Published on June 3rd, 2012 | by Greg0
Chrome Kursk Shoes: Pedal Faster
Serious bikers know that regular street footwear can only take you so far. Tennis shoes and sneakers look great and feel fine, until you're trying to travel dozens of miles with maximum efficiency. Pretty quickly, you start wondering if there are other options that can help the natural motion of your feet, and we've got good news: the answer is yes.
As with many enthusiast products, today's gear is not for everyone. If your preferred method of cycling is a few mile jaunt, then you're unlikely to need other footwear options. For the rest of you, Chrome offers a range of shoes to complement their famous messenger bags. We've been using the Chrome Kursk Pro shoes for the past month or so, which has been enough time to travel quite a distance on our bikes.
Featuring SPD-compatible cleat plates, they're available in black (like ours) and grey. If you don't know the acronym, it's for Shimano's special pedal system, which hooks into the shoes and allows greatly improved pedaling dynamics. They are also apparently compatible with other clipless systems as well. The look is classic low-top, with standard laces. These aren't really street shoes- they are pretty heavy, and the weight balance is unusual (thanks to a foot rocker), plus the cleat plate does change the feel. They're fine for some walking though! And when biking, the feeling is miles away from 'regular' shoes- stiffer pressure and more natural movements made us faster and definitely reduced strain.
It's not all roses. These aren't super-breathable, and we did find them a little awkward in the rain. All told, the Giro shoes we checked out recently offered a bit more comfort and a tighter, more secure feel, but definitely compromised on the style and street-worthiness. If you don't want to look like you're wearing weird shoes, and want a bit more mobility, the Chrome Kursk Pros look great and are available now for around $95. As their site warns, remember to order them about 1/2 size smaller than your normally would! And they offer non-pro models for those who like the look, but don't need the built-in SPD-compatibility.