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UPDATE: A new version of the 415 Workboot was released in late 2022. You can read the review of the updated Chrome Storm 415 Traction Boot here.
It’s possible to cycle in pretty much any footwear.
I’ve even pedalled around in flip flops before now.
But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
The biggest problem with using most “everyday” shoes for cycling (especially flip flops), is that the sole has no rigidity, meaning you’re simply losing the power you’re trying to generate because your shoe is flopping around the pedal.
Of course, I’m not going to suggest the use of specialist clip-in cycling shoes on your commute – that’s not the Discerning Cyclist way. It would also mean you’ve got to carry a spare set of shoes around with you.
So, is there a compromise?
A smart everyday-looking shoe that has a solid sole that can help you cycle efficiently?
Of course, there is. I was in a shop selling “dog beer” the other day, welcome to the 21st century.
Stylish Cycling Shoes
Surprisingly, though, there aren’t tonnes of smart cycling shoes out there.
But one company that has been smashing urban cycling fashion out of the park for a number is San Francisco-based, Chrome Industries.
I’ve been getting more and more into Chrome’s urban cycling range recently, trying out the excellent Urban Ex backpack and the messenger bag. This is gear that is aimed specifically at commuters who want to look good.
One product that’s always caught my eye when browsing the Chrome website have been the Storm 415 Workboot and recently I got hold of a pair to put them to the test.
Chrome Industries 415 Workboot
The Chrome Industries 415 Workboot is a durable and stylish boot that’s perfect for urban cycling. Made with full-grain leather and a high-traction sole, these boots provide comfort, support, and protection for your feet on and off the bike.
- Stiff sole
- Still comfy to walk in
Chrome Industry Storm 415 Workboot
When you get hold of them, the first thing that becomes apparent about the 415 Workboot is that these are stiff soled shoes. This is great for cycling as it maximises your efficiency, but I was concerned that this would make them uncomfortable to walk in.
And while it does take a few minutes to adjust the less flexible type of shoe when walking around, you quickly forget about this. These are very comfortable shoes.
They also look fantastic.
You’d have no idea that these were “cycling shoes” unless someone told you.
This is exactly what Discerning Cyclist is all about: finding stylish clothes with discreet functionality for cycling.
The cycling functionality doesn’t just stop at the stiff sole, either. These shoes also offer:
- Built-in rocker for added walking comfort
- A waterproof membrane
- Durable rubber heel cup with reflective detailing
- Lace garage to keep lace out of your chainring
- Steel aglets to prevent lace fraying
- 4-layer breathable waterproof internal membrane
- 100% vulcanized rubber construction
- Skid-resistant contact rubber sole
The Best Urban Cycling Shoes?
The fact that the 415 range has been around for a number of years is also testament to the quality of these urban cycling shoes. As well as the Kursk Sneaker, the Storm 415 Workboot is a mainstay of the Chrome collection and one of their most popular products.
These Chrome cycling boots are also very durable and feel like they’re build to last. The skid-resistant rubber sole ensures the base of the shoe won’t wear out, while the entire shoe feels like its been built with premium quality in mind.
Of course, such quality comes at a price, which, in this instance stands at the sum of $120/£90.
If you’re after some of the best urban cycling shoes around, though, the Chrome Industries 415 Workboot might well be the best around.