Days before Eurobike kicked off in Germany we were in Swtizerland with the folks from Giro for the launch of the Factor Techlace shoe (read about it here). At this time, they alluded to a shoe of similar design that would be shown at Eurobike for the very first time. It turned out to be the Prolight Techlace, a shoe that skirts the barrier between ultra-light and functional.
At 136 grams for the display model, the Prolight Techlace is the lightest production shoe we’ve ever come across and might just be the outright lightest one there is. It uses the very Techlace technology that we saw on the Factor Techlace, which uses laces for the comfort and consistent pressure they create over the top of the foot, while the strap design adds on-the-fly adjustability.
According to Giro Creative Director Eric Horton, just beating the 175-gram (per shoe) weight of Giro’s Empire SLX wasn’t the end goal for the project. “We didn’t want to just exceed what we did with the Empire SLX; we wanted to see how light we could go and set a goal of 150 grams, and samples are already beating that”. Horton continued, “My goal is to find the limit of how light we can go”.
Much of the weight decrease comes from the outsole alone, which shaves off around 10 grams per shoe due to the use of TeXtreme. TeXtreme is a Swedish company that developed a process for creating a carbon fiber weave that can save a significant amount of weight. It is already in use on Giro’s Aerohead Ultimate helmet and other products within the industry, such as some of Felt’s high-end bikes.
The upper uses a single-layer monofilament mesh along with the same toe box and heel cup used on the current Prolight. Horton did admit that some areas could need to be better reinforced. “We might need to add a little more material to the upper for more support”. Even if that’s the case, we’re told it would result in only a minimal increase in weight.
At $500 a pair, the Prolight Techlace are in exclusive price territory with some of the highest-end Italian-made shoes out there, but for that special ride or event day the difference in weight could be worth the price of admission. Horton told us that it was a halo project, so what Giro learned could ultimately benefit the products down their line.