Giant Bicycles Shuttle Flat Shoes: Getting Rolling- by Guitar Ted
The contact points of a rider with their bicycle are very important things to consider. Get your saddle, shorts, gloves, grips, pedals, or shoes wrong, or even slightly off, and you will have a very uncomfortable experience. Even trying to find the right things for contact points on your body and bicycle can be an uncomfortable experience. Sometimes assumptions of “what is best” for cycling is something that is so off-putting to a would be avid cyclist that they just quit cycling altogether. We don’t want that now, do we? No. We do not.
So, while there are several valid points to be made here concerning traditions and how they maybe need revising or eliminating, we are going to focus here on one of the commonly held beliefs about cycling and that being that “one must clip in”. Not only is this false, it often times makes folks shy away from being involved in cycling. Finding the right cycling shoes can be expensive, and then you need a special pedal. When you want to just hop on and ride, finding the shoes to do cycling with is a hindrance that many just don’t need or want. What if you could just hop on and go, with no thought given to whatever shoes go with whatever pedals? This is where your regular shoes come in, maybe, but many “regular shoes” have drawbacks too. What about shoes meant for flat pedals? Yes. What about those…..
So, with that question in mind, we spoke with Giant Bicycles at Sea Otter and arranged for a pair of their Shuttle Flat shoes to be sent out for test and review. These are shoes which do not have any provisions for clipless pedals and look all the world like a “regular street shoe”. You know, like something you’d wear to go see a movie, or wear to a restaurant, maybe. Perfect for our test.
What It Is: Giant Bicycles has this to say about the features of the Shuttle Flat shoes;
- Long-lasting, dual density rubber cup sole
- Exclusive GRIPR rubber section in the pedal contact area for extra-secure traction
- TPU outer film covering with laser perforation for better foot climate and quick drying
- Injection molded TPU toe guard applied with an extra heavy stitch for durable security
- Reflective laces with stretch mesh lace pocket on tongue top
The Giant Bicycles Shuttle Flat shoes come in a size range of EU 39-48 and weigh a claimed 450 grams for the pair. Which, by the way, is about what each shoe actually weighs. Obviously, the website figure is in error. The shoes actually weighed in at 932 grams for the pair. But obviously, you aren’t going to be super concerned about grams if you are getting these shoes. It isn’t the point here. The shoes come in black with gum colored soles, (test pair) or with black soles and grey uppers. Price is $110.00 USD.
Obviously, if you are aware of what folks are doing in the world of mountain biking, you know these are shoes meant for some serious off road action. So, it would stand to reason that gravel roads shouldn’t be out of the realm of terrain that these shoes could tackle. With that though, are these shoes that can do other things as well?
So, look for this review to be a bit different in that I will be using these shoes as daily kicks, as commuter shoes, and yes- on gravel rides. Hopefully even one or two really long rides which I hope will show that traditional cycling shoes and clipless pedals are not the only choice. Perhaps they are not even the best choice. And I also will include a comparison with a pair of “regular shoes” which I’ve used for cycling. Would those work and be even less “cycling specific”? That’s what I hope to explore in the coming posts.
First Impressions: I chose the gum-colored sole model because it reminded me more of a traditional shoe than the grey model did. Out of the box I noted the uppers are smooth and maybe will clean up well with their TPU outer film covering. The fit was generous for these narrow feet of mine. I have the size 46 here and I would say that a wider foot will be happy inside these shoes.
I already have used these shoes for commuting and errands by bicycle, along with having worked a day of work in them at the bike shop where I am a mechanic. The shoes are fine to walk in. Maybe a touch stiffer than my normal Vans? Maybe a touch, but not by a lot. They feel fine to cycle in and they do have a really good purchase on my preferred Fyxation Mesa MP flat pedals. I would say that they grip as well as my Vans, if not a bit better.
Since it has been wet here I have also run through a couple of mud puddles and the TPU film coating on the uppers seems to do a great job of shedding off the water while allowing me to clean up the uppers with a wet cloth to good-as-new look. (Try that with a typical canvas shoe.) The laces “garage”, located in the upper portion of the shoe’s tongue, is easy to use and keeps those loose ends out of the whirling machinery, which is important! Plus, it makes the shoes look sano and sleeker.
So Far……. The Giant Bicycles’ Shuttle Flat is not marketed as a “gravel” product, but that’s what we’re going to use them for in our quest to see if you can get by with a more versatile, easy to live with shoe for gravel grinding. The uppers and basic construction of the Shuttle Flat seems up to the task, and the comfort level seems as though that they will work as a “daily driver” shoe also. Stand by until we get to the “Checkpoint” post where I hope to have gotten these kicks dusty and will have a report on how they fared out in the wild.
NOTE: Giant Bicycles sent over the Shuttle Flat shoes at no charge to Riding Gravel for test and review. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.