I bought a pair of Chrome cycling shoes (to be precise, Chrome Storm 415 Work Boots) because I wanted waterproof cycling shoes that looked good on and off the bike, so that I would have dry feet all day, without having to keep changing shoes and socks. I found that they are one of a kind, waterproof cycling shoes that you can wear on and off the bike. And they look good! Here is my review.
I knew that Chrome was already famous for its really cool and totally waterproof messenger bags, so I hoped that the cycling shoes would also be waterproof. Chrome cycling shoes did the trick!
You can also buy Chrome cycling shoes direct from Chrome, here.
These cycling boots are also available in a sneaker style, but I wanted something that was leather (just because I happen to like leather), which restricted me to the boot option. Here are both versions (boot and sneaker):
I am glad I went with the cycling boots, as they offer more cover and protection for my feet than sneakers. At the same time, they maintain the key Chrome features of being lightweight, comfortable, and versatile. Chrome made these shoes for messengers and commuters who need clip-in performance they can wear all day. That also happens to make them perfect for average joe’s show want comfortable shoes on and off their bikes!
Stiff Soles, But Not TOO Stiff
The soles of Chrome cycling shoes are stiffer than normal, which is what you want in a cycling shoe (because this ensures good power transfer from your feet to the cranks, while at the same time protecting you from knee pain). Of course, the soles are not as rigid as a carbon-soled mountain bike or road cycling shoe, but they are stiff enough to do the job and protect your knees.
However, they are not so stiff that it feels like you have compromised flexibility for walking; running up and down steel fire-escape stairs; or jumping over fences – not that I actually do all of those activities every day (or any of them, really, apart from walking), but it’s nice to know I could, if I wanted. You never know when life is going to suddenly call on you to be Bruce Willis. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but if/when it does, I want to be ready.
Clipless Cycling Shoe Version of Chrome Cycling Shoes
There is a whole range of Chrome cycling shoes, and many of them offer a version suitable for those who like to use the SPD system – Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, a design of bicycle pedals that clip onto a cleat that is recessed into the sole of the shoe. The recessing means that you can get off and walk with them, without sounding like an angry robot – or worse still, slipping and falling. Many cyclists swear by clipless cycling shoes because they are reputed to make your pedal stroke 35% more efficient.
I stubbornly ignore that theory, because all three times I have tried clipless cycling shoes, I have ended up forgetting about them, and falling over sideways when I tried to stop. Falling over sideways in the street is decidedly unheroic-looking, and virtually ensures that no one will ever ask you to step in for Bruce Willis. Hence, I don’t wear clipless cycling shoes.
Yes, But Are Chrome Cycling Shoes Waterproof?
For me, the single most important question about cycling shoes is: “Are they waterproof?” Cycling shoes that are not completely waterproof are pretty much useless to anyone who lives in a city built in a (former) rain forest. (There are many things I love about Vancouver, but the fact that it has a rain-forest climate is not one of them.)
There are of course a lot of cycling shoes that are almost waterproof. Meaning that they will keep you dry for quite a long time in the rain, and then – they will start to let in a little bit of water. Letting a little bit of water into your shoes is like being a little bit pregnant. At first, you will hardly notice. But give it a little time, and suddenly, you will not be able to ignore it anymore – in fact, you will not be able to think of anything else. I am not saying that soaking wet feet are as life-altering as full-term pregnancy, of course. But I am saying that – just like a little bit pregnant usually leads to extremely pregnant, “a little bit of water” usually leads to “soaking wet” – which just simply sucks.
So I am happy to report that my Chrome cycling shoes really are completely waterproof. Even after hours in the rain.
Chrome Cycling Shoes are Slim Fitting
Another thing I like about my Chrome cycling shoes is that they are really slim. In fact, that’s the other main reason I bought them. I have other waterproof cycling boots (my Kodiaks), but they are most definitely BOOTS. No matter which direction you look at them from, it is always impossible to miss the fact that they are most certainly boots. And they always feel like boots. On the other hand, these Chrome boots are very slim and low key, so you don’t constantly look and feel like you are wearing boots. Plus, you could slip them into pedal straps.
Chrome Cycling Shoes are Grippy
These shoes have a rubber sole that is corrugated and very grippy, which is what you want when you are pedaling fast in pouring rain with (of course) wet pedals. The grippiness also makes them good for walking/jumping/running down fire escapes in the pouring rain without the embarrassment of slipping, sliding, and doing a face plant.
For another kind of cycling shoes that are also NOT clipless but are incredibly grippy, take a look at this review of Five-Ten cycling shoes. Those are even grippier than the Chrome cycling shoes – so grippy that the first time I wore them, I thought my shoe soles had melted and fused with my pedals (an interesting feeling, after the initial moment of blind panic).
Here are the specs on these Chrome cycling shoes:
- Leather work boots with Chrome Storm™ Breathable Waterproof Technology.
- Stability and protection of a work boot with the mobility of a sneaker
- Durable upper construction
- Padded collar for ankle support
- Reflective heel pull loop for night-time visibility
- Steel aglets to keep laces from fraying
- Waterproof oiled full grain leather upper
- 4-layer breathable waterproof internal membrane with 100% fully seam taped construction
- 100% Vulcanized construction
- Skid resistant contact rubber on the sole
Bottom Line on Chrome Cycling Shoes
These Chrome cycling shoes are excellent quality, one of a kind cycling boots. Best of all, they are waterproof. They are well worth the investment if you want comfortable cycling shoes you can wear on and off the bike. They are well suited to bike messengers, and to people who would like to look so cool that people think they are bike messengers – without the misery of, say, actually having to be outdoors in the pouring rain, on a bike, all day long. Also they are ideal for bike commuters who are able to wear sneakers all day at work. Buy Chrome cycling shoes here from Amazon.
Here is a video showing that the Chrome cycling shoes are both waterproof and very good looking – it’s a video of the clipless-cycling-shoes version, the Chrome Kursk Pro SPD Shoes, worn by a real-life bike messenger on the streets of New York City. If you can bike-messenger in New York, you can bike-messenger anywhere! (I found that just watching people cycle in New York is scary.)