Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Initial impressions - Chrome Kursk Pro spd sneakers

The folks at Chrome sent me these shoes to review. I've been wearing them for a couple weeks and so far so good.

The fit is nice -- I'm used to getting squeezed out of most bike shoes, but the sneaker shoes fit like I want any shoe to fit. Not too narrow in the toe and enough room for mid/light-weight wool socks. The DZR's fit ok in this department, but these Kursk's are even better on the snugness scale. That is, they're not too snug.

One thing to watch though - the Chromes run long. The Chrome person who helped me recommended sizing down a half size. I did and the fit is right. I wear a 45-46 in Shimano and a 11 in most other shoes. These are 10.5's.

Final note on fit is a gripe: my heels slip up a bit when I walk in these shoes. And when I'm pushing my bike up a steep trail, my feet nearly pop out. Staring at the shoes, I can't quite figure out why this happens. Maybe the heel-pop is the trade off for the slightly roomier fit that I prefer? If so, I'll take that trade, but the shoes become a tad less useful as daily drivers and trail riding.

I like the rubber toe. When I was a kid, my mom forced me to buy shoes with rubber toes, which were uncool in junior high (thing Stan Smiths... a shoe I never owned), but now that I pay for my own shoes, (uh... well most of them anyway)... I get the rubber toe thing. PLUS -- it's a nice wind block. I've been wearing these shoes in our unseasonably warm winter, but I'm still happy as I tool around in sub-40 weather. How's that for rubber toe protection?

If I were king, I'd place the lace-keepers one more set of laces toward the ankle -- to hold the laces better.

Installing the cleats was easy. There's plenty of room for pushing the cleats way back, which is where I like them. In fact, the Kursk cleat bed is unique among my many SPD shoes in that they actually have more backwards room than I use. The cleat cut-away leaves lots of room for pedal. All-in-all, the cleat implementation is well-done on these shoes. Which is surprisingly rare for most non-race shoes that are SPD'ized.

Like all non-race SPD shoes I've tried, the shoes are stiff, but not crazy stiff. They suit me just fine in that department. Aside from the heel slip thing, the Chromes are comfy enough for walking around and daily life, which for me is a lot of sitting punctuated by a few rides. I wouldn't want to walk more than a couple miles in these shoes. But, I'd rather not walk more than a couple miles in any shoe, so that's not saying much about the walkability of this shoe.

I'll follow up with report on durability. And warm-weather breathability and the resulting funkidelicality or lack thereof.


Elissa said...

I wish people sent us free stuff to try and then blog about....hmmm. How about sushi?

Unknown said...

Oh, delighted to see you enjoyed the Chrome Kursk Pro SPD sneakers for a couple weeks. Any share of sneakers always makes me excited and thrilled. Just got through your reviews and glad to learn about CHrome Kursk. The most beautiful event was to have your childhood experience- the shoes with rubber toes. Who doesn't charmed with his or her childhood memories. I appreciate your excellent review and memories.