Monday, January 11, 2010

Chrome Shoes: A Better Bike Sneaker

While I'm not up there in the Bike Blog Celebrity Blogosphere with the really talented and hardworking folks like Fat Cyclist, Bike Snob NYC and Jill Homer, I am what is known as "a minor niche celebrity." I found this out when the Hershey folks used that term when they turned me down for sponsorship. I really thought Hersheys would be an ideal sponsor of my Tour Divide Race, but the Hershey people disagreed. Oh well, even though major chocolate company can't see the value in sending a fifty year old guy enough free chocolate to fuel him on a 2745 mile race, other folks do somehow manage to stumble their way to my blog and say "Hey, this guy is talking to the people we want to reach, we should send him stuff!" This is what happens when you are "a minor niche celebrity" and it's one of the cooler perks of having a semi-popular blog.

So the folks at Chrome, who are mostly famous for making tough, cool messenger bags and packs, email me out of the blue and asked if I'd like to have a pair of their shoes to try out. I said sure, went to their website and picked out a pair Kursks.

Guess what? These are nice shoes. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I got 'em for free. The Kursk is a tough, well-made sneaker. I picked this shoe because it's Codura nylon instead of cotton, so it's better in the rain. The shoe has a couple of nice bikey touches like a little loop that keeps the laces out of your bike chain, a reflective patch on the heel, and a good grippy sole for folks like me that prefer flat pedals. Most importantly, the shoe has a good stiff sole. I work as a bike mechanic so I wind up test riding lots of bikes with all kinds of pedals including a lot of bikes with various clipless pedals. When you're riding a clipless pedal without a clipless shoe, you really appreciate a shoe with a stiff, grippy sole.

The only real problem I had with the Kursks is that they are a bit narrow and way too hip for me. I'm basically a cargo pants and Keens guy but whenever I'd wear the Chrome Kursks I'd have this overwhelming desire to put on skinny jeans, grow a wispy goatee and move to Portland. My youngish friends, including the kids at Bike Works, all proclaimed the shoes to be "sweet." My wife, however, declared that the Kursks look like "bowling shoes gone bad." And I have to confess that the shoes just never felt right for me. So I passed them on to my cool colleague Muuqi and I'm back riding in Keens.

Keep 'em rolling,

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