So Pedal Power Garage have been kind enough to hook me a set of Giro Chamber DH shoes, as worn by Mr Gwin (Gwinning) himself. First impressions last......
The perfect downhill shoe—that was the goal when we collaborated with Aaron Gwin to develop the Chamber™. It has a skate-inspired, street shoe look with a low-profile upper and an internal bootie that secures the foot and keeps mud, rocks and other debris out. An EVA midsole, Poron® XRD™ heel cushioning and a dual-density Vibram® rubber outsole dial in the comfort and support you need to take the A-line on any trail or track.
Now before I go any further I need to mention how similar this is in looks to the Lotek Enns BMX shoe from about 5 years ago!
I have been on the shoe for around a month - in that time riding it on All Mountain tracks as opposed to its as designed for Downhill. In that time I have found the shoe to be really, really confidence inspiring. Previous to the Chambers I was riding on Bontrager shoes though fast and blowout descents from Wangaratta's Warbys across to the Mt Buller International DH track; so the Chamber feels like I have a cage on my feet in comparison!
On the occasion - when the traction gets low and the pucker is high - I have found the shoe solid as a rock on the un-clip, dab and reclip process. That is something I didn't find with the lower profile Bontragers. To have a shoe feel so much like a BMX/Skate shoe is such a luxuary - most of the time shoes are designed around our lovely XC cousins and tend to feel that way; unsupported and not ready to take the hits.
These are a DH shoe - so pushing a bike back up a rocky fire road wasn't in consideration when it was designed; hopefully I won't be riding any fire roads any times soon!
First impressions are good on these shoes - long term test coming up and I aim to race the season in these.... watch this space!
Next up the Giro Hex Helmet