A behind-the-scenes look at how we design and build our shoes. Told by Chrome’s chief shoe developer, Lars MacLeod. Our brand new TRUK sneaker is the latest in our Pedal Series. A proven silhouette built to resist the harsh demands of living and riding in the city. 25x stronger than canvas. Stiffer soles for more power.
Chrome has been making bags + apparel for over 17 years. This started out as necessity: we needed gear built to survive the city, but such gear didn’t exist. What can you tell us about the origins of Chrome footwear?
We wanted to build Chrome shoes like we build our bags: bombproof. So we took the same bag material (PU backing Cordura) & applied it to shoes, since it’s a proven material for us. Typical canvas sneakers always wear down too quickly. Also, we wanted to use sneaker silhouettes that had some heritage – but build them with new materials. This sparked the creation of Chrome footwear.
Our shoes are 100% Vulcanized. Without getting too technical, what does this process involve & why does Chrome use it?
It’s basically taking uncured rubber & attaching it to the upper of a shoe. Then, we place this into an auto-clave oven, curing the rubber directly onto the shoe. This process is over 75 years old & is still one of the most durable shoe constructions available on the market today.
What makes Chrome footwear different from other brands?
- First, the fit & comfort of the footbed. It comes down to a Polyurethane footbed (CHROME) vs. a generic compression-molded EVA footbed (Canvas sneakers).
- Then, the durable upper materials we use (Cordura). It’s 25 times stronger than canvas.
- Third, our unique mid-sole construction. Board-lasted with the Pro (Flex-Plate™), Pedal (3/4 Propulsion Plate), & All-City (comfort latex wedge) series.
- Finally, we make 100% Vulcanized, water-proof sneakers.
How do you approach fit when designing a Chrome shoe? What do you place as a premium?
When it comes to fit, we develop our own lasts & footbeds. These are the two most important things to first get right when you start building a shoe. We then work on developing new design ideas to create urban performance footwear which needs to work on and off the bike.
The Chrome TRUK is a classic, proven silhouette. We’ve made it 25x stronger than the standard canvas sneaker, but what else makes this shoe special?
Bottom line: There’s no other shoe like the TRUK out there today. ¾ Powerplate, board-lasted soles, reflective hits on the back. Bombproof.