I’ll admit that when I ordered these shoes it was mostly out of curiosity rather than any deeply held conviction that they hed the key to all my footwear needs. The name intrigued me, sounding like a cobbled together portmanteau produced by some serious synergy and blue-sky thinking at a creativity meeting, and they look like the lovechild of some modern enduro stormtrooper boots and your grandad’s smelly old hiking boots. It was like they weren’t even trying to look attractive, which I assume is a cunning Giro ploy to get you to buy some out of sheer fascination.
Fortunately, they seem to be rewarding my curiosity, and so far I’m getting on with them really well in the perpetual murk that we call summer in Scotland. At a glance they’re a lightly insulated, waterproof shoe with a high ankle and SPD compatibility. The sole unit is the same one that can be seen on Giro’s Terraduro; I’ll be keeping a keen eye on it, as I’ve had problems with a succession of Terraduros delaminating around the cleat bed, which is a shame because they’re otherwise fantastic. Traction when walking on mud isn’t amazing, but no-one seems to have explained to California that our dust is in liquid form for most of the year.
The Rambler’s Association inspired looks make a nice change in a world where most shoes resemble a bright plastic children’s toy strapped to your foot. They’re remarkably light for a pair of boots, and the synthetic leather is very supple, making them far more comfortable than the walking boot profile would suggest. The cut-out section at the heel cup might be overkill, but I can’t complain of any rubbing or restriction when pedalling, as long as the cut-out doesn’t becoma an entry point for water running down from waterproof trousers. I’ll be interested to see whether the synthetic leather will outlast other shoes though: I tend to wear through them at a quick rate as I ride for work and pleasure most days of the week.
The alpineduros are lovely to ride in, like a leathery hug for your feet. I’ve only ridden in high single digits so far temperature-wise, but the waterproofing is certainly effective, and I hope the noticeable warmth is still enough when it’s nearer to freezing point. They feel far more like a comfy pair of approach shoes, especially when hiking; the sole has just enough flex in the toe area to mean that lengthy hike-a-bikes aren’t a problem.
First impressions are that these could be a fantastic pair of bikepacking and adventure shoes for our UK climate – comfortable, waterproof and able to deal with a lot of time spent off the bike. I hope I’m still able to sing their praises at the end of the winter, by which point they will have been subjected to midwinter ming and dragged across Patagonia for two months of touring.