Giro Ventana are really comfortable shoes that work brilliantly for all-day XC epics, through to sessioning super-techy enduro trails.
The Ventana from Giro was designed for all-day riding and all-mountain adventuring and has recently had a redesign that replaces a fast-lace closure, with an L6 BOA system and a single Velcro strap over the forefoot.
A nylon shank provides plenty of pedalling efficiency, and feels slightly stiffer than Shimano ME5 SPD shoes, a feeling exaggerated by the comparative lack of flex at the toe when pushing up steep slopes. The outsole uses grippy ‘Sensor’ rubber that feels secure when off the bike but the lugs lack the aggression and depth of the Shimano’s Michelin sole for grip in softer conditions.
The fit of the Ventana is slightly wider and roomier than the Shimano, and the cleat pocket and slots are visibly offset inward, closer to the crank. This is great for keeping the shoe from rubbing the crank when pedalling, but did feel slightly odd at first.
Once I got used to the wider stance afforded by the cleat positioning, I found the Giro Ventana shoes to be a super comfortable shoe – the tongue has deeper padding than the Shimanos, and feel plusher as a result for general pedalling, but when I dialled the BOA up good and tight for maximum efficiency, there was a degree of pitching across the top of my foot that made harder efforts that bit more uncomfortable.