Tuesday, October 1, 2013

product review: chrome dresden shoe

Chrome made a suede shoe two or three years ago called the Dresden.

The shoes have the same stiffer sole as other Chrome shoes/sneakers.
However, the fit is slightly roomier than with the Kursk model which I reviewed last year.

I would guess the slightly roomier fit is owing to the shape and cut of the upper, which has a big toe box and a shorter lacing placket.

The Dresden came in olive, grey and black. It is no longer being made. But you can still find it online at shoe closeout specialists and also on eBay. I got an olive green pair through eBay for thirty bucks and a second pair in grey from a "backdoor" source for just over twenty.

Fifty bucks for two pairs of shoes may seem like a lot, but really these days that's a pretty good bargain, especially if they fit well and wear reasonably long.

Fit is a little roomier than for the Kursk. Lacing does not come up quite as high on the instep so the shoes may feel "loose" when they really are not. A few days' break-in will help to solve this issue.
My only concern is that the sole design is basically no different than on the Kursk, and the side binding of the soles on the Kursks began to tear away within a month of my wearing them. I worry the same thing could happen here.

To be on the safe side, I am saving my Dresdens for teaching and/or nicer gigs. If I'm riding to work I wear another pair of shoes and change at work. An alternative is to wear them on the bike but use flat pedals and avoid toeclips, which would cut into the suede. It seems overly fussy but I like these and want them to last awhile.

The other thing I recommend is to go to a nicer shoe store and buy yourself a can of spray-on water-repellent. Follow the directions to the letter and spray the shoes outside, letting them dry outside between coats and, if possible allowing the second application to dry overnight outside as well. (Wait for a good run of dry days before you water-treat them.) I got a can of the stuff at a local shoe shop for five bucks, and it was more than enough to treat both pairs of shoes. When used properly, water will bead up and fall off the surface of the shoes, at least in the beginning. (You may have to re-apply at some point.)

As I said, Chrome isn't making these anymore, but really I think they should bring them back with a better sole and binding assembly. The Dresden is a stylish shoe that's comfortable enough to ride around town in and good-looking enough for the office or classroom. If I could find a third pair in black I'd snap them up.

Chrome Dresdens are currently available in limited sizes and colors at these sites:



Good luck!

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