Chrome Industries has been a staple in the messenger/commuter cycling for many years now, so it is no surprise they have developed some great product for the cycling community.
One aspect sometimes overlooked when commuting on the bike can be shoe choice. It isn’t always easy to carry an extra pair of shoes with you when heading to work. Coming from road and gravel cycling I know the importance of a good shoe can make riding that much more enjoyable. That should be no different when hopping on an electric bike to head to work or for a spin around town.
When I first opened the box the Olive Leaf color way really stuck out. It had a rugged look to it but still subtle enough to not look too utilitarian. The upper of the shoe is made with Abrasion-Resistant, Hydrophobic Nylon. This is going to help the shoe last longer and protect if from getting damaged when bumping against your pedals. It is a mid-rise shoe and fits perfectly between a low top and a high top. The mid-rise give a little more protection to you ankle, and with pants if keeps those ankles out of the elements. The upper is also water repellent so you won’t get your toes wet when splashing through some puddles and if they do get a bit when they are quick drying (important in the PNW).
Built into the sole of the shoe is Chromes RIGID POWERPLATE NYLON SHANK MIDSOLE. This makes the sole of the shoe much more rigid so you don’t lose power when pedaling. When riding with a shoe that isn’t stiff, you can feel your foot flex and over time that makes your feet tired as well. That is no issue with this shoe, the sole feels stiff but it is still comfortable on and off the bike. The heel of the shoe is also reinforced to protect the shoe from pedal wear when getting your foot on and off the pedals.
Chrome teamed up with Panaracer to create a vulcanized no-slip outsole for better traction and durability. This Panaracer rubber outsole combined with the tread pattern on the bottom of the shoe work very well together for a nice grip on the pedals. The toe box is also reinforced to help with wear and tear from the bike. There is a small reflective detail on the back of the heel which is a nice addition.
I have been wearing the Southside 3.0 shoes for the past few weeks on and off the bike and really enjoy them. On the bike, they are very solid and provide good grip with a variety of pedals. You can really feel the stiffness of the Rigid Power Plate in the midsole when you step down with some force. Despite the stiffness of the mid-sole they are still comfortable enough to power walk through the airport to make it to your gate in time. I am a big fan of the mid-rise silhouette and the protection it offers to your ankles. The abrasion-resistant and hydrophobic upper has kept the shoes looking clean through some drizzle and dusty trails.
My only issue with the shoe in my time wearing them has been the tongue on the right shoe slips to the side a bit after some time. This may be due to my skinny ankles, but an easy fix would be if there was a small loop on the tongue to put the laces through to prevent slipping. Other than that, the Southside 3.0s will be my go to shoe for riding around town when I know there will be some walking involved at my destination.
Sizing: US 5 – 12
Colors: Night, Olive Leaf
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