Chrome and Panaracer team up for urban cycling shoe range

Pedal-friendly shoes that don't scream 'cyclist'.

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Since 1995, Chrome Industries has been making tough gear designed for city streets – originally with messenger bags that grew a cult-following among bike couriers, with a big, solid, beautiful car-seatbelt style buckle. 

Over the years since, Chrome has put out a broadening range of clothing, footwear, bags and accessories that has either been specifically designed for cyclists, or works pretty well for general outdoorsy activities including cycling. 

For at least a decade, that range has included a line-up 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-wear-friendly office without standing out like a sore thumb. 

A few other brands have since entered that market – including mainstream ones, like Adidas – but Chrome hasn’t walked away from the niche it helped chisel out. 

Its newest range of shoes, announced this week, appears to carry over a lot of what was good about the company’s earlier models. You want a vibe-heavy promotional video? But of course:

The biggest change is the outsole, developed in partnership with Japanese tyre brand Panaracer. From there, though, Chrome’s bike shoe range splits in two directions: the Pro series, which features SPD capability, and the Pedal series, which features bike-friendly features but designed around a platform pedal. 

Both feature that vulcanised rubber outsole, with a nylon shank lurking beneath it. This stiffens up pedalling performance, while not negatively impacting on walkability. 

On the SPD version the nylon runs the length of the sole, while the Pedal series models are reinforced under the forefoot to stop the hard edges of a pedal poking through to the foot. There’s reflective detailing on the heels pretty much across the board, and there are also water-resistant models available.

Pricing ranges from US$95–$110 for the Pedal series, depending on model, while the SPD-compatible Pro series are $120-$135. If you prefer leather to nylon, there’s also the non-Panaracer equipped waterproof Storm 415 workboot (US$160) – a shoe that I can personally confirm works great on platform pedals, and is totally bulletproof.

Granted, Chrome’s gear is still catering for a niche – but with cycling’s current boom, there are presumably buyers out there for bike shoes that function well in the concrete jungle.

If that sounds like you, head to ChromeIndustries.com to find out more.

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