I have a confession… I love me some Ronnie Romance (aka Turbo Romance, Ultra Romance, Papi, or Ultranicus). His ability to not take himself or cycling too seriously is refreshing to me. I like his whole deal, from his bike’s aesthetics to his current philosophy on riding and cycling culture. His ability to take all of it and apply it to the unique products he’s been having made and selling through Ron’s Bikes and Ultradynamico has been fun to watch as it grows.
A while ago I wrote a piece on Ron’s new cycling shoe collaboration with Stomp Lox. The SPD-compatible bicycle shoe was called Slack. It was a cycling shoe that sported a nice alternative look when compared to a typical cycling shoe. Plus it looked like it had a nice, wide-toe box… I really dug the looks of it and wanted to try a pair.
Unfortunately, Ron wasn’t able to send over a pair of the brown top grain model for me to review but was able to introduce me to Mamyia at Stomp Lox Japan directly to get a pair of the olive suede style sent over to me to try out.
Note: The version of the Stomp Lox Slack that’s sold through Ron’s Bikes is made exclusively for them in Japan, and comes in sizes 8 through 13. Ron’s Bikes version has the LeRon Tulip label on the tongue and comes with brass hardware. The version of the Slack that I got directly from Stomp Lox is made in China, and doesn’t have brass hardware, or the tulip label, and only comes in black suede or olive suede.
Slack Out of the Box
When I received the Slack and opened the box, I found that the shoe looked much narrower than the photos. They were packaged well and arrived undamaged. I was surprised that the shoes didn’t come with a rubber “block” or cover for the cleat area, in case you didn’t want to use them to clip in.
The Slack is made of durable genius suede cow leather for the outside of the upper and uses a breathable, wear-resistant pigskin on the inside.
These shoes are compatible with any 2-bolt cleat system, come with cleat plates, and are pre-laced and ready to roll. The Vibram sole seems to be a nice touch and looks thick and durable. The suede is not waterproof and Stomp Lox suggests that they should be sprayed with waterproofing spray before use.
I received the Slacks way back in February and have finally gotten through some other reviews and was able to slip these on and take them for a first ride.
The Slack’s First Few Rides
One of the things that attracted me to these shoes, besides their looks, (I love the way they look like they just walked off the Dolomites circa 1966), was the wide-toe box and laces. I honestly hate the way most cycling shoes feel on my feet. It’s one of the reasons I had switched to flat pedals, after 25+ years of riding clipping in
The traditional cycling shoe is like everything else the bike industry offers in wearable goods, they seem to be made with only smaller individuals, who race, in mind.
The Slack has a medium stiff sole which has proven good for on or off-the-bike walking as well as the few hike-a-bike sections I have in my riding area.
I ordered the USA 11, and the fit seems pretty true to size. They hold my foot snugly without having to crank down on the laces to tighten them. On the first few rides, I noticed zero heel lift and no hot spots on my foot.
The Slack’s full leather upper and supple pigskin made them really comfy right out of the box. I would imagine that the shoes may stretch, making the shoes even more comfortable as they get worn in.
The Slack’s Vibram sole is part of Stomp Lox’s Power Ride Core System. This is a system that offers the “perfect balance of stability and flexibility”. Stomp Lox says the Vibram sole is also replaceable.
Upon my initial impression and the first few rides, the shoes checked all of the boxes for me.
They’re comfy right out of the box, they have a great non-traditional look to them, they’re made with quality material and they have laces, which I feel are infinitely more adjustable than other fastening systems for varying foot sizes and needs .
They’re really quite comfortable off of the bike. They seem to be made well, which is to be expected with the lofty price tag. Overall they seem to be a great pair of bicycle shoes. We’ll see how they continue to perform when we get into more detail in my full review in the next few months.
The Slack Sizing and Retail
Retail: $250 (Stomp Lox version direct)
Color: Olive suede or Black suede
The Slack comes in two shapes; “normal fit and Asian fit”
The sizing is as follows:
USA: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
UK: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11.5
EU: 40.5, 42, 43, 44.5, 46, 46.5
Japan: 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Stay tuned here at Bikerumor for my full, long-term review of the Stomp Lox Slack!