“The ‘fast-drying Microfiber upper’ really does what it says on the box…”

Contact points: where you connect with your bike, and your bike with the trail. Contact points really are the most important points to consider when you’re looking at making improvements to your riding and set up. Well, they are the most important to me, anyway.

Giro has released their new flat pedal mountain biking shoe, The Latch, with a casual yet stylish look, in a range of low-key, subtle colors. And these shoes are surely going to be a hit, based on looks alone.

The build of The Latch is sleek and tidy, and you get the feeling it has been constructed to withstand the beating of back-to-back laps and day-long missions in the mountains. With an easy-to-clean exterior, there are no awkward creases or joins to try and dig dirt out of; all that is needed is a quick wipe down, post-ride. I rode these shoes in all conditions to try and give the best review I could, and one thing that did really impress me, was just how fast they dry out after being completely soaked. I am really not a fan of putting my dry feet and socks into wet shoes in the morning. When I checked on these shoes the next day, after a soaking wet ride, they were just about dry and all I did was kick them off into the laundry room! The ‘fast-drying Microfiber upper’ really does what it says on the box….

Alrighty, moving onto the fit: I have pretty wide feet, and have always struggled with finding shoes that accommodate these flippers of mine. When I first slipped these bad boys on, I was pleased as they were very comfortable and cushioning. Unfortunately for me, after about half an hour, my feet felt hot and uncomfortable from being ‘ever-so- slightly’ squeezed. To remedy this, I loosened the shoes right off, which did help, but I was still experiencing that feeling of tightness. Like I said, I do have quite a wide foot (at the widest point it’s 11cm). So, if your feet are similar to mine, you may experience this same feeling.

Now for the ride feel: ‘Tack’ is such an appropriate name for the new rubber sole from Giro, as it gives a great connection between you and the bike.

I first rode the Giro Latch with a pedal I usually run, but its pins are not quite as sharp as those on my other set. My experience with this set up was frustrating at first, as I felt that the new Gamma tread pattern was not quite deep enough. An example from one of my test runs, was when I was pushing it through rooty sections of trail and – even with the Mute foam mid sole – I was finding I had to adjust the centre of my weight forward to feel more secure on the pedal, which was then changing the way I rode my bike. It didn’t feel bad, however, it was just different.

Giro mentions on their website that The Latch have a ‘new fit that brings the foot closer to the pedal and flattens the sole profile’. Perhaps what I had experienced was a result of this.

But what if you don’t want your foot ‘closer to the pedal’? Enter pedal number two.

With the pairing of sharper pins and the Tack rubber sole, I found I was able to maintain the position I am most comfortable in – and with full confidence too! The pins were all I needed to really get a good feel of The Latch. I could push in, turn and pop out without feeling like I had to scoop with my feet to bring the bike with me. The connection between the shoe and the bike is super confidence inspiring; I felt I could really put the bike wherever I wanted and it wasn’t going to disappear from underneath me.

The comforting, quick-drying upper of the shoe paired with the cushioning mid-sole and the tacky rubber sole, is all wrapped up in a tidy and subtle aesthetic. The new Giro Latch flat MTB shoe is definitely worth considering if you need to replace your worn-out riding shoes, or if you are looking to make an improvement in your riding. Consider you connection; are you ‘Latched’ on?


RRP: $269