I'm all about whatever makes it as easy as possible to incorporate biking into everyday life. I mean, it's great to get out in the spandex and colorful jersey and bike cleats and ride like Lance but most people feel a little self-conscious wearing that to the grocery story or library. I really like clothes that you can wear both on and off the bike, so I was pretty psyched to have the chance to try out some of the latest stuff from Etnies.
We were able to road test the latest pants from them, their terrific Pay Day model (100% cotton twill, classic chino-style pants) along with Etnies' bike specific shoes, the Brake, designed by Etnies rider Nathan Williams. Though Nathan's a BMX guy and thus built in some features he liked specifically for BMX-style riding, the great thing about the shoes is that the features that make them right for BMX also work for the guy on his bike wearing them as he's pedaling down the road going to work. Stuff like more durable toe with more rugged rubber and a triple stitched overlay (and I've got shoes that have worn through there thanks to my toe-clips on my commuter bike). Plus a sole with a dense EVA shank in the arch (for extra protection from the pedals without sacrificing pedal feel) and an STI Foam Lite level 1 cushioning footbed for support.
The pants were comfortable and stylish, and I'm glad to report they are more traditional cut, and not the fashion travesty known as skinny jeans, which only about 2% of the population can successfully pull off wearing. I'd call them just right for bike commuting or back-to-school wear, whether for yourself or for outfitting your favorite student.
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