Hands on with Crankbrothers new Stamp Trail Lace flat pedal MTB shoes

Crankbrothers new Stamp Trail Lace flat pedal shoes
(Image credit: Rich Owen)

The Crankbrothers Stamp Trail Lace flat pedal MTB shoe has been around for a few years now, but along with the Mallet and Stamp Trail Boa options launched recently and the Mallet Trail Lace (also announced today), it has just been completely revamped. The original Stamp Trail was well regarded by some, while other testers (such as our colleagues at MBR.co.uk) felt the rubber soles weren't grippy enough – grip being a crucial part of whether a flat shoe performs or not.

We've been sent a pair of the new Stamp Trail Lace to test, but given that the current UK trail conditions are very much a sodden mud-fest, we're still very much in winter boot test mode. However, I have been trying out the new shoes on the street and the pump track, so I can pass on my findings so far.

The Stamp Trail riding MTB seen side on

With plenty of ventilation holes on each side of the shoe, the new Stamp Trails could be top option for warmer riding days (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Aside from the new moniker, the new Stamp Trail Lace bears little resemblance to the old. The revamped model looks to have taken some design cues from the Stamp Street Fabio (Wibner) shoes released last year, looking and feeling like a lighter-weight trail shoe rather than the previously more trail/gravity-orientated option.

My test pair of size 43.5 EU (US 10, UK 9) weigh in at a fairly spritely 642g, which is more than 130g less than the previous version and 80g less than our top-rated flat pedal shoe, the Five Ten Freerider Pro.

Crankbrothers seem to have reformulated the rubber compound used for the outsole and it's now been "optimized" to work with the brand's Stamp pedals. MBR and Bike Perfect tester, Paul Burwell, measured the hardness of the previous Stamp Trails at 68a. While our hardness testing probably isn't what you'd call strict lab conditions (I'm using a testing device bought from Amazon), I've measured the soles on the new shoes at 61a. For comparison, I measured some two-year-old Freerider Pro Stealth rubber which came out at 62.5a – the lower the number, the softer the compound. On the bike, the shoes have given a decent pedal grip so far, but I've yet to test them out on the trail. Pedal feel is decent and Crankbrothers say they've softened the sole for improved trail feedback.

The underside of the Stamp Trail shoe

It turns out the best shape for flat shoe lugs is the Crankbrothers logo (Image credit: Rich Owen)

According to Crankbrothers, the ideal shape for outsole lugs turns out to be the lozenge outline of its drivetrain logo and they cover most of the sole as a result. The lugs have soft, rounded edges which are designed to resist abrasion.

While the fully synthetic uppers bear a resemblance to Crankbrothers Stamp Streets, the Trail versions are chunkier overall and have more substantial toe and heel protection. The uppers have plenty of ventilation holes running down each flank of the shoe and halfway across the toe section. The toe box and outside edge of the uppers also get PU (polyurethane) anti-abrasion protection. At the end of the tongue is an elasticated pocket designed for stuffing the laces into, it works well but might get filled with crud too.

A Stamp Lace shoe being worn

Ignore the iffy shoe/sock color combo, but note that the laces are stuffed up inside an elasticated pocket at the end of the tongue (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Whether on a pedal or pavement, the shoes feel supportive and comfortable. An EVA midsole has been added to reduce vibration damping, while the thick tongue gives extra comfort.

Both the Stamp and Mallet Trail Lace come in Black/Gum, Swan (aka off-white) /Purple and the Navy/Gum color seen here. Pricing is $149.99 / £149.99 / €149.99 for the Stamp version and $169.99 / £169.99 / €169.99 for the clipless Mallet. Both models are available now. For more info, see crankbrothers.com and we'll have a full review of the Stamp Trail Lace as soon as possible.

The Mallet Trail Lace shoes

The clipless Mallet Trail Lace shoes (Image credit: Crankbrothers)

Stamp Trail Lace

  • Price: $149.99 / £149.99 / €149.99
  • Pedal type: Flat
  • Sizes: 3 to 15 (US)
  • Colors: Black/Gum, Navy/Gum, Swan/Purple
  • Weight: 642g US 10 (UK 9 / 43.5 EU)

Mallet Trail Lace

  • Price: $169.99 / £169.99 / €169.99
  • Pedal type: Clip-in
  • Sizes: 3 to 15 (US)
  • Colors: Black/Gum, Navy/Gum, Swan/Purple
  • Weight: TBC
Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg