You are either joking, trying to get a reaction, or don't know about shoes. The S-Works is a much higher end shoe. The Empire is nice but just uses lacing as an alternative to fasteners on a solid mid-level platform
Oh my. Really? I've watched people tear through the S-Works and I've not had good experiences with boa closures. But perhaps you use a different rubric for "much higher end shoe".
When I'm feeling "much higher end" I use the following guidelines:
- Weight: S-Works (210), Empire (225), Prolights for comparison (205)
- Stack height: S-Works (4.5), Empire & Prolights (6.5)
- Upper: S-Works (Thermo bonded, unspecified synthetic), Empire & Prolight (Teijin, which is used on almost all high end football boots)
By those standards, I'd consider Giro's high end offerings comparable to the "much higher end" S-Works shoe and marginally cheaper. I include the not "much higher end" Prolight SLXs as those are my shoes of choice, at the moment.
Even if the Empires are not "much higher end" they certainly worked well for Taylor Phinney last season.
I'm not going to pretend that the S-Works are not fine shoes, I don't particularly care for them (and they have only gotten uglier, aesthetics wise but that is subjective) and I do question the popularity of cable closures but I wouldn't say they are bad shoes. I do feel that Giro shoes tend to fit me
better and I'd be curious as to how the Empires fit over time. Part of the motivation (or at least what Giro told the press) for the laces was to provide a better fit, which makes sense, as you'r going to have more points for tension.
But I guess they're just not "much higher end" enough for some folks and that's fine. Considering the realm of "much higher end" includes things like Ed Hardy shirts I think I'm okay with that (sorry for the cheap joke
). Frankly, if you had compared the Empires to offerings from D2, SR, and Riivo, I would agree with you but I don't like the taste of Mr Sinyard's KoolAid anyway.