In an ever more contentious world, Giro proves that erstwhile foes can become valuable allies if they simply work together. The Factor Techlace Men's Shoes combine three of the most common fastening systems—Boa's IP1 dial, laces, and hook-and-loop straps—allowing them to peacefully coexist as joint headliners. The result blends the minimalist profile and customizable fit of the lace-up Empire with the user-friendly convenience of the original Factor. We think that it's also just cool as hell.
The Factor Techlace is the first Giro shoe to feature a Boa dial, and Giro uses it to anchor the shoe at the top, which is where the IP1's single millimeter adjustment will come the most in handy. The rest of the shoe is secured by hook-and-loop straps that are in turn anchored by laces. Fit-wise, they feel similar to the original Factor once the straps are tightened and the dial is dialed, but replacing the full straps with laces involves a reduction in material and a corresponding loss of weight.
Giro credits the Factor Techlace with a tidy 40g weight loss per shoe when compared to the plain ol' Factor. There will undoubtedly be a chorus of retro-grouches lamenting the combination as unnecessary ostentation, but we heard the same critique of laces when the Empire fist launched, and now it's impossible to imagine a group ride or race without at least one pair in the bunch.
The Easton EC90SLX2 sole is an upgrade over the Factor's ACC model, and its use of lighter carbon fiber also contributes to the weight loss. Despite shedding grams, the sole remains stiffly efficient and features a full complement of steel hardware for mounting cleats and replacing the heel pad. As with all of Giro's race shoes, stack height is kept to a minimum in order to eliminate as many barriers between your watts and the pedals as possible.
The sole is mated to a single-piece upper made of the same Teijin Evofiber SL Giro uses for its other top-tier race shoes, so the Factor Techlace is similar to shoes like the Empire SLX in that it breaks in over the course of a couple of weeks. Fit is further customizable with Giro's Super Natural Fit Kit, which allows three different levels of arch support to help alleviate hot spots and discomfort caused by metatarsal pressure. The insole itself is made of odor-resistant microfiber, and the shoes are packaged with a zippered bag for travel and storage.