It’s safe to say that I will always own a pair of these clean canvas shoes moving forward. I’ve had my Chrome Kursk shoes (in grey), $70, for four months now, and they look like I take them out of the box each time I put them on. It’s because of the way that Chrome approaches the production of all of their products, and also due in part to the fact that Chrome originally launched (and still delivers) with the urban bike messenger in mind.
The description on their site says it all: “Our low cut street shoe with the most durable construction you can find.”
But to be clear, these are not just functional shoes, they’re also quite stylish. They’re a more sturdy Chuck Taylor, with a bit more style and verve. I bought the grey, but they’re also available in black, blue and brown (and they used to sell them in a great bright red), as well as high-top, mid-top and slip-on versions.
They are, however, quite stiff, especially on first wear. I strongly recommend doing whatever you can to break them in, including, removing the laces and throwing them in the wash a couple of times to loosen up the canvas a bit.
The shoes have a bunch of simple, but essential features that separate them from all of the other simple canvas shoes on the market:
- Made of 1,000 denier Cordura with back-padding (that’s like the crazy sturdy nylon that’s used in bags and suitcases)
- Steel aglets on the tips to keep laces from fraying
- Special lace garage on the tongue so laces don’t get caught in your chain (meant for riding your bike, but we all know that lace tips fray no matter what you’re doing)
I first found out about Chrome when I bought one of their Citizen bags from them back in 2003 (same one pictured above), and it’s still the bag that I use everyday for work, on the weekends, and traveling (it’s been through some harrowing times in Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Thailand, Mexico, and most recently in Nigeria); the only reason I bring it up is that the bag still looks like it’s brand new, as well.