Quoc is a UK-based company best known for making very high-quality leather lace-up cycling shoes for the most discerning cyclists, but its latest product, the Gran Tourer All-Terrain, is aimed at the growing adventure and gravel bike market. The new shoes have just been launched via Kickstarter, with £50,000 of funding sought to put the new shoes into production. At the time of writing the campaign is at £18,742 with 44 days to go.
"Combining plush comfort with well-thought-out design details like a no-sew upper, gusseted tongue and a water blocking, MTB-compatible carbon composite sole, the Quoc Gran Tour All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoe is our response to the challenges of off-road riding," explains the company.
The new shoe is billed as a gravel-first cycling shoe. What does that mean exactly? Well, there’s the specially formulate rubber outsole that is designed to provide long-term durability and off-bike grip, with a chunky design as you’d find on a mountain bike shoe for digging into the mud, along with 2-bolt cleat drilling which provides the benefits of a recessed cleat and dual-sided SPD-style pedal.
The sole is constructed from a carbon composite material that the company says strikes a balance between riding stiffness and off-bike comfort, leading us to presume that it’s not as out-and-out stiff as most race-focused shoes so you can walk comfortably when making cafe or lunch stops.
The upper is reminiscent of other shoes in the company’s range, with a familiar lace-up closure system. Lace-up shoes definitely have more fans these days, with a handful of brands, notable Giro, helping to popularise laces over buckles and Boa dials. I’m sold on laces, having used Giro’s Empire lace-up shoes for the 200km Dirty Reiver last year.
Quoc has worked to ensure the shoes stand up to being ridden in the rain. There’s a gusseted tongue, a one-piece upper and a fully waterproof sole to ensure your feet stay dry, well as possible as it to keep feet dry when riding in the rain. The upper is still peppered with perforations for venting in high temperatures, should you find yourself riding through California or Morocco. Claimed weight for a size 43 shoe will be 380g and spare laces and a cotton bag will be supplied.
So is there a market for a gravel-specific shoe? Getting away from the hype such a term inevitably encourages, I don’t personally see these purely as a shoe for gravel cyclists, but appealing to the large segment of road.cc readers that prefer this style of shoe - for easier walking and more comfort - for everything from commuting, touring, Audax and, of course, adventure and all-terrain cycling. Plus, they look just lovely, which will sell a boatload alone.
There’s no reason why they Kickstarter campaign won’t succeed and if it does we'll hopefully be able to get a pair in for review. If you're quick, you can currently purchase a pair of Early Bird shoes for £143, which includes a free pair of socks. Delivery is slated for July 2018 with worldwide delivery.
Check out the website for more detail, and head over to the Kickstarter page if you want to pledge your support.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.