Stomp Lox Slack Shoes Review
The Stomp Lox Slacks are a unique clipless cycling shoe with a wide toe-box, Vibram sole, and unmistakable look. We’ve been testing out the new European fit version for the last couple of months to see how they hold up. Find Miles’ review of the Stomp Lox Slacks Shoes here…
Earlier this year, I caught wind of Stomp Lox and their interesting line of cycling shoes after hearing that Ron’s Bikes was planning to distribute them in the US. Having recently become a fan of lace-up cycling shoes, I was intrigued by Stomp Lox’s shoes, especially due to their wide toe-boxes and classic styling. The Stomp Lox team is designing a specific style of shoe that’s quite unlike what we normally see here in North America, and I was eager to check them out in person.
Their line consists of two clipless riding shoes and clipless sandals, all designed to be comfortable to walk in and easy (for some people) on the eyes. Their original shoes were all based around a wider “Asian-fit” but over the last little while they’ve been working with Ronnie Romance at Ron’s Bikes to develop a US/EU fit for folks with narrow feet. The Stomp Lox Slacks are said to offer the perfect balance of stability and flexibility. They utilize a simple lace-up closure, a standard two-bolt SPD cleat pattern, and have a generously spacious toe-box that is hard to come by in the cycling world. While I don’t normally complain about tiny toe-boxes, I do notice some cycling shoes really cram my toes together after long rides, so I was interested to feel the difference for myself.
There are two different styles of the Stomp Lox Slacks available: direct from Stomp Lox and through Ron’s Bikes here in the US. Both offer the narrower US/EU fit version, but Stomp Lox’s shoes are made in China and Ron’s Bikes collaboration version are made in Japan. Stomp Lox only offers the shoe in a soft suede leather exterior, while Ron’s Bikes is offering suede as well as a premium full grain leather option for those who want better durability. In the end, the shape and style of the shoes are nearly identical, except for a special Ron’s Bikes x Stomp Lox tag on the US version. I’ve been testing out the suede leather version from Stomp Lox but also had a chance to chat with Ronnie about their collaboration version, which launched on their web store a few weeks ago.
All versions have a grippy replaceable Vibram sole, metal lace loops/hardware, and a durable pigskin liner on the inside. The roomy toe box is oddly unique in the world of clipless cycling shoes, and although they look suspiciously similar to bowling shoes, I was intrigued by the idea of not having all my toes crammed together. The sole uses their very own “POWER RIDE CORE SYSTEM”, which is another way of saying they flex enough to talk comfortably in but provide enough stability for riding.
It didn’t take long to convince me that wide toe boxes make sense. With temperatures hovering right around freezing, and close calls with snow and cold puddles on a few of my rides, my toes would normally start freezing up after an hour or so of riding. The roomier toe box allowed my toes to move somewhat freely, helping circulate warmth rather than prohibit it. I really can’t see a downside of having a wider toe box, besides the slightly odd looking shoe.
Like my first pair of lace-up cycling shoes, the Bontrager GR2, the Stomp Lox Slack shoes were comfortable on and off the bike. The upper is lightweight and supple, allowing the lace-up closure to manipulate the shoe easily to lock your foot in place. Since the tongue of the shoe isn’t attached on the side, I just had to make sure to grab it and ensure there were no folds before tying them up. Otherwise, they remained tight and comfortable in a wide range of conditions. Due to the minimal design, there’s not much in the way of extra protection, aside from some light padding around the opening of the shoe and some stiffer elements at the toe box and around the heel. With this in mind, they probably won’t be replacing my dedicated cross-country mountain bike shoes any time soon. I see Stomp Lox shoes as being better suited for gravel, commuting, and some all-terrain rides.
Stomp Lox sized me up using my foot length, width, and ball circumference. Using those numbers (11″ x 4″ x 10″), I ended up with a US size 11, which feels spot on for me. The fit is noticeably wider, especially in the toe box, but not enough to feel sloppy with my average-sized feet.
I only just recently found out that the suede leather exterior is supposed to be treated with a waterproofing shoe spray regularly in wet conditions. Stomp Lox suggests treating them every ride, which I have not done. You’ll see in several of the snowy photos that the outside of the shoe has been stained slightly from water and grime due to sloppy winter rides here on the coast. It seems treating the shoe is important to both protect the fabric from the elements and ensure your foot stays dry. Coincidentally, I haven’t had an issues with water soaking through to my foot, even without the waterproofing spray.
I have found the sole to be plenty grippy for all-terrain rides around town and stiff enough to feel sporty, despite their casual look. The sole feels soft underfoot, making it comfortable to wear for hours at a time and natural feeling to walk around in. My only real complaint is that the cleat channel feels too far forward on the shoe, and I’ve had to slide the cleat all the way back for a comfortable pedal position. Thankfully, Stomp Lox has already addressed this and has dialled in the position of the cleat and improved the shape of the channel itself. The shoes are also only offered in US sizes 8-13, which is one of the smallest size ranges I’ve seen for cycling shoe. This likely has something to do with their Japanese origins. The last thing I’ll mention is the lack of lace keeper, which is something I’ve come to expect and appreciate from lace-up cycling shoes. I had plenty of left-over laces, so having a neat way to tuck them aside would be nice.
- Wide toe box leaves room for toes
- Different fit options depending on foot shape and size
- Suede or leather uppers look good and are durable
- Made in China or Japan, depending on your preferences
- Comfortable footbed, feels great all day long
- Cleat channel feels too far back (fixed in production version)
- Tongue folds in on itself and no lace keeper
- Suede version requires waterproof treatment and cleaning
- Minimal padding and protection
- Limited size range
- Material (as tested): Suede Upper, Vibram Sole
- Weight: 467 grams (per shoe with cleat)
- Place of Manufacture: China or Japan (Ron’s Bike version)
- Price: $250 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: StompLox.com
While the Stomp Lox Slack shoes might look more like a performance clog than your average cycling shoe, the design makes sense. Having more room in the toe box has seemingly improved circulation in my feet, reduced crowding of my toes, and has me thinking that most of the clipless cycling shoes I’ve worn don’t really fit. I’ve become a big fan of their unique aesthetic over the last few months, and while I’ve fallen behind on the cleaning and maintenance of the suede exterior, they appear to be holding up well through some pretty nasty conditions.
Personally, if I was considering dropping the $250 on the made-in-China suede version, I’d probably just go for the full grain leather model that Ron’s Bikes is currently offering. For another $50, you get a made-in-Japan shoe and presumably a harder wearing exterior as well.
Jan 25th update: I just saw that Stomp Lox is offering an option to fill in the cleat hole with a reinforced Vibram placeholder, for those riding flats. This is great to see but also a reminder that their design and methods are always evolving.
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