Shoes are about more than just the soles. The same applies to bike shoes. Of course, you want the best possible grip on your flat pedals.
But there are other factors to consider:
How well does the shoe fit you? Does it enable a precise, direct, yet sporty feel for the pedal? Or does it feel more like a spongy pillow, or worse, a rigid vise?
Remember that time you banged your toes on that rock? Or when you lost control and bashed your ankle on the cranks? Embarrassing, right?
And what about fatigue? How about more support in terms of power transmission when pedaling or standing on level pedals?
While developing the 2018 version of the Raid Amp flat pedal kicks, we focused on a shoe concept to try and answer all these questions in the best way possible:
Regarding grip, for 2018 we are using a new slightly softer rubber compound for superior traction on the pedal. We didn’t want to go too soft since durability is definitely high up on our list of priorities. As you probably already know, the grip of your flat pedal shoes is always influenced by interaction between pedal and sole (position, length, pins etc.) – and for most riders, having the right rebound settings on the rear shock also plays a role…
EFFICIENT POWER TRANSMISSION
If offers a more direct (sporty) feel on the pedal. With that in mind, the development team decided to go for a slimmer upper without excessive soft foam cushioning and a stiffer sole. We wanted to ensure precise pedal feedback and have a supportive construction (in the mid-sole and sole) to prevent arch fatigue. It might take slightly longer to get used to the (more direct) feel and grip in this type of shoe, but you do get used to it. For comparison, think of the difference between a body-contoured bucket seat and a sofa…
The new Raid Amp is made over a slimmer (maximum mid-wide) last. As a result: the fit wont suit people with really wide feet. This is an issue that hasn’t been discussed much. In fact, it’s rarely considered when discussing (flat pedal) bike shoes. Yet, people are familiar with it when it comes to ski or hiking boots. They choose the brand with the best fitting last. This is not the case in biking. We feel this need to be reconsidered. Why? Because if you have slim feet, but wear a wide shoe, good grip on the pedal is undermined by your foot moving inside the shoe.
All-in-all, we believe that new Raid Amp’s stiffer sole construction (anti-fatigue and power transmission), slim last and reduced upper cushioning (better feel) and good safety features (robust, protective toe cap and ankle-pad) plus very good grip make it a very sporty, technical (trail) flat pedal shoe for skilled riders with a high(er) level of fitness... And it’s still comfortable to walk in.