Review: Chrome Midway Pro SPD Shoes and Bonus Mini Review: Chrome Merino Wool Socks
Back in June we posted a review of both the Chrome Kursk Pro and the Mission Workshop’s Rondel (a DZR shoe). While both are good shoes, the Rondel came out on top due to some fit issues with the Krusk Pro.
As expected, Chrome has expanded their Pro series to include their popular Midway shoe. The taller design should help with the slip issues noticed in the Kursk Pro. Head past the jump for the full details, plus a little something about their fantastic wool socks.
First up, the details. The Midway Pros are made from 1000 denier Cordura with a sueded upper. As their name suggests, they are cut to hit mid-ankle. The shoe incorporates the same full length nylon/glass shank and forefoot rocker as the Kursk Pro’s for increased stiffness and walkability. Laces are run through steel aglets, and the shoe has a lace garage (an elastic band on the tongue) to keep them out of the way. And last but not least, they feature a two bolt recessed cleat receptacle. Cost is set at $110, and sizing ranges from a Men’s 6 to 13.
Out of the box, the Midway Pros come with a rubber section bolted in where the cleat would go. This is great should you want a stiffer shoe but prefer to ride platform pedals with cages. It’s also nice because you don’t have to cut out a section of the sole with a sharp blade to access the cleat bolts. Once I did install my Crank Brothers cleats, the set up was very simple. I did cheat a bit however. Being that the sole is the same as the Kursk Pro’s, I dug them out of the closet and simply matched the cleat position. The setup was perfect the first time.
As expected, the shoe performs on the bike just like the Kursk Pros. This a good thing, as that’s what I loved most about them. The sole, with its full length reinforcement, is very stiff. It feels more akin to a mid-range MTB shoe when riding. I have had no issues putting in long miles with these on my feet.
My concern for the Midway Pros were with how they would perform off the bike. The Kursk Pros exhibited bad heel slip and left blisters. I was hoping that the higher cut on the Midway’s would elevate that. My assumption was correct, and the heel slip is gone. I am able to wear them for much longer periods of time, and all day comfort is greatly improved. The only issue I have with the shoe is that, if laced tight, the left upper digs into my ankle a bit. This has lessened as the shoes have broken in, and is avoidable if I just leave the laces a bit looser. Based on others I know who have tried out the shoes, this problem doesn’t effect everybody. Also, the cleat rarely contacts the ground when walking. I only seem to notice it when I am treading on an uneven hard surface like black top or concrete. My recommendation as always however, is to try before you buy. Chrome products can be found in many shops, so head on over to your local bike shop and try a pair on. Oh, and just like the Kursk Pros, these run about a half size smaller than your street shoe.
While the DZR shoes still win out in overall all day comfort, the Midway Pro’s find that balance of both on and off the bike performance. Plus, I really like the look of the Midway Pro in all black with red accents. Now that the heel slip issue is a non-issues, these shoes are more often my choice when running errands or commuting to work. If you spend a lot of time on and off your bike throughout the day, give these shoes serious consideration.
Bonus Mini-Review: Chrome Merino Wool Socks
I never really put much thought into the socks I wear. That was until I obtained a couple pair of Chrome’s Merino wool socks. I have one pair each of their no show and over the calf socks and I love them both. They keep my feet dry, and I find that my feet don’t smell when wearing them all day. I also have a tendency to destroy the heels in socks, but after three months of use they are holding up very well. I anticipate they will last a long time. These are well worth the money. Speaking of, costs come in at $12 for the no show and $18 for the over the calf version. If you prefer a more traditional crew sock, they have that too for $16.