Vintage cycling shoes are getting harder to find nowadays, so it is pleasing to see a new company turning out smart, Sunday best, footwear for you to slip into your toe clips. Quoc Phan is a young St. Martins fashion graduate who loves cycling and spotted a niche in the market for traditional cycling shoes for the urban enthusiast and weekend tourist, something that would decorate your feet and go terribly well with your Rapha trousers.
No chunky soles, no Velcro straps, no hobbling when walking in them, no extra bright colour combinations, just the understated elegance of a functional riding shoe. Each numbered, limited edition pair is made using traditional techniques, (unfortunately not in this country but that would make the price way too high) with craftsman sculpting the materials by hand to ensure they stay true to the contour of the foot. These shoes are designed to be used with toe clips, with a sleek, slightly pointed toe, making it very easy to enter your pedal traps. They are a very snug fit, a bit like putting a climbing shoe on, with the 1.4mm thick, supple, leather designed to stretch around your feet, more like a leather sock than a shoe!
Once on, there isn't any room for your toes to wriggle and keep warm in wintery climes. It does take several hours for the leather to mould to the shape of your foot but once they are broken in, they literally fit like your favourite slippers. The contoured stiff rubber sole allows power to be put down into the pedals yet is compliant enough, and has the correct foot bed curvature, to walk normally in. They aren't so grippy on flat pedals and forget riding them in the wet without clips unless you have a lot of stand over height or a disregard for your family jewels! Quoc is working on a design with recessed cleats too which should be very interesting.
Keep them polished and the Fixed shoes should look good for all those Sunday pub rides or short commutes to work where there are no changing facilities or when you go straight into a meeting. They do look a little bit dainty to be worn with a suit though.
A smart pair of quality, sleek, leather shoes that will work well in any toe clip yet allow you to walk without looking like you have bunions.
road.cc test report
Make and model: QP Fixed shoes
Size tested: 42
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
for the 'urban enthusiast and weekend tourist'. This is more of a cycling shoe than a shoe that can be used for cycling.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Colour:Black, patent black, tan, brown,two tone black
Size Range: 41,42,43,44,45,46
They are limited editions and each pair is numbered. The attention to detail is superb.
They are best mated to toeclips and straps. Not recommended for flat pedals in the wet because of the flat undersole.
With the leather being only 1.4mm there is a slight compromise on durability traded off against comfort. If you treat the leather well and walk without dragging your feet, they should last a very long time.
The shoe should feel a little tight width-wise, but rest assured that after a couple of hours of wear, the leather will give in the right places to ensure the perfect fit.
This, in my opinion is a reasonable price for a pair of hand crafted office shoes but the bonus is that you can ride in this pair. These are your Sunday best shoes after all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Initially very tight, they are very narrow, if you have wide feet choose a size bigger than normal.
The sleek pointy toe found it easy to enter toe clips and the stiff sole was very comfortable applying power to the pedals.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Elegant, vintage styling. Very comfortable once they are broken in.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They make your feet look tiny, which isn't a bad thing unless you are wearing suit trousers. Coming to think of it, suit trousers are what I dislike.
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Perfect to finish off your 'look' on the Tweed Run.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sparton, brakeless fixed My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,