Chrome Southside Shoes
The toils of toe cages will do a number on your shoes. In fact, bicycle commuting is nothing short of devastating on just about everything that you own. With a host of unpredictable elements to engage on every block, it's about time that you take hold of whatever security that you can. We recommend starting at the touch points, and in this instance, the feet. Chrome's Southside Shoes not only offer protection from the urban environment, but their throwback skate aesthetic will blend in when you're off of the bike, too.
For the uppers, Chrome made the Southside shoes from an oiled, full-grain leather. And while the leather only offers a minimum of protection from water, the weathering and distressing that occurs with age is priceless. To assure comfort, the Southsides feature a supple, padded collar and tongue to act as a buffer between either your laces, toe cages, or foot straps. The midsole uses a blown rubber wedge to maximize comfort, while the sole has a 100% vulcanized rubber construction. This stiffens up the shoe for a little better power transfer, but mainly, it's to resist the inevitable tattoo of sole wear from your platforms.
The shoes use a lace-up fastening system, and they feature both an embossed and woven Chrome logo on the side of the shoe.
The Chrome Southside Shoes are available in whole and half sizes from 5.0 to 13.0 and in the colors Black, Grey, and Tan.
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November 1, 2013
My shoes, boots, and sandals all usually last me 6-10 years, which is apparently much longer than most people expect to get out of their footwear. The one exception has been my cycling shoes, which cost more, look more awkward (I just tell people my clipless mountain biking shoes are from the future.), and are uncomfortable and downright dangerous off the bike (although for nearly 7 years I regularly went to bars and shoes and danced on beer-covered concrete floors in clipless mtn shoes). No more.
I swapped out my expensive eggbeaters for wide, plastic BMX-style flat pedals on two of my bikes, added some velcro straps on the fixed gear, and started looking for cheap, solid, attractive, casual skate shoes. Chrome is much better known for their bags than their apparel, but I've owned a few of their clothing items and only somewhat regretted it due to their materials and zippers wearing out fast. I figured the combination of leather and vulcanized rubber would hold up better, and so far that seems to be true.
The Southside "grey" shoes (which, as the photo indicates, are really closer to black, but sometimes also resemble a warm, dark brown) have made my ankles suffer during the breaking-in period far more than any sneakers I can recall wearing, but hopefully that will pass. It's the cuffs that seem stiff and sharp, which is not what you want while pedaling or even walking around. The oiled leather got majorly scuffed up the first time I slipped into my straps, so I plan on cleaning, treating, and polishing the leather once a year or so. I love how they looked out of the box, but I don't really mind the multicoloured marble-esque scuff designs that are starting to form. I also like the waxed look of the laces, and the fact that they made the laces short enough that I don't need to tuck them in order to keep them out of my drivetrain.
I'm 6'2" but my narrow feet have apparently shortened over the years, so the size 8s fit me perfectly. I'm glad Chrome is sticking to more classic-looking urban cycling shoes, as opposed to the flashy highlighter colours found on so many skateboarding and BMX shoes. The soles are firm and grippy, the shoes look good with jeans, and Chrome apparently offers some sort of lifetime warranty, so at $30, these are a great deal.