The Tracey Neuls GEEK Reflective Black Cycle Sneakers are quirky and stylish shoes that are comfortable on and off the bike, smart enough for office wear, and have the added bonus of being entirely reflective. They're not a cheap option, but they are a designer shoe with the quality to go with that.
Rather unusually, they are designed for both walking and cycling, rather than favouring cycling with just a nod to the odd bit of wandering about town on foot. The outsole is grippy rubber, with a metal shank for extra rigidity, and the fairly flat sole has a small raised heel, making it much more akin to a normal everyday shoe than a cycling-specific design.
More unusually, the shoes are fully reflective. The textile upper is leather lined for comfort, and reflects a sort of shiny pewter under car headlights or other light sources. Even brighter at night is the grey colourway that is also available (pictured below), so if bold and visible is the aim then that might be the way to go, whereas the black looks smarter for office wear, in my opinion, even if it's more subtle in terms of reflectivity.
These are far from being technical cycling shoes; what they are is smart-casual 'normal' shoes that are genuinely useful for cycling, and easy to walk in too.
Taking them out of the chic black box, and then out of their individual soft shoe bags (all the fanciest shoes have their own bags), it's immediately apparent that these are high quality, well-made designer shoes.
The soft leather and textile uppers mould to the foot quickly, for really good comfort, and they come with a removable insole for fine-tuning fit.
Personally, I would have liked a few more holes for the lacing in order to secure the uppers slightly better on the foot, without gripping on to one small area.
On the bike, the rubber soles grip well, and while they are far from as stiff as flat shoes produced by cycling brands, such as the much more casual Giant Shuttle, they aren't bad.
The toe bumpers go some way to help prevent scuffing, and the reflective textile upper is able to endure heavy showers and road spray, if not persistent rain.
The upper does show marks and dirt quite quickly, though I don't think it detracts too badly from the overall look, and you can wipe the worst off with a damp cloth.
It's difficult to judge these shoes in terms of value for money, as they are a breed apart. For quality and style they sit alongside some of the more boutique road shoe brands, but for function they sit alongside far more casual, less expensive shoes.
The nearest equivalents are probably the perennially popular non-clip-in shoes by Quoc Pham, such as the Fixed England at £169, in terms of purpose and pedigree, as well as not being far off the mark on price.
They are more expensive than the likes of the cycling-specific Giant Shuttle at £99.99 mentioned earlier and the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow at £89.99, but these are much more casually styled shoes.
The Tracey Neuls are genuinely comfortable shoes for wearing on and off the bike; they allow for effective pedalling, look smart enough to wear with office clobber and have that reflective bonus. They're well-made, high-quality designer shoes, and worth the investment.
These sneakers were described by the London Design Museum as 'beautiful shoes for an active life' and that's just what they are. If you're after smart city cycling and walking shoes that add to your after-dark safety arsenal, they're well worth considering.
Chic, comfortable, good for on and off the bike, and with the bonus of being fully reflective
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tracey Neuls GEEK Reflective Black Cycle Sneaker
Size tested: 39
Tell us what the product is for
Tracey Neuls says, 'Our black all-reflective GEEK is minimal design with maximum impact. So popular, it's been part of our collection for over a decade.
'The upper is made entirely of black reflective textile that has almost a velvet quality to the touch. In dull light, this incredible material is matte and subtle - with a flash of light, the colour glows for functional and fashionable high vis impact. The inner and outer material make this bike shoe suitable for wearing in light rain. The GEEK is also supplied with a removable insole so you can personalise your fit.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tracey Neuls lists:
Comfortable rubber sole with metal shank inside for structure and stability
Italian calf leather upper and lining
Walk and Cycle friendly
Available in sizes 36-42
A beautifully finished shoe that exudes quality. Excellent materials and build.
For a smart casual shoe that's designed as much for walking as cycling and adds in after-dark safety elements, it performed very well.
The textile upper sheds water well but can show dirt, and definitely grease, easily. There's no reason that these shouldn't last as long as most normal shoes, and probably longer thanks to the high quality materials.
The shoe moulds easily and quickly to the foot to give a nice fit. I'd personally have liked a few more lacing holes to add extra security.
Pretty much what you would expect from the stated size.
A good balance of light, sturdy and well made.
Very comfortable on and off the bike.
Very much in their own niche, but they are a good investment for someone looking for a smart stylish shoe for casual and office use that's good on and off the bike. That added safety element of the reflectivity helps too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A damp cloth helps keep them looking smart.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable on and off the bike, stylish, added safety element of reflectivity, grippy rubber sole.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really. A bit of an investment, but good quality to match.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The nearest equivalents are probably the perennially popular non-clip-in shoes by Quoc Pham, such as the Fixed England at £169. They are more expensive than the likes of the cycling-specific Giant Shuttle at £99.99 and the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow at £89.99, but these are much more casually styled shoes.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much. They made me feel like a hip London lawyer.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely. Particularly for smart commuter duties.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These flat pedal shoes are an investment piece, but look great, deliver on comfort both on and off the bike, and add that extra element of after-dark safety with some reflectivity. They are unusual, innovative and very well made, and they do their job well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.