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Specialized Tahoe Review

I’m not a big fan of things that claim to do it all. You won’t find any vise grips in my tool box and I tend to only use adjustable wrenches for the thing they¬†are actually good for, bending metal. I like products that are designed for a single purpose and are designed to accomplish that purpose as well as possible. To say I had low expectations of a shoe designed to take on the rigors of riding and be comfortable enough to walk in, would be an understatement. In the past, every time I tried a “commuter” style shoe they ended up in my closet not being used.

I’m not even sure why I decided to give this style of shoe another go other than being lazy. I ride my bike to and from most places every day. My commuter bike happens to also be my bikepacking back and after our last trip, I just couldn’t quite find the time to remove the spd pedals¬†(read, “I just didn’t care enough to remove the pedals.”). After a few weeks, I kind of got sick of riding my bike and not being able to get any kind of good grip on the pedal. Any reasonable person probably would have just put on some flats, but it was easier for me to snag some Tahoes instead.

The first thing that struck me about these shoes was the look. Within the first week, I received multiple compliments on the shoes and every one was shocked when I told them they were riding shoes. Which was the #2 comment about these shoes, when someone would see me clip into my pedals, I would get, “Wait, those are riding shoes?” Of course, I’m not fashion expert, but based on the reaction that I received, I would have to say they fit the bill.

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Most other commuter shoes I have tried in the past felt like you were standing on the pedal barefoot. Not in the barefoot, I can feel everything that is happening and I’m so connected to the bike, type of a way. Rather, they felt literally like you were wearing sneakers and riding clipless pedals. The only reason they were any better than that scenario was their ability to be attached. After commuting with the Tahoes for about a week, I had a fat bike adventure planned that I was almost positive would include a couple of hike-a-bikes. Instead of grabbing my typical riding shoes, I put these on. I found them to ride quite well. They are stiff enough that you can’t feel the pedal right under your foot. After the 20 mile ride that did leave us pushing a couple of times, I was glad that I had these in my quiver.

And lastly, and what seems to be the biggest question… I work on my feet, 40 hours a week. I shoe that is great to ride in, but leaves my feet killing me after a couple of hours, not to mention 8 hours is a necessity. I have yet to have sore feet when wearing these shoes (let’s be honest I’m old, I experience sore feet, just not with these shoes). The Tahoes have also become my go-to even when I won’t be pedaling anywhere. Take the dog for a walk, go to the store, ride to dinner, work all day, fat bike adventure, these shoes are yet to let me down.

I was surprised. I expected, like most other do-it-all products, to hate these. Yet, they are a great shoe at a great price that can double as an adventure shoe as easily as they can a work shoe.

Written by Lukas Brinkerhoff

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