MBR9 OUT OF 10
Giro has streamlined the look of the Chamber II compared to the original, to the point where it’s now less skate shoe and more ‘normal’ trail shoe. The front half of the Chamber is almost completely seamless, lending it not only better durability and weather-proofing, but also a much sleeker look.
It still retains the classic combination of laces and Velcro strap, but the fit has changed. The shoe is a touch narrower now, especially across the toe-box. I’ve found this actually makes the Chamber II a more secure-felling shoe with less foot movement. But if you have properly wide feet we’d recommend you try before you buy.
The outsole has also changed to a much more open, hexagonal tread pattern. Repeated over the whole sole, it performs admirably at shredding mud while providing grip. Much more radical is the repositioned cleat recess, allowing you to position the cleats further back, to replicate your foot position on a flat pedal. You can still run cleats further forward should you wish, but the new position works really well for more aggressive riding. And the ends of the recess are also ramped more extensively to help guide the cleat into the pedal for a quick engagement. Better still, there’s very little fouling between pedal and shoe, making the Chamber II a better performer.
From a comfort and pedalling efficiency standpoint, the Chamber II retains an excellent balance between sole stiffness and off-bike walking comfort. If anything, Giro has upped the overall stiffness, making it a better option for riders who like to the get the miles. Fortunately it still remains comfortable enough to spend the day in without feeling the need to rip them off after a few meters of walking.
Despite all these improvements the Chamber II is still not perfect. It’s dropped a few grams from the original but still weighs more than its rivals. It’s also had a 20 quid price hike. However, like the original before it, the Chamber II has become my go-to shoe.