Café du Cycliste has a reputation for making trendy cycling kit, often using Breton stripes that make you look as if you’ve cycled through the set of a Wes Anderson film.
The brand has now released its first road cycling shoes and gravel cycling shoes.
Café du Cycliste’s press release stresses these are indeed cycling shoes, despite how they look, and the gravel shoes we’ve been sent certainly look more like hiking boots than your typical cycling footwear.
These boots are made for pedalling
These gravel shoes are said to be the missing piece in the brand’s style puzzle, now enabling you to dress in Café du Cycliste “from head to toe”.
The shoes look a lot more like retro hiking boots, particularly those made by Norwegian Paraboots, which have come into vogue in recent years.
The Café du Cycliste gravel shoes share a number of things in common with more fashion-conscious boots, beyond their leather uppers.
The contrast laces extend far down the shoes and are threaded through metal D-eyelets before running under metal hooks at the top of the shoes. There is also a rubberised border around the bottom of the upper. This should protect the leather upper from scrapes.
It’s not just about the looks with these shoes, according to Café du Cycliste. The brand, based in Nice, France, says the gravel shoes are “high performance”.
The leather uppers are said to be robust and comfortable, and the metal eyelets will reduce friction – and presumably wear – on the laces.
The tan outsole is made by SUPtraction, which also provides outsoles for Suplest. The rubber blend was designed for mountain terrain, according to Café du Cycliste. There is ‘Fishgrid technology’ on the heel to minimise slipping.
There is a 3K carbon shank beneath the outsole for rigidity to aid power transfer, and Solestar insoles are said to help with stability.
As can be expected from a gravel shoe, these shoes are compatible with two-bolt cleats.
The shoes weigh a claimed 370g in a size 43. They retail for €300.