There are several brands now offering a more casual style of clip less shoe for various disciplines of riding. Giro just dropped the Chamber this week. The Chamber is a mountain clip less shoe with a skate styling. Giro has been kind enough to outfit The Assassins with a couple pairs of the new Chamber shoes for this season. We are super excited to be riding this new shoe; they are certainly some of the best available. After our first ride last night at pick up we have a few remarks.
The soles feature a Vibram rubber outer that is tacky and provides ample grip on all surfaces. This proved handy in tight situations when pedaling unclipped, or unexpectedly dabbing. I didn’t have to walk lightly across wet floors or other slick surfaces either, the soles really gripped the ground. There is also a “Poron” heel pad/cushion in the sole to help absorb impacts to the heel/ankle.
There is plenty of space to adjust the cleats on the bottom of the shoe. I prefer to have my cleats as far back as I can put them on most shoes. On the Chamber I found that there was more room yet to adjust the cleats back if I wanted. My partially worn Time ATAC cleats did not seem to protrude from the cleat recess. We’ll see how a fresh set sits in there next week.
Clipping in and out of the pedals was a breeze. The cleat recess is wide enough to allow float with out the shoe dragging on the pedal or catching when clipping out. I was able to find the pedal and clip in effortlessly every time.
The Velcro strap on the top of the shoe is in the sweet spot. Not too low, not too high. It adjusts perfectly over the arch of the foot for support as well as protecting the laces. The laces that come in the shoes are pretty long, even when laced all the way up. I had to trim them so there was no excess lace flapping around.
The front of the shoe has a very boxy shape, which allows the front of the foot to be comfortable without slipping side-to-side. The tongue has neoprene centering straps that keep the tongue from slipping to one side. The straps also pull the tongue down onto the top of the foot to give the shoe a snug, sock like fit.
The Chamber is a medium width, which is perfect for me. The shoe fits close to the sides of my feet. Close enough to offer support, but without being too tight or constricting. The heel cup is contoured to hold the heel firmly in place. I did not experience any heel lift while walking or riding.
The Chamber is one of the stiffest shoes that I have played in. After several hours of games I found the shoes to be quite comfortable. After three or more games in a row I usually start to feel a bit sore or some numbness/hot spots from flex. The Chamber stayed comfy all night long.
I walked home from the court to help break the shoes in and get a feel for how they would be walking around. Because the shoes are so stiff they’re not the best for walking in. However, the front of the shoe is molded with a slight upward angle to help make up for the lack of flex when walking.
The Chamber, although not designed for bike polo, is a great choice. It has all the basics covered with plenty of additions that make it stand out. The tongue centering straps and Vibram outsole are two crucial features that really make this shoe a good option. The styling is clean and the color choices are great. So far I’m in love with these things. Thanks again to Giro Sport Design and Mike Walker for hooking us with the super rad footwear.
I’ll be posting a long term review when there is more to report. For more info and to get your pair check out www.giro.com.