The upper of the Crank Brothers Stamp Lace is dialled, but still needs the rubber to match if it wants to steal a bit of Five Ten’s flat-pedal thunder
Slide your feet into the brand new Crank Brothers Stamp Lace flat pedal shoes and it’s like stepping into your favourite slippers. With padding in all the right areas, there are no pressure points or hot spots here, even with the laces cinched up tight.
Crank Brothers has also struck a nice balance between warmth and breathability; mesh panels on the sides of the Stamp and a perforated tongue generate air flow while the seamless toe box construction keeps most of the water and mud out. There’s also a clipless version of the Stamp Lace, called the Mallet Lace, that shares the exact same last and fit., where both are available in a range of half sizes. Other neat features that carry over from the clipless shoes include a lace pouch on the tongue and little dimpled grippers on the inside of the heel where it cups the back of your foot. And Crank Brothers hasn’t shied away from additional tech throughout the Stamp range either, the Speedlace coming with toggled laces and a Velcro strap, the top-end BOA option swapping laces for speedy BOA closures. With extra tech comes extra expense, the Speedlace costing £134.99 the Stamp BOA £164.99.
But enough about the tech, let’s address the elephant in the room. Crank Brothers Stamp Lace MC2 rubber simply isn’t grippy enough to keep your feet securely planted on the pedals. Yes, the midsole is nice and supple, so the shoe can wrap around the pedal nicely when all of your weight is directed through it. Unweight the bike or try to ride light however, and your feet instantly start to skate on the pedals. So for now, if it’s Crank Brothers shoes you’re after, and let’s face it they do look bloody cool, get the Mallet shoes and the pedals they were named after.