Adidas Velosamba

Early last year I started cycling once more after more than 8yrs of stopping. All the while I was simply using sneakers and flat pedals since I was biking with an MTB. But after I sold my MTB and started using gravel bikes exclusively, I wanted to return to clipless pedals once more. I have used both the standard road cleats and SPD pedal systems in the past and I knew I wanted to use the SPD pedal system because it allows me to go for cycling shoes that I can walk comfortably on specially since most of my rides are urban commutes. I was hesitant at first because I thought my choices were limited to clunky MTB/trail shoes which I didn’t like because I wasn’t planning on going off road. I wanted something casual yet discreet. So, when I discovered that Adidas came out with the Velosamba, I knew it was the one. I spent several weeks checking online reviews of the shoe and watching YouTube review videos of it and was finally convinced to go for a pair. Many of the reviews said that they run long in terms of sizing and it’s best to size down half a size (some even went full size down). So, I requested my cousin to source one for me from Singapore half a size down my regular size, unfortunately that proved to be a bad decision as it was too small for me. I had to put it up for sale so I can use the money to buy the right size, which in my case is my regular Adidas size (US10).

The Adidas Velosamba is a casual/urban cycling shoe developed by Adidas based on the well-loved Samba football shoes. Growing up, most of us must have had one or something like its silhouette. It was love at first sight for me. It comes with a vegan (fake leather) upper with a suede toe box area that is supple and comfortable. A clever design which I love that they added on the shoe is the elastic gartered segment they added to the lacing system. This allows the shoelace to be securely inserted there after tying it to prevent it from flapping around and possible coming loose or getting caught in the drive train of our bikes. It also comes with a full-length stiff nylon insert for pedaling efficiency. They finished it off with a gum sole that looks awesome and felt great to walk around with despite the nylon midsole because the midsole has enough flex in it. You are still reminded that it is a cycling shoe and not a pair of trainers. Great idea from them to go with a nylon midsole instead of the stiffer carbon fiber inserts which will make walking not so comfy if you were to do it all day long. The sole has a cutout for a recessed 2 bolt SPD attachment which allows you to walk with the cleats attached and won’t have the SPDs click and clack much on the surface of the floor. The shoes came in several colors, but I went for the black with white stripes version knowing that it helps hide the dirt and grime of urban Manila. 

The shoe is probably one of the best undercover urban cycling shoes. No one would suspect you are wearing a pair of clipless cycling shoe. I have used it when I biked to a photoshoot and stood/walked around the whole morning shooting with it. It may not have the comfort of an Adidas Ultraboost or Nike air but honestly it felt great. It feels like you are wearing a slightly stiffer pair of flat skateboard sneakers. Using it for cycling was great also. The recessed cut out had enough clearance to make clipping in and out of my pedals a no brainer. Never once did I feel like I won’t be able to clip in or out during my ride. Perfect for the stop and go urban ride. The fit was good once I was able to find the correct cleat position on my shoes. I experienced no hot spots or slippages. And even after riding more than 300km with it, exposing it to the heat, dirt, grime potholes, heavy rains and even some mud puddles of Metro Manila, a quick wipe with a clean wet cloth after each ride (I had to hose it down once due to the said mud puddles) was all that is needed to keep it looking fresh. Even the suede toe box still looks fresh. I love my pair and in fact, I am thinking of saving up for another pair either in all white or the white with red and blue stripes or the blue variant. For those who are looking for a pair or urban cycling shoes that matches well with whatever you wear – be in skintight lycra/spandex cycling outfit or a pair of jeans or cut off shorts, the Velosamba completes the looks well. I would not recommend that you do a full race with it, because it was not designed for such, but for every day, any day – urban coffee ride, bike errands, trip to the corner store /grocery or even a weekend fun ride around the city then the Velosamba may just be the perfect urban cycling shoe should you want to ride with cleats. šŸ™‚

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