my experience, good footbeds last a long time. When you replace the Apeckx, you can transfer the footbeds to the new shoes. I’ll bet they also improve the performance of alpine ski boots and snowboard boots, too.

  2. Steve

    Is ultimate stiffness really the goal? The running world built up shoes for three decades and now the is a reversal trending toward minimalist designs, which works for some. I just take issue with discussions about stiffness when I think the real goal is to have a shoe that is stiff enough to use clipless pedals and hyped enough to sell.

  3. Rob Beard

    Thanks for reviewing a value offering Padraig–my wallet appreciates it! Keep up the good work.

  4. Wsquared

    Padraig thanks for that. Don’t need the shoes, but it got me thinking again about replacing the stock footbeds on my Sidis.

  5. boroboonie

    I’ve heard from the BG Fit guys when I was getting trained at Specialized to replace footbeds every six months if you’re an avid cyclist (ride 3-5 times a week). Not sure I totally believe them though. My footbeds are over a year old and seem to be just fine.

    Any other thoughts on footbed life?


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Boroboonie: My experience is that you can get a good year out of most footbeds, including the BG from Specialized. Except for some of the custom-molded variety, they all do start breaking down in the second year, though.

  6. dstan58

    I have custom footbeds in my cycling shoes going on 15 years old. On the other hand, my custom alpine ski boot footbeds break down after a season or so of skiing. Lots of pounding in the boots, not much in the cycling shoes. YMMV.

  7. Lugged Nut

    Someone please stop the proliferation of white bike shoes, white is okay for helmets and jerseys, but ridiculous for shoes, saddles, bar tape, and shorts.

  8. Solo

    Appreciate the review of good products that are not too expensive. As per the white shoes relegation, some of us live and ride in the desert and there are days I wish my black shoes were white. Mid 90’s both days this weekend in SoCal. Thank you again for the great no nonsense reviews and personal commentary.

  9. ben

    Cool. Thanks for the affordable shoe review. I’ll try them out for my next shoes fo-sho.

    @steve re: stiff soled cycling shoes and built up running shoes. I see your point, but I think it’s definitely apples-n-oranges. the industry built up running shoes to supposedly prevent injuries. Now the scaled back trend in running shoes reflects what was learned about the new set of injuries that have cropped up w/ the super-supportive running shoes. But cycling…stiff soles are all about power transfer, not injury prevention. And I’ve yet to see any reports of people developing injuries due directly to the stiff soles of modern cycling shoes. Could be wrong though. Now if we could just develop shoulder pads to protect those collarbones!

  10. Dekamate

    Great review. I’ll be buying a pair based on this review as I was going to fork out for the Trans (because the blue looks so cool)white shoe’s look pro!

  11. A Stray Velo

    I know this is an old post but I’m hoping someone can comment on the amount of room in the toe box on these or any other Giro shoe. I’ve been looking at getting a new pair and I hear nothing but great things about Giro’s shoes.

    But I like a shoe with a lot of toe box room like a Northwave has.

    Any feedback?

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