Better From Top to Bottom
Aaron Gwin and his signature Giro Chamber II Shoes
Aaron Gwin has been involved with the development of Giro’s gravity footwear since the brand entered the category in 2011. Read on to see how he’s impacted both the sport and the Giro Chamber™ II, and how you can take your chances at winning a pair of his signature black and white Chamber II shoes.
Thirty-year-old Aaron Gwin is at his peak. He’s earned five UCI Downhill World Cup Championships, won 19 individual World Cups, taken the victory eight USAC Downhill National Championships and more. And he’s not slowing down anytime soon.
It’s no surprise then that Gwin has been a ripper on two wheels since he was a four-year-old kid growing up in Morongo Valley, California—competing in BMX, motocross, and on mini-bikes. But it’s important to note that he didn’t start to seriously ride mountain bikes until he was 20. Even so, since the early days, Gwin’s been a natural with practically every sport he’s set his mind to.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Gwin. He’s paid his dues throughout his career with injuries that have held him back, and the age-old dilemma of figuring out what to do after high-school. He worked as a janitor at a local restaurant, and then for a septic company digging ditches and pumping old septic tanks. After that, he drifted around a bit, working for Woodward, X Games, and as a motocross mechanic living out of his gear bag.
Things really changed for Gwin when he met Cody Warren, who introduced him to downhill riding and immediately noticed his natural ability. Gwin fell in love with DH riding in no time, got the itch the race, entered his first downhill contest after three months of riding mountain bikes, and took third place in the Pro category at the Fontana Winter Series. The rest as they say, is history…
Here at Giro, we have a mantra. We’ll stop when you stop. As you strive for better, we’ll keep making the gear that gets you there. Gwin’s life experiences, determination, and need for speed couldn’t exemplify this much better.
He helped confirm the direction of the initial Chamber and the original white colorway became known as “the AG”. Every year, even when a black and white model wasn’t made for the masses, we made a few pair in that special “AG” color combo. It’s his signature, after all. And when it came time for an update, we knew Aaron’s feedback would be the foundation for a new and better shoe. He was one of the first to vocalize the need for an additional 10mm cleat setback, in order to position the pedals further back under the arch of the foot to help reduce fatigue and enhance positioning for technical terrain. And he advocated for other changes too:
The result is a lighter, more durable shoe which also resists water better and dries easier. The shoe is also a lot easier to clean.
We moved the cleat position further towards the middle of the shoe as well. I've always had custom cut outs on my shoes to get the cleat further back but now this position will come stock. The new position centers the weight of the cleat towards the middle of your foot which to me, allows for a stronger riding position on the bike and prevents your ankle from bending backwards on big bottom outs.
We will also be offering the new shoe in my personal black and white colorway which I think looks super clean!
I love everything about this shoe and I'm stoked on the progress we've made."
– Aaron Gwin