Giant Bicycles Shuttle Flat Shoes: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
Flat pedals are definitely a “thing” for mountain biking these days, but what about gravel travel? Well, when we last left you with the “Getting Rolling” post, we were aiming to find out. We have done that and a whole lot more. Check out that previous post by clicking the link if you want all the technical background on the Giant Shuttle Flats, and hang on here if you want to know my thoughts and opinions about using these for gravel.
Ride Performance: First of all, I found out that these shoes actually break in a bit. The stiffness I experienced at first “softened” a bit, but they are not as plush and flexible as a street shoe. Somewhere a bit stiffer than that, but nicer than your typical recreational cycling shoe. In fact, I got to where I could wear them all day on my shift as a bike mechanic, but that said, I was ready to kick them off when I got home.
As far as riding on gravel, I can say that with my Fyxation Mesa MP’s, the Shuttle Flats were very nice to use. I did not experience any negative feelings because I wasn’t clipped in, and in fact, it was nice to reposition my feet a bit. This allowed engaging my leg muscles a bit differently at times when I needed to have a bit of relief. Something that is difficult, or impossible to do with typical cycling shoes and pedals. So, I could pedal with my heel in, out, or with the middle of my foot on the pedal, or on the balls of my feet. Whatever felt best at the time.
Giant also claimed that these shoes were hydrophobic and after a few bouts with puddles after rains and what not, I’d say that this is true. It also has the benefit of making these shoes easy to clean up, and my pair have retained a nearly-new look even with weekly usage. One other area of concern I had when I got these was how hot they might be on warm days. That hasn’t been too much of an issue, actually. These shoes have a remarkable amount of airflow which enters in through the uppers and cools the tops of your feet quite nicely. The bottoms? Well…… not so much. But I wasn’t expecting them to be super-airy feeling either. That said, I’d not be afraid to wear these on warmer days.
So Far….. With two full months of use, both as daily kicks and on rides, the Giant Shuttle Flats have held up quite well. I don’t think they make the most comfortable street shoe, and they are not anywhere near stiff enough for the person looking for those last few “sparkle-watts” of performance, but for the individual who doesn’t want to have to deal with separate shoes for cycling and everyday wear, these would get the job done well.
I met a man at an event I attended recently, and he mentioned that this review was of interest to him, because his knees cannot deal with being clipped in. Having the ability to move his foot around on the pedal was important to him. I think this shoe is a great way to achieve decent cycling performance without clipping in. The Shuttle Flat is not going to fatigue your foot over the course of a ride, and yet it walks well, and looks like a “regular shoe”. The ability to be able to clean it up is a bonus, so you could keep these looking great for quite sometime, in my opinion.
There is yet one more test I’d like to accomplish with the Shuttle Flat and I hope to achieve this within the next month. Stay tuned for the “At The Finish” post to find out what this might be about.
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.