Giro Terraduro Shoes: Long-Term Review
Giro Terraduro shoes have been a widely popular option for clipless bikepacking since their launch in 2013. A rugged design, grippy sole, and mid-range price tag are all reasons why Miles picked up a pair over two years ago and has continued wearing them ever since. Here’s his long-term review, with insight from several other seasoned riders who have also failed to destroy them, despite their best efforts…
Although some of us here at BIKEPACKING.com prefer the simplicity of riding flats while bikepacking, I’m pretty much sold on riding clipless. Every now and again I’ll give flats a chance, but I always end of coming back to a set of Shimano XT pedals and my Giro Terraduros. It comes down to wearing a shoe that’s both comfortable and built for the rigours of bikepacking. And after more than two years with my current pair, I’m happy to report that they still feel and function great. It also turns out that I’m not the only one smitten by these shoes, so I reached out to few other bikepackers to learn more about their experience with them. You can read their thoughts below.
As Giro puts it, the Terraduro is designed for all-mountain riding, enduro racing, and made to handle it all, both on and off the bike. They’re burly shoes and hold up well to scuffs, bumps, and apparently years of use. They are quite heavy, probably the heaviest SPD-compatible shoe I’ve used, which may pose a problem for those with knee or ankle issues. However, that weight translates to a reinforced rubber toe cap, a durable synthetic upper, and a super sticky Vibram sole. The Terraduro is also available in a HV (High Volume) model for those with wide feet, and the Terraduro MID for more ankle support and protection in wet conditions. I’ve been riding in a the standard Terraduro for over two years now in the mud, dirt, rain, and snow, from weeklong bikepacking trips to quick mountain bike laps on local trails. I wore them this winter while commuting in the rain five days a week, and continue to wear them as the weather warms up. I think it comes down to the fact that I can count on these shoes, no matter what kind of mischief I’m getting up to, and they’ve served me exceptionally well.
Design and Durability
I believe the reason so many people have had success with the Giro Terraduro shoes comes down a solid design and great durability. A sturdy nylon shank provides ample stiffness while pedaling, while the slightly flexible forefoot helps with walking. The durable Vibram rubber outsole, and effectively tread pattern is grippy and incredibly long-lasting, even after pushing my way up too many hike-a-bikes to count. The upper is constructed from a breathable synthetic Evofiber material, which is said to repel water and increase breathability. The closure system is comprised of a single N-1 ratcheting buckle and two velcro straps.
Although the velcro is starting to lose its hold now, I really can’t complain after how many miles I’ve put on them and how many times I’ve soaked them in water and mud. I’ve also started to notice the small screw that secures the ratcheting buckle in place has started to lose its grip, requiring tightening more often, but that’s only due to the loctite wearing off and my laziness in not reapplying it. I actually lost it for a few panicked minutes during my scout of The Fool’s Loop in 2017, and somehow spotted it in the the dirt by my tent. Otherwise, the buckle holds tight, and the upper of the shoe is looking and holding together great. I did replace the original insoles with some custom heat molded ones from Boot Doc, but only because they were complimentary at a work training event, not out of need.
I suppose the only noteworthy con I can think of, besides the weight, is that the Terraduro is far from the most breathable shoe I’ve used. Although there are plenty of small ventilation holes on the side and top of the shoe, the upper does a good job at keeping the warmth in, an unpleasant feature on warm days. Generally, it’s hard to achieve such great durability without sacrificing breathability, so you can expect lighter shoes with thinner fabrics to breathe much better. This also means they don’t drain water very well, so they can take a while to dry out after a river or stream crossing. I’ve learned to tread carefully around any moving water. However, with all three closures released, the tongue of the shoe can fold wide open, which helps when drying or airing out at camp.
Three Mini Reviews
I knew my experience wasn’t a one-off and I figured I’d prove it by reaching out to three different individuals to get their opinions. Here are three mini reviews. I also heard back from several other Terraduro lovers, most of whom had been using them for at least over two years, who all had positive things to say.
Neil Beltchenko (@neil_beltchenko)
Minnesota, United States
I’ve heard the rumors and have even seen some bad cases of delamination with my own eyes. Maybe I got a different pair, maybe my cleat position pushed all the way back was the difference maker, or perhaps the aftermarket insoles? I have continued to uses these shoes, albeit, less and less over the months. They still hold a purpose and they have still show no signs of dying. To put things in perspective, these have had three years of use, many rugged miles in the wet, dry, and everything in between.
