QUOC x Restrap Sandal Review: Post-Ride Sandals?
The new QUOC x Restrap Sandal is the first collaboration between the two British brands, bringing together QUOC’s grippy sole with Restrap’s namesake retention system. They’re light, surprisingly supportive, and boast an innovative design that enables them to attach to your seatpack. QUOC and Restrap say these are post-ride sandals for wearing around camp, but could they be something more? Find our initial impressions in this review…
The latest intriguing collaboration from around the cycling world brings together two well-established British brands, QUOC from London and Restrap from Yorkshire. They combined their unique manufacturing expertise to create a piece of footwear that’s somehow unexpected and obvious at the same time. The all-new QUOC x Restrap Sandal harmoniously blends QUOC’s outsole technology and highly regarded microfiber material from its performance cycling shoes with Restrap’s eponymous fastening and strap innovations that gave the brand its start when founder Nathan Hughes was making pedal straps out of his bedroom back in 2010.
Aimed straight at the bikepacking market, QUOC and Restrap say they developed their new sandals as the “ultimate post-ride slip-on.” I’ve had them for a short while to see how that claim holds up and whether or not they can be more than that. Hiding in plain sight is a clever feature that helps solve the problem of where to pack your camp sandals while bikepacking, though the sole is stiff enough that you might also consider just riding in them and skipping the need for a second shoe altogether. I’ve done exactly that on a few longer rides on 75°F (24°C) days here in sunny Colorado, and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them on a low-key weekend bikepacking trip with flat pedals based on my initial impressions, though it’s unclear how the soles would hold up long-term when paired with a pedal with aggressive pins. Beyond just wearing around camp, they’d also be ideal for river crossings and bikerafting.
Putting the QUOC x Restrap Sandals on for the first time, I was struck by how pleasantly soft the footbed feels. It’s super comfy. I’ve only ever tried Crocs on—some lines just weren’t meant to be crossed—but I’d say these sandals have a roughly similar softness underfoot. Three Restrap-made straps provide a snug fit, and all of them can pivot, allowing them to conform to the contours of your feet. The heel strap can flip fully upward, transforming them into sliders when you need to throw them on quickly, such as when nature calls in the middle of the night. Softness and snugness aside, I should note that the front left strap rivet created a little hotspot during my first few times wearing the sandals (without socks), though it seems to be getting better as the microfiber around it breaks in.
These new sandals are super light, too, with my pair of EU 47s weighing just 470 grams on my scale with a bit of Rocky Mountain dirt on them. They’re not nearly as light as the ultra-minimalist sandals I typically pack for camp, but they offer far more protection with the same excellent ventilation. Plus, their rigidity lends itself far better to casual riding and walking around. They feature the exact same gripply sole found on QUOC’s Lala Sliders, which works impressively well and offers great traction when paired with the Restrap-designed retention system (note that if you’re merely searching for a post-ride slip-on, the Lala Sliders are priced at ~$50).
The product designers clearly had fun with this project, and the standout feature distinguishing the QUOC x Restrap Sandals from anything else I’ve seen before is the hook-and-loop system designed to fit around your seat pack for hauling the sandals while riding. It’s a deluxe dangling system, to be sure. It works by quickly disconnecting the middle straps using the D-hooks, lengthening the velcro on both sandals enough to fit around your seat pack, then connecting the sandals to each other and snugging them down.
In effect, the clever but somewhat elaborate system the two brands developed does the same thing as a Voile strap or Restrap Fast Strap would do for a few bucks, albeit with a good deal more artistic flair. It looks to be a pretty secure system when run underneath your seatpack’s rear closure strap too. I’m not so sure that this bikepacking-specific system is reason enough to merit rushing out and buying these, but if you happen to be in the market for new camp sandals and have been scratching your head trying to figure out how you’d haul them, the QUOC x Restrap Sandals are a pretty compelling option.
Aesthetically, I’m still not sure what to make of them. I went with the Sand colorway but would probably choose Black if I could do it again. The Sand is nice enough but a bit bold in contrast with the black straps and sole. I received mixed reviews from the friends I’ve asked for their thoughts on the overall look, the most brutal of which was that they look like “some kind of medical brace.” I wouldn’t go nearly that far, but function is probably winning out over form in the case of these sandals. And who knows, maybe hospital chic is the next big thing? Jokes aside, I’m not totally in love with the industrial look of the QUOC x Restrap Sandals, but they’re growing on me, and taste is so personal that it hardly matters what I think.
Paying homage to the British heritage that both brands share, the QUOC x Restrap Sandals are made in the UK, and they come with the UK-made price of $129.99 (£84.99 GBP/€99.99 EUR) to match. They’re available now in Black and Sand through Restrap, QUOC, and other selected retailers around the globe. As with QUOC’s other footwear, they’re offered in a single width in EU sizes 38 to 47, a range that’s a bit limiting for folks with extra small and extra large feet. For reference, I have semi-wide feet and these feel about right to me. I’m generally a 46 or 47, so I sized up to 47 in this case, and they’re just barely long enough.
- Price: $129.99/£84.99 GBP/€99.99 EUR
- Sizes Available: EU 38-47
- Colors Available: Black, Sand
- Actual Weight (Size 47): 470 grams (pair)
- Place of Manufacture: United Kingdom
- More Details: Quoc.cc and Restrap.com
- Light and airy construction
- Clever attachment system simplifies the packing process
- Sole is stiff enough for casual riding
- Super soft and comfortable footbed feels great
- Price is hard to justify if any old camp sandal will do
- As with all sandals, these have inherent limitations
- Size range is limited to EU 38-47
- Their look is bound to be divisive
Inspired by the likes of our own Cass Gilbert in his Bedrocks and other flat pedal/sandal aficionados in my circle, I’ve been warming up to the idea of riding in sandals when the weather and trip plans permit. I often spent all day riding around the city in my Birkenstocks, so why not take that idea further afield? For the slow and steady style of riding that characterizes much of my day-to-day time on the bike, the QUOC x Restrap Sandals make some sense, despite not being marketed to do so. I wouldn’t wear them for anything beyond commutes around the city or a meandering weekend trip, as I think you’d quickly find their limit, especially with grippy studs in your pedals, but I think these have the potential to be “camp sandals plus.” For more serious bikepacking, I’d be looking at something with the long-term durability of Bedrocks or Keens.
These sandals from QUOC and Restrap strike a unique balance of having a soft footbed, lightweight construction, secure fit, and rigid sole. If you’re searching for a sturdy camp shoe that you won’t have any excuse not to haul along on your next trip, these are undoubtedly a contender. And there’s no reason why their use should be limited to camp, as they’re great for walking around, whether that’s in transit to the start of a trip somewhere or just around town on a day off the bike. The QUOC x Restrap Sandals are well made and more than fulfill their design intent. They come at a premium price and with a look that won’t be for everyone, but I anticipate this first collaboration being a hit for the two brands, and I’m excited to see where it leads. Lastly, with apologies, I can’t help but ask: QUOC and Restrap, how long until we can get a burly SPD version?!
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