Chrome Industries has launched a new line of cycling-specific, clipless-compatible sneakers for the first time in nearly 3 years. And we tried a pair.
The new Chrome x Panaracer line features low-profile, sneaker-style footwear in lace-up and slip-on styles, with clipless or flat pedal compatibility options. It includes the Kursk, Dima 3.0, and Southside 3.0 shoes.
The Kursk is a low-top, lace-up sneaker that comes in a pro option compatible with SPD cleats. The Dima is a slip-on flat-pedal shoe. The Southside comes in both low and pro options; like the Kursk, the pro option works with most two-bolt SPD cleats.
All shoes in the new line are made with a signature Panaracer rubber outsole designed for extra grip, durability, and weather resistance.
First Look: Chrome Industries Kursk Cycling Shoe
We received an advance pair of the Kursk AW 2.0 Pro (SPD) to try out around town. Out of the box, they’re a little heavy — so these won’t be your peloton pair of cycling shoes.
But the weight is also indicative of the shoes’ construction. These are stout kicks — the uppers feel durable and protective, and the Panaracer rubber sole feels both sturdy and grippy.
And that sole is probably the most notable aspect of these shoes when you first lace them up. A quick side note on those laces: Reflective dots run the entire length of these laces and the material is both grippy and tough. It’s a small but nice touch — if a brand pays that much attention to the laces, it bodes well for the whole shoe.
But once tied and tucked in the tongue’s lace garage, the sole steals the show. Just walking around my home, the Panaracer rubber squeaked along the floor, chewing for grip with every step.
I did not try the flat version, but I imagine riders can expect some serious grip with this rubber compound.
On the bike, these perform well in urban environs. As I mentioned, these are not lightweight shoes, so you’ll churn a little extra turning the cranks with these shoes.
But hey, PBR isn’t proper nutrition for performance cycling, but it’s surefire swill after an alleycat race. And that heritage shines through in this collection.
While I didn’t ride through a downpour, I aimed for my fair share of oily puddles and walked over street debris. The Kursk performed like a shoe built for gritty daily use.
What’s more, these shoes look good in the way Chrome Industries should: low profile, blackout, and sleek. As a rider, they feel undeniably cool.
The line is not without its cycling-specific accouterments.
Chrome says the collection is composed of a hydrophobic material. Its PowerPlate Propulsion technology employs a rigid nylon plate between the shoes’ insole and outsole to give the wearer more support and deliver more power while pedaling.
The line also comes equipped with reflexive highlights to increase visibility, always welcomed when riding in traffic.
The Chrome x Panaracer collection is available now, ranging from $95 to $110.