This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Just after the new year, Giant announced that Team Sunweb would be kitted out head to toe in Giant branded gear, including shoes.
- Team Sunweb to race Giant wheels in 2018
- New year, new gear — pros don the latest kit at the first WorldTour race of the season
The brand teased us with a photo of the new prototype kicks, but when pressed for details Giant said it wasn’t allowed to divulge anything just yet.
However, a particularly friendly mechanic who was transferring cleats onto Chad Haga’s new shoes handed us a pair for a closer look.
Team Sunweb are riding in these un-named Giant shoes
We don’t actually know what these shoes are called just yet, but we do know they use two BOA IP1 dials and a red wire. The upper appears to be fully perforated and the material feels similar to the microfibre used on many other high-end kicks, such as the Specialized S-Works 6 and Shimano RP9.
The carbon sole appears to be an evolution of the brand's Exobeam sole, which features on the Surge V2 road shoes and Charge MES MTB shoes. This sees a substantial carbon plate under the heel and the cleat, but not much through the middle of the shoe in order to provide a touch of lateral flex — as Giant puts it: "maintains efficiency while reducing the negative effects of conventional stiff shoes."
The carbon plate appears to be an evolution of Giant's Exobeam sole with only a narrow rib of carbon connecting the toe and heel
While there doesn’t look to be much arch support built into the sole, the lower BOA guide does appear to sit on a panel that moves independently from the rest of the upper. This looks as though it would provide a decent amount of support — the Surge V2 and Charge MES MTB shoes also see a similar design, which Giant calls Exowrap.
The heel cup isn't quite as sculpted as some other pro-level race shoes, however the heel cup felt stiff, possibly reinforced with plastic underneath the other cover, and inside of the heel cup it is lined with silver cat’s tongue thread.