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There’s nothing worse than wet feet. I’d rather be slapped with a rusty old chain than sit in soggy socks all day.
The trouble is, when you’re riding your bicycle in winter, there’s a real risk that it’s going to be wet. That’s why I previously asked 42 cyclists how to keep your feet dry while cycling, as well as created guides about the best waterproof socks and overshoes you can buy.
For me, though, the best option is undoubtedly having waterproof shoes. It’s just less hassle and stops the problem at the source.
Previously, Chrome’s 415 Storm boot topped our best waterproof shoes for commuting list. And now Chrome have created a new version of the 415, the Storm 415 Traction Boot.
So how does the new version compare to the old one? Is it actually an improvement or should they have left a really good shoe in peace?
I’ve been finding out…
The New Chrome 415 Storm Traction Boot
Make no mistake about it, the Chrome’s original 415 shoe was really good. In many ways, it was the ideal “normal” bike shoe. It had a nice stiff sole, it kept water out, it was relatively comfortable, you could walk in it without problem. The only two areas I felt could have been improved (for me, at least) was that the fit was quite narrow and the glue sealing the sole to the panels started giving away after a few months of intense use
So, what has Chrome done differently with the new 415 Traction?
Well, the most noticeable thing when you put them on is that the fit is substantially wider. Whereas the old version nestled your toes together, the new Traction model is extremely spacious. For someone with pretty wide feet, this is absolutely welcome. The added width also makes walking for extended periods more comfortable as it allows your feet to move more naturally.
It’s worth noting that these shoes run quite large in size, so if you’re on the cusp between sizes, it’s certainly wise to order half a size down.
With regards to the glue element, I can’t yet comment on their longevity as I’ve only been wearing them for two months. But so far, at least, the Chrome Storm 415 Traction Boot shoes no sign of giving way at any point and they certainly seem more sturdy than their predecessors.
Waterproof “Normal” Cycling Shoes
Like most of the gear Chrome Industries produce, the 415 boot is aimed at people who ride bikes, but there’s nothing to stop anyone using these shoes even if they never go near a bike in their life. Chrome’s perfectly toe the line between style and function and I love it.
Is the Chrome 415 Really Waterproof?
Yes. Chrome Storm 415 Traction Boot is 100% waterproof. The upper is made from waterproof leather while the outsole is made from “vulcanised rubber” and the midsole has an equally impressive sounding “PowerPlate nylon shank”. Whatever that means, this shoe is completely and utterly waterproof.
What’s the more, the benefit of having the boot cut is that it also prevents rain getting in via the sides of the shoe.
I even dipped them in a swimming pool and my feet stayed completely dry.
As the “traction” part of the name alludes to, these shoes are also extremely grippy – which is especially great for pedalling and walking on wet days.
Reflective Shoe Laces
The shoes ] come with two pairs of shoelaces. When they arrive, the majority of the shoe is laced up with the black laces, before adding a stylish look with red laces finishing up the top two holes. However, wearing two pairs of laces isn’t practical, so I promptly pulled out the red laces and proceeded with the black ones, which also look great with a mixture of red and reflective silver thread woven into them.
The shoe pull on the rear of the boot also has a chunky reflective strip. Such subtle details are always a welcome boost to your visibility.
Chrome 415 Storm Traction Boot Review [SUMMARY]
I really like the old version of the 415, but Chrome have taken the new Traction version to a whole new level. I can confidently say these are my favourite urban cycling shoes now. They look great and they feel great – regardless of whether you’re on two wheels or two feet. I’m wearing them everyday at the moment, come rain or shine.
The Chrome 415 comes in two colours (black or brown) and is available for around $160 (£158/€170).
Obviously, that’s not cheap. But these are truly fantastic waterproof shoes for urban life and I couldn’t recommend them more highly.