When I opened the box of Chrome Truks, a sample of cycling shoes sent to me last fall, my first reaction was, "Crap, they sent the wrong shoes."
Because they didn't look like cycling shoes. No cleats. No place to attach cleats. I checked the box to make certain I wasn't missing something.
Here's what I got.
A pair of black canvas shoes, with a flattish gum bottom, laced with black and including an extra set of brown laces. They look like, well, shoes.
My bikes have pedals for cleats. Riding with these would just be slip-sliding away. I almost returned them -- what a mistake that would have been, now that I've used them.
At the time, I had been thinking about outfitting the winter bike with a platform/cleat combo so I could wear my winter boots on some days. So suddenly I had a good excuse to buy new pedals (Shimano PD-M324 SPD dual platforms).
I rode the first day with all the imbedded prejudices of a longtime cleated-cycling-shoe rider. And all I could say at the end of the ride was, "Wow. These work."
Nice stiff feel. So little slippage that I stood on the pedals for the Ottawa Street hill. I changed into my office shoes and put thoughts of the Truks away.
So I used these shoes for a couple of weeks, riding in dry and wet conditions and always changing into work shoes at the office. And then one day, circumstances kept me in the Truks for a couple of hours, and soon my shift was done and I had been in the Truks for nine hours -- and they still felt good.
I should have written about these shoes sooner: they would have made a good Christmas gift. Having said that, the delay did give me time to ride them in snow -- as good regarding slippage as any of my sneakers or boots -- and a couple of freakingly cold days (OK, that's when you need a bootie cover).
And here it is spring again, and I am wearing the Truks again, both on the bike and all day at the office, and thinking, Wow, these work. Maybe it's time for a welcome-to-spring cycling gift to yourself.
If you want to see the Truks in action, the Chrome people put this video up on YouTube earlier this year. Nice music.