We say: Great investment for multi-terrain and all-weather cycling, and when you’re off the bike.
Highs: Well built, good looking, does everything the marketing spiel promises it will do.
Lows: Costs a pretty penny
With more and more cyclists looking for a newer challenge off the paved roads, it’s no surprise that there are now more and more options for all terrain clipless shoes.
In the spirit of going off the predictable tarmac, UK-based company Quoc have also launched their version after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Despite being an already established company with several already well known cycling shoes of both the clipless and non clipless variety, Quoc opted for Kickstarter for better engagement with the cycling community, thereby reducing their risk of launching a new product, and offering early backers better value.
The Gran Tourer All-Terrain gravel shoes are very much in line with the company’s original mission, which ultimately is to design cycling shoes that work well both on and off the bike. Except this time it’s not pedal to pavement, but literally anywhere you take them.
Targeting the growing gravel and adventure cyclist demographic, Quoc obviously recognised that these cycle tourers, bikepackers and explorers have long been forced to choose between MTB shoes or simply riding with flat pedals instead. The Gran Tourer fills that gap in terms of shoe choices quite nicely.
First of all, these shoes are just really well-built, with a carbon-reinforced composite sole, coupled with a soft natural rubber outsole. These give the wearer a nice balance of stiffness for long days in the saddle, and comfort/flex for when you need to walk in them.
The lugged rubber outsole offers plenty of traction, and features a recessed 2-bolt cleat for SPD pedal compatibility. Did we mention that the exposed cleat area is also waterproof?
The durable synthetic no-sew upper has Quoc’s unique double lock lacing pattern, with traditional laces instead of fancy bells and whistles like velcro straps or boa dials.
For those unfamiliar with Quoc’s patented lacing design, it allows the wearer to independently tighten the toe, mid-foot, and around the ankle. There’s enough ventilation in the splashproof upper layer to keep your feet cool in warm temperatures, but not enough to let moisture in when riding in wet weather. The gusseted tongue helps too. In addition, the interior fabric of the tongue and heel are made of absorbent microfibre material.
This is also one of the things we love about the Gran Tourer - the fact that it is an all weather shoe. A rubberised band that has been heat welded around the entire shoe keeps water from getting in, in addition to the waterproof sole itself. It may have been designed for wet UK weather, but it’s quite suitable for the unpredictable climate of the tropics too.
The Cycling Plus Malaysia weekly rides often get rained out, and the Gran Tourer worked perfectly for these instances as well as for gravel or dirt paths peppered with puddles. The rubber border is also abrasion resistant, so no more annoying scuff marks.
But how do they fit? There are many well designed shoes in the market that most Asians with wider feet can’t quite squeeze into. These Quocs are perfect for those who don’t fit the slimmer road shoe designs, and didn’t even require much breaking in when we first got them.
Within two weeks of first putting them on, we were off on a two week tour with no discomfort whatsoever. Pictured here are the Pink Gran Tourers, but there are four colour combos to choose from, the other three being Green camo, Black camo and plain Black.
We weren’t in time to get the pre-production shoes for an early review, but we did score some on Kickstarter for a nice discount with a pair of Merino wool socks thrown in. The downside to the Gran Tourer is surely the price, but those who have need of off-road shoes with such features will argue that they are definitely worth it. We surely think they are.