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Good for the City
I bought these for short rides around Bangkok that involve a lot of walking off the bike. I was specifically looking for a normal-looking CE-rated shoe that would be comfortable riding and walking in the heat and humidity, and that did not have a water-proof membrane (I find they're never really that breathable, especially in footwear). This was the only shoe I could find that fit the bill.
After 2 weeks of daily use I'm pretty happy with the purchase. They are considerably less bulky and more comfortable to walk in than my CE-2 rated short boots, and the soles provide good traction even on slick surfaces. Of course the protection isn't as substantial as the heavier boots either, but they're a good trade off of comfort and walk-ability for urban rides.
Style-wise they easily pass for regular retro hi-top sneakers, and the protective features aren't noticeable at all. I appreciate that branding is kept to a subtle minimum. The pictures make these look like two-tone grey and black, but in person they are a more uniform black, with a subtle textural contrast between the canvas, (synthetic?) suede, and rubber panels. My 45s are true to size.
One complaint I have is that the design leaves several frayed edges of the canvas material exposed. I burnt these areas down with a lighter, but it looks like the fraying will return quickly with more use. There is also some excess material inside the shoe where the base of the tongue is attached, which tends to bunch up when putting them on and rub my foot for the first few minutes I wear the shoes. It usually flattens out on its own after a little walking, and I stop noticing it. The price is also a little steep compared to competitors, but few other shoes in this category hold the CE rating.
Overall I'm satisfied, and would buy other Stylmartin products, particularly if they release a CE-rated and non-waterproof version of the Indian.
April 13, 2014
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