Forged Rubber

Chrome’s Forged Rubber Mirko model

Chrome Forged Rubber Footwear: Quick Review- by Guitar Ted

About two months ago now we reported on Chrome Industries new “Forged Rubber footwear. Well, Chrome Industries decided to shoot me over a pair to try out, and I have put them to the test on the bike, in the shop, and around town. Now I have a bit of a review on these sneakers to share with you all.

Chrome Industries

The Forged Rubber soles are grippy, yet show no signs of premature wear.

The main point of these shoes is that the rubber is applied to the uppers by a special process that basically melds the rubber right into the material used for the uppers. (See the link for details) Chrome claims these sneakers are “the most durable city sneaker”. So with that in mind, I didn’t hold back on subjecting these shoes to the harsh environments of the bicycle shop, gravel roads, dirt trails, and of course, wearing them in the city.

I received the Mirko model in Khaki/Gum. The $85.00 MSRP shoe is constructed of 12 ounce canvass uppers and the “Forged Rubber” soles with an anti-microbial sock liner and a quick dry contoured foot bed. Okay, so less stink and drier tootsies should be on the menu. Chrome says the soles will not delaminate from the uppers, something I have always had issues with wearing other brands of canvass shoes. Finally, Chrome adds a big patch of highly reflective material on the heel to aid in nighttime visibility should you be out and about on the bike.

Fit & Feel: The size 11.5 shoes were true to size and I only had one small issue with the feel of these initially. On my right foot, up where the seams all come together on the uppers near my little toe, the material’s stiffness when new dug into the side of my little toe if I laced the Mirko’s up tight. However, releasing a bit of lacing tension made that issue go away, and subsequently, after the Mirko’s broke in, it hasn’t been an issue for me.

Beyond that initial bit of a negative experience, the Chrome Mirko sneakers were solid, albeit a bit warm, shoes for Summertime wearing in almost any scenario. Shop life didn’t phase them other than the slight stains from Tri-Flow and gunk. Sole wear has been what I would expect after nearly daily use. Minimal, I would say. This was a bit of a surprise, actually, because the Forged Rubber soles are grippy, and feel soft, leading me to believe that I would find advanced wear after a couple months time, but that hasn’t been the case with these.

P1070708

The Mirko, with the grippy sole, really gets a good bit of traction with pinned flat pedals, and I found that the on the bike performance was really good for a canvass sneaker, which typically has very little stiffness. The Mirkos did have a better feel and stiffness which is why they worked better on the bike for me.

Conclusions: The biggest surprise? These are not delaminating, or coming apart anywhere. It would seem that the claims of “most durable city shoe” may actually prove out with the Mirko. The anti-microbial sock liner and foot bed are doing a decent job of keeping me in the social graces of my co-workers, family, and friends, so that part has been a success.  However; I find these to be a pretty warm shoe, and if we were having the barn-burner, humid type Summer we typically have here, I would be overlooking these until Fall. It seems to me that in an effort to make the most bomb-proof urban shoe, Chrome maybe made the Mirko a bit less breathable and heavy, in comparison to other, less stout canvass shoes. I guess you can’t have it all.

Get these if you have troubles with “blowing out” canvass style sneakers like you would birthday candles. These shoes can take some abuse, for sure. However; they aren’t going to prove to be a lightweight, breezy slipper that oozes comfort in the heat of Summer. On the bike they feel great, and the grippy soles will make flat pedal urban cyclists happy, despite the lack of any real, deep tread pattern.

To see all the Forged Rubber models offered by Chrome Industries, Click Here.

Note Chrome Industries sent over the Mirko sneakers at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test/review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review. We strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.