The Stamp Lace is part of Crankbrothers’ recently-launched shoe range. The considered design and excellent pedal grip make it a cracking shoe, but it's pretty expensive when compared to the competition.
The Stamp Lace gest a padded tongue, vents at either side and some perforations at the toe. Grippy heel dots are meant to keep it from lifting as you pedal.
It gets round laces which stow away in a really well-placed pouch at the top of the tongue. This is definitely a different way of going about lace storage, but it works really well. It's easy to stuff laces in without unintentional undoing them, and mine have never broken free.
As with the rest of Crankbrothers’ shoe range, the Stamp Lace is designed to be a perfect match for it's own Stamp pedal. A quick glance at the tread and it's obvious it follows the shape of pedal closely.
Thankfully, the Stamp Lace is also designed to work well with any other pedal.
I tested the shoe with DMR V11s and Shimano Saint PD-828s. While grip is pretty comparable, I found it's more consistent with the flatter Shimano Saints. Their design is pretty similar to the Stamp – less concave than the V11 – so that's understandable.
Grip is excellent over both pedals though, and that’s due to the shoes' relatively unaggressive tread. Because there aren’t any hugely recessed areas, it’s really easy to move your foot and adjust your position on the pedal.
Off the bike, the squidge in the sole is reminiscent of my favourite pair of Vans, and while that may result in a bit of inefficiency on the bike, it definitely isn’t noticeable.
The squishy insole heightens pedal feel too, though I could feel the concave shape of my DMR V11s enough to develop a bit of an ache in my arch. I had no issues on flatter pedals. A stiffer sole could solve this, but at the expense of grip – I like the compromise.
The Match outsole doesn't do so well on foot in the mud. Hulking myself up a hill with a bike and a backpack full of camera kit isn’t the easiest thing at the best of times, but the Stamp is very slippery thanks to that tame tread pattern.
If you’re planning on walking uphill in this shoe, especially in the wet, do it alone because you’ll spend more time on the deck while your mates laugh than on your feet.
On the subject of walking, the heel dots get really noticeable with thin socks – to the point of mild discomfort. Off the bike or with thicker socks they’re unnoticeable, but of course.
While the vents aren’t huge, I’ve not yet found the Stamp Lace too warm, and they're impressively weatherproof. Water does still find its way in, but it’s not so as easily welcomed as with something like the Specialized 2FO Clip 2.0.
Beyond the lack of grip off the bike, there’s a lot to like about the Stamp Lace – but they're expensive. At £80 the Leatt DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal shoe is equally comfy and more grippy off of the bike, for instance, although it's also 75g weighter per shoe, limits foot movement on the pedal more, and doesn’t offer quite as much protection.
On the bike, the Crankbrothers Stamp is a truly excellent trail shoe. It’s grippy on the pedals, well weatherproofed and, above all, comfortable. The lace tidy is really nicely thought out too. They stay comfortable off the bike too... at least until you find yourself on the ground while hiking uphill in the wet.
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