Why would I move on from these shoes? They are heavy, they also hold water, and the shank has some unwanted flex after thousands of miles. The screw that holds in the ratchet keeps coming loose, too.
Why would I keep using them? They are still functional, no delamination, the huge lugs still have plenty of hike-a-bike left in them, and they are super comfortable. If you plan on spending $150+ on a cycling shoe, it’s understandable that you expect them to last a while, and that’s exactly what the Terraduros have done for me.
Ben Handrich (@pedals_packs_and_pinots)
Oregon, United States
It’s been a long journey in my quest to find the right pair of MTB clipless pedals, and Giro Terraduros are where that journey finally ended after 2+ years of trial and error. The Terraduros are a relatively heavy MTB shoe (although not as heavy as some of the other beefy MTB shoes, like the Fiveten Kestrels or X-Alps), but the weight in this case means you’re getting a shoe that is built to last for many seasons to come. Having tried the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch IIs, the Fiveten Kestrels, and the Giro Privateers, I can say with certainty these shoes are not only the most comfortable shoe of the four, but also the most durable. My Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch IIs fell apart in less than a month of riding (the soles delaminated and separated from the shoe), the Fiveten Kestrels created painful hotspots if riding farther than 30 miles in a day, and the Giro Privateers, while more comfortable than the other two pairs mentioned, only lasted through about a month of training and the 530+ mile Colorado Trail before being completely trashed.
With the Giro Terraduros, I not only have a shoe that fits comfortably around my foot with no hotspots after a long day in the saddle, but I have a shoe that has lasted thousands of miles and multiple bikepacking trips, including the Oregon Outback and Oregon Timber Trail, with very little wear marks to speak of. If bikepacking is your thing, the Giro Terraduros are a great shoe for that occasional, or not so occasional, hike-a-bike on multi-day trips, with a great tread pattern, sticky Vibram rubber, and a comfortable all-day fit.
And while the BOA system with its one-handed adjustment potential is nice in theory, I actually prefer the old-school ratchet system on top and two velcro straps on the bottom. I think it allows for a more custom shoe fit, which provides more confidence when needing to unclip quickly. While everyone’s shoe fit and preference is a little bit different, I’ll be sticking with Giro, and most likely, the Terraduro, if I ever have to replace my current pair.
Trevor Anderson (@lilgreenurbanfarm)
I’ve had my Giro Terraduros for about four years. The main reason I bought them was for the walkability. With doing lots of endurance MTB races and short multi-day trips, I figured it would be nice to have a shoe that has great sole for power transfer but that’s still comfortable to hike when needed. With the Vibram sole, how can you go wrong?
I managed a shop, so I was able to try them on and compare sizes with no interruptions. I made sure the shoe fit with a midweight wool sock and waterproof over sock. With it being a narrow shoe, I think next time I would get a wide instead of regular as the synthetic material does not really stretch out and on hot days when my feet swell they get a little tight. If I was going to do the Tour Divide, I would definitely go with a wide and one size bigger just for day in day out comfort.
I never had any issues with the shoes, luckily. No rubber pulling or wearing poorly and the Velcro and ratchet straps have been good as well. The only possible issue I may of had was breathability. They have many air holes but I don’t feel that they do much as I felt my feet got hot fast in them. That said, I would get a pair again for sure. None of the issues I listed would prevent me from buying them again. Overall, it’s a very well designed and durable shoe.
- Model Tested 2017 Giro Terraduro (Size 45)
- Price $180
- Weight 450g per shoe
- Manufacturer’s DetailsGiro.com
- Impressive durability that will hold up well to years of bikepacking.
- Robust closure system.
- Three different models depending on your style of riding and foot size.
- Mid-range price point is appropriate.
- Heavier than other SPD-compatible shoes out there.
- Not the most breathable, but can open up wide to dry out.
- Doesn’t drain water well.
There’s a lot to like about the Giro Terraduro shoes. From a clipless bikepacking perspective, they are pretty much gold. Stiff enough to offer enough performance for most riders out there, a reliable closure system, and amazing long-term durability. Although they are heavier than a lot of shoes on the market, I don’t think it’s a big enough hindrance to stop me from replacing my current pair with some new ones eventually. The real question is how many more years can I get out of the my current Terraduros? I’m betting at least two more. I could fix the loose buckle issue with some fresh loctite on the threads, the Vibram sole unquestionably has some life left, and the upper doesn’t look like it’s been to the places I’ve brought it. Nice job Giro, the Terraduros are excellent shoes.