Crankbrothers launched its shoe line in December 2020.
By Val Vanderpool
Last year, I switched back to flat pedals after quite a few years of riding clipless (and mostly not loving it). But it was a long battle with chronic knee pain on the bike that was ultimately the driving force behind making the switch because being able to change the angle of my left foot periodically throughout the ride somehow seemed to alleviate my knee pain. A delightful side benefit was I also realized I tend to have more fun riding trails on flats, so I’ve been more than happy to go back to my roots.
But one thing I haven't been thrilled about is how uncomfortable and ill-fitting platform shoes can be compared to clipless options. We’re talking loose in all the wrong places (even for my wide Flintsone feet), heavy, not breathable, and often not stiff enough to support the foot on long rides.
Crankbrothers' shoe line includes flat and clipless models.
So when Crankbrothers launched its shoe line late last year, I was excited to grab a pair of Stamp BOA Flats to try with my recently acquired Stamp 3 Small pedals. These are not available in a women’s-specific fit, but the size 6.5 US/39 Euro works perfectly for my foot.
I had been riding the Stamp 3 Small pedals for a couple of months and absolutely loved the smaller profile for my women’s size 8 feet. I immediately put the duo to the test on a long ride in the Santa Ana Mountains, on a route that involved plenty of climbing and some spicy descending. They were comfortable right out of the box and at 650 grams per pair (size 6.5), are lighter than other flat pedal shoes I’ve owned in the past, so I was excited to get some miles on them.
The BOA closure, Velcro strap, and silicone dots in the heel cup help keep the shoe snug on the foot.
Several months and a few hundred miles later, the shoes have only gotten more comfortable as they’ve broken in. The BOA lacing system is amazing, and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to conventional laces, ratchets, or other fastening mechanisms on riding shoes because BOA ensures a secure fit that is snug in all the right places. A single Velcro strap also helps keep the shoe in place, as do a few rows of silicon dots on the upper part of the heel cup.
The shoe is comfortable on and off the bike.
The last is pretty stiff for a flat pedal shoe, and I notice on longer rides that my feet do not feel as fatigued as they can with flexier shoes. But they’re also not so stiff that hike-a-bikes are uncomfortable or painful, and the sole provides ample traction when walking on steep, loose, and rocky terrain.
I would say the Stamp Boa Flat is a medium fit, which is just right for my wide forefoot. Those with a narrower foot will likely appreciate the secure adjustment the BOA system provides, but riders with very thin feet might find them too voluminous.
The Stamp BOA Flat is shod with Crankbrothers’ proprietary Match Compound MC2, which has a tread pattern designed to align with the pin placement of its Stamp platform pedals. While the sole isn’t quite as grippy or sticky Five Ten’s iconic Stealth rubber, I haven’t had any problems staying on the pedals in these shoes. Given my need to reposition my left foot to keep my knee happy, I am actually ok with the sole not being uber sticky. I also did a couple of rides on flat pedals from other brands, including the Kona Wah Wah and some entry-level Wellgos, and while there was a noticeable difference in how the shoe interfaced with the pedal, the shoes gripped fairly well.
Crankbrothers Stamp 3 pedals, large and small
I have ridden the Stamp 3 Small flat pedals for about 10 months and around 700 miles. They weigh 351 grams per pair. The small size is perfect for petite feet, and I also appreciate not having the excessive pedal overhang of many standard-size platforms. The pins have held up well, and although they’ve suffered some pretty serious pedal strikes thanks to rider error on Fruita’s chunky desert climbs, the magnesium pedal body is durable, and the bearing and seal system has been problem-free so far.
Overall, the Stamp BOA Flat is lightweight, comfortable, just stiff enough, and fits well. They retail for $179.99, which puts them at the top end of the flat-pedal shoe price range — but the weight, fit, and durability are well worth it. The sole’s grip might not be enough for those riding platforms from other brands, but this shoe is a perfect match for any Crankbrothers Stamp pedal.
The Stamp 3 Small platform pedal retails for $129.99. I can honestly say these are my favorite platforms pedals to date, and highly recommend these for riders with smaller feet.
The Path sells a variety of Crankbrothers pedals and shoes, and while we currently do not have the Stamp BOA Flat in stock (we hope to receive more very soon), we have other models in stock in select sizes. We currently have the Stamp 3 Small pedal available in black and charcoal.