Is the Chamber still the shoe to beat?
The Giro Chamber is a shoe designed around DH racing and the demands of riding the hardest courses. In fact, Aaron Gwin had a hand in creating them.
We reviewed the older Mid style version of the Chamber way back in 2014. Back then the Chamber shone out as being one of the better shoes suited to large platform clip-in style pedals. For fans of the old shoe the good news is the latest version of the Giro Chamber has lost none of the features that made it so popular.
Giro Chamber review
Gwin’s foot in
In essence the Chamber is a shoe designed around DH racing and the demands of riding the hardest courses. In fact, Aaron Gwin had a hand in creating the finished product and apparently he knows a thing or two about riding. It features the stylings of a classic skate shoe but squeezes in a lot of tech to make a bit more than just about style.
Firstly, the Chamber has a captured tongue, this means the tongue is attached at both sides to create a kind of inner ‘bootie’ that cradles and cosets your feet. It practically keeps the shoe on without needing to tie the laces. To increase foot comfort the midsole is cushioned to protect you from impacts and to minimise trail feedback when riding in rougher areas.
The Chamber got Sole
Giro wedge a Vibram rubber sole unit on to the bottom of the Chamber. This incorporates the same tread pattern as Giro’s Jacket flat pedal shoe. At first glance this doesn’t look like it’s going to offer much in the way of off-bike grip but it manages to squirm its way up muddy banks relatively easily.
The cleat recess is relatively deep putting more of the sole in contact with the pedal body. The upside to this is it allows the Chamber to transfer almost flat pedal stability with a larger platformed pedal such as the Funn Mamba. The downside? If the pedal incorporates pins as part of its design the sole contact can prevent unclipping. Something I experienced a few times (making me feel like a newbie again!) However this can be prevented by either removing some of the pins or adding a cleat spacer to raise it up a little.
Giro has got the sole stiffness pretty much spot on with the Chamber. There’s plenty of support around the cleat, it’s not going to win any XC efficiency awards, but it’s more than sufficient. Also the extremities have enough flexibility to make walking a breeze.
Even in the ridiculously bright blue finish of my test pair plus the added heft. The Chamber has been the shoe I gravitate towards more often than not. This shows that if you get the fit and styling right you will surely be on to a winner.
Like a fine wine the Giro Chamber has improved with time. Whilst it's still a portly pair of shoes compared to some of its rivals, the comfort they afford more than makes up for a little extra heft. Equally suited to messing about in the local woods just as much as at World Cup downhill races, they still remain one of the best shoes to match to the larger platform DH style clip-in pedals.