Roadies and mountain bikers have a wide choice of shoes built for their disciplines. Until recently, riders who went with platform pedals had limited choices. Vans are a common pick, but they are not made for biking even though they are many BMXers shoe of choice. This year Chrome is giving urban pedalers an option with its new line of sneakers.
I’ve been wearing the company’s $90 Arnhem sneaks on and off the bike for about a month. All black with red highlights, the chukka-style boots have a classic look and work in the business-casual environment. On a bike, they are stiff enough to be more efficient than Vans, but not so stiff that they’re uncomfortable for walking.
There is a small reflective strip on the back of the soles. The suede is of medium weight. Performance-wise, I have few complaints. They ride well on platform pedals, the sole gripping solidly on. The suede leather seems durable enough to last for years on the ride.
One nitpicky thing: The Arnhem’s laces are too long. But they have silver caps to keep them from unraveling, and are cool enough that I don’t want to cut them. I get nervous about the long laces because if they find their way to wrap around the pedal axle, they’ll transform into an ankle tourniquet — a dicey idea when I’m on my fixed-gear bike.
My other small issue is the toe box. It is a little too pointy. This makes fit tougher for folks with wide feet. I’m not a part of that club, but I don’t like the elf aesthetic, either.
That said, the Arnhem shoes are solid all around. These tiny complaints aside, if you’re looking for a bike-specific sneaker that can handle platform pedals, I’d look to Chrome first.
—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.