A while back I was scrolling through my pal Erick Cadeno’s Instagram page – which is great inspiration to travel by bike more. While doing so, I noticed these shoes that I’d never seen before. They looked like a comfy and handsome pair of shoes. I was intrigued, so I asked Erick about them. He gave them high marks and told me that they were the TVL Sykkel Bike Shoes, by Vaude Sports.
I’d never heard of Vaude before, but I figured that if they were good enough for a 1900+ mile bike tour, like Erick’s Truth and Dignity tour, then they would be great for me. I decided to take a look, follow his advice, and acquired a pair for review.
I have to tell you, after the first few rides with them, I’m impressed.
I’ve been riding with flat pedals for a few years now after riding clipless for 25+, but I have recently switched back. The choice to come back to riding with clipless pedals came when planning the Masi Incanto Dream Build I just recently wrote about. The building of that bike made me want to go back to riding clipless.
So, it was time to try a new cycling shoe to use while riding my mountain bike.
Vaude TVL Sykkel Shoes
When searching for new shoes, the TVL Syskkel shoes had to fit a few criteria.
- I wanted the shoe to use laces. Check.
- The shoe needed to be good for both on and off the bike… like for hike-a-bike sections. Check.
- They had to be durable. TBD.
- I wanted a medium-stiff sole. Check.
- The shoe needed to have a wide-ish toe box. Check.
The TVLs seem to be fitting the bill so far. I just got them, so the jury is still out on durability.
Outta the Box
When the shoes arrived, they looked really good. The TVL Sykkel shoes come in either black or bison colors. I chose the “bison” color. It’s kind of an “ox blood” color, kinda like a brownish-red… ish. They are really nice looking in person.
Upon first inspection, the quality looked good, with a fine fit and finish. I ordered the shoes in a size 46, and when I initially tried them on, they felt ever-so-slightly on the big side. But after cinching the laces (I love the infinite adjustability that you get with laced cycling shoes), they ended up fitting pretty true to size.
These shoes are SPD-compatible and come with an easily removable, rubber pad that can actually be replaced later if you decide to run the shoes without the cleats. They also have a decently aggressive sole. Vaude calls it a “high-traction” outsole.
I’m making a guess that the durability will be fine. The well-constructed upper is made from hydrophobic nubuck Terracare leather that Vaude claims is “certified leather” that is sustainably manufactured in Germany.
You can actually check here for more information on how Vaude Sports uses Trustrace to give you details on, not only how the TVL Sykkel Shoes, but how all of their products are responsibly made.
Adding to the durability of the shoe, there are toe and heel caps to protect from scuffs and scrapes. The mesh tongue and ventilation holes will hopefully keep my foot nice and comfortable while riding… or walking for that matter. The pull tab on the “lace keeper” is a welcome addition, and really easy to use.
The TVL Sykkel shoe uses a SUPtraction R20 outsole that we will touch on more in the actual review of the shoes. But for now, know that the sole is medium-stiff, making it really easy to walk while still providing enough stiffness to deliver the power to the pedal.
That’s it for now, I’m excited to continue to ride with these and get more familiar with them. They seem like they’re going to be a great pair of cycling shoes.
Keep an eye out here for the full review.