Founded in 2009 by Remi Clermont and Andre Stewart, the performance-wear label Café du Cycliste is well known for creating some of the best cycling apparel with an added French twist. The brand has now taken its first foray into the cycling shoe market with the release of its first gravel bike shoe and also its more traditional market with a road shoe too.
The off-road gravel shoe, the Outland, looks so good you may be reluctant to wear them on wet and muddy gravel adventures, saving them for the dry days posing at the local coffee hangout. However, they aren't all about appearance, they also pack a spec to back up the looks and should deliver everything required to challenge as one of the best gravel shoes around.
Outland gravel shoe key features
Café du Cycliste say the Outland gravel shoe is all about delivering high performance and has collaborated with specialist footwear manufacturers and used leading-edge engineering and performance materials to deliver what they say is a tough and comfortable all-day gravel shoe.
The tan outsole is made by SUPtraction, which also provides outsoles for Suplest cycling shoes. The rubber blend is designed for mountain terrain, and Café du Cycliste says the custom design rubber tread will deliver optimal grip. Underneath there is also a carbon footbed for rigidity and to deliver maximum power transfer, compatible with two-bolt cleat systems and the option to add two mud studs.
Up top, there is a flexible leather upper with laser-cut holes for ventilation surrounded with abrasion protection. The brand says this makes the upper robust and comfortable, and the hiking boot-inspired speed hooks and D-ring eyelets should allow for secure fastening to the foot, reduce friction, and also wear to the the traditional hiking-looking red and white laces.
Inside there is a Solestar insole with proven breathability and hygiene and they say it also helps with stability, and also continues the all-day comfort theme of the shoe. ‘Fishgrid technology’ on the heel is included to minimize slipping and the entire shoe comes together in a claimed weight of just 370g.
Having worn and ridden in them briefly, so far the Outland gravel shoe feels like a quality shoe, the laces at first seemed off-putting but feel fine and offer a similar tightness to a Boa fastener. Sized from EU 37 - EU 47 they are available now from www.cafeducycliste.com at $390 / £294 / €300.
How they cope with a Scottish rainy and muddy gravel ride, time will tell, stay tuned for a full review on Bike Perfect soon.