Chrome and Panaracer team up for a range of urban cycling shoes
Since 1995 Chrome Industries has been manufacturing rugged gear designed for city streets – originally with messenger bags that have become a cult among bicycle couriers, featuring a large, strong, and beautiful seatbelt style buckle. .
Over the years, Chrome has developed an expanded line of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories that have either been designed specifically for cyclists or are quite suitable for general outdoor activities, including cycling.
For at least a decade, this line included a line of casual SPD cycling shoes that didn’t look all clippy-cloppy or hyper-athletic. For a certain demographic, these Converse or Vans-like shoes filled a worthy niche – bike shoes that you could wear to the pub or the casual office without standing out like a sore thumb.
A few other brands have since entered this market – including mainstream brands, like Adidas – but Chrome hasn’t strayed from the niche it helped build.
Its new line of shoes, announced this week, appear to pick up on a lot of what was good with the company’s previous models. Want an atmospheric promotional video? But of course:
The biggest change is the outsole, developed in partnership with Japanese tire brand Panaracer. From there, however, Chrome’s line of cycling shoes fall into two directions: the Pro series, which has SPD capability, and the Pedal series, which offers bike-friendly features but designed around a platform pedal.
Both feature a vulcanized rubber outsole, with a nylon upper hiding underneath. This enhances pedaling performance, while having no negative impact on walking.
On the SPD version, nylon runs the full length of the sole, while the Pedal Series models are reinforced under the forefoot to prevent the hard edges of a pedal from penetrating all the way to the foot. There are reflective details on the heels pretty much everywhere, and there are water resistant models too.
Prices range from US $ 95 to $ 110 for the Pedal series, depending on the model, while the SPD-enabled Pro series is $ 120 to $ 135. If you prefer leather over nylon, there’s also the non-Panaracer-equipped Storm 415 waterproof work boot (US $ 160) – a shoe that I can personally confirm works great on platform pedals and is totally bulletproof.
Granted, Chrome’s gear still caters to a niche – but with the current cycling boom, there are likely buyers out there for bike shoes that perform well in the concrete jungle.
If this sounds like you, head over to ChromeIndustries.com to learn more.