|Vented shoe bag is a nice addition|
|Extra inserts with arch adjustments|
|Common three bolt pattern and replaceable heels|
|The Easton EC90 carbon sole is thin and provides low stack|
|The tongue has a slight amount of padding where it counts|
|Light (weighed without cleats)|
|Both shoes are lighter than just one of my current shoe|
Giro Prolight SLX II:The difference between the original SLX and the new SLX II based on research before this purchase is they expanded the carbon sole a bit more, removed the mesh material and listened to customers that complained about the Velcro straps being too short. The upper shoe material is now all a "breathable" Evofiber™ ultralight, breathable microfiber; Titanium offset strap “D-rings”; Updated patterning with low-profile straps . Easton® EC90 SLX ACC high-modulus carbon; Titanium hardware; Replaceable heel pads.
Sizing:I purchased these shoes using ship to store at Performance Bike so that I could try them on at the store with potential to get a refund before taking these puppies home. None of my local shops had these in stock and this is my first purchase of a shoe in the $300+ dollar range ($350 in my case). After reading some reviews on the internet and finding a shoe comparison tool at Art's Cyclery, I was able to determine that I needed to go up a little in size compared to my current Specialized Extreme, which is a 44. So I went with the 44.5 and it fits just as good as the current shoe.
One of my biggest concerns was the toe box. I have a neuroma in my right foot that flared up years ago. I had treatment a couple of times and as long as my foot does not get squeezed, even the slightest, the discomfort will not flare up. Even tight socks can cause me issues. After an hour spin last night on the trainer the shoe felt great and upper material is not too stiff either. I can press down really hard and see the upper material expand without sensation to my foot being squeezed. The other problem I have with this neuroma when I get a wide toe box sometimes the heel is too loose, but in the short test there was no slip.
Function:I will have to come back for update once I get in a five hour ride, but for now the sole is stiff enough and the Velcro straps and heel shape are good. I have to admit the Velcro straps did not feel like the shoe was as snug at the boa system on the Specialized, but this was just barely a difference. I could have pulled the straps a little tighter, but that may have a negative impact on the neuroma and I did not want to take that risk. What I do like about going back to simplistic Velcro straps are some of the issues I had in the past with a ratcheting buckle. On my former shoe that had a ratchet was often extremely frustrating. At the finish of an exhausting ride there were times where I could not get the buckle to release and struggled to get the shoe off. This is not the case with the boa system and certainly will not be the case with simple straps.
When I really focused in on the feel during the ride there were some edges up near the tongue that I could feel a little on the ankle, but when focused on training it quickly melted from my thought. I can imagine some of those edges will soften up a little after getting more time in them.
The sole is plenty stiff and I felt it had a good connection between me and the bike when sustaining power output at higher intensities.
I saw a comparison on one web site talking about weight and I am not sure I will notice on a long ride or not, but it talked about less fatigue from lifting less weight over a long period of time. Makes sense on paper, but again I am not sure if I will notice or not. However, if you are a weight weenie the pair of the SLX shoes is lighter than just one of my current shoes.