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First Ride Review: Crankbrothers Stamp Shoes for Flat Pedals, w/ fancy BOA Fit System

crankbrothers shoes flat pedal mtb shoe with boa fit system dial david cheskinPhoto by David Cheskin
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These past two weeks have seen us out on the trails testing the all-new Crankbrothers Stamp flat pedal MTB shoes (there are new Mallet clipless shoes, too.) To our delight, we got the top-of-the-range model with fancy BOA fit system in the post. Conditions in the Tweed Valley have been wetter than an otter’s pocket, so please don’t ask me how they perform in the dry; I haven’t the foggiest.

crankbrothers stamp shoe testing wet conditions scotland outsole tread pattern