Crankbrothers offers both clip-in and flat shoes, and the Crankbrothers Stamp Lace is the company’s entry-level flat-pedal shoe.
The Crankbrothers Stamp Lace shoe features a custom flat rubber compound (called MC2) for the sole and a moulded synthetic upper with perforated mesh zones and TPU reinforcement on the toe and heel to resist abrasion.
With its straight cut, it’s easily as comfortable as the very best mountain bike shoes, and we never experienced any chafing when riding or walking in this shoe. There are even some little dimpled grippers on the inside of the heel to help it cup the back of the foot to stop the shoe slipping. We’ve noticed a bit of wear on the toe area, but we haven’t seen any chainring cuts in the heel material.
A neat feature of this shoe is the low-profile lace system. It’s not as stable as the Speedlace system on Crankbrothers’s better shoe, which gets an extra Velcro strap, but the Stamp does have pretty good support and, so far, those little fabric tabs are still intact. A padded tongue helps reduce pressure on the top of your foot, and there’s a handy pouch to store excess lace.
Overall, the fit and construction are right up there, but sadly the Crankbrothers MC2 sole compound is just not soft enough. We measured the rubber at around 68a, and while there’s some nice flex in the sole that lets you curve your foot against the pedal, it’s just not that grippy. On mellow trails we could keep our feet planted, but hit a rough section or a steep chute and our feet would start to slip forward on the pedals. The sole is hard wearing and the deep lugs front and rear offer good off-the-bike traction, but Crankbrothers needs a much softer rubber if the Crankbrothers Stamp Lace is to win our seal of approval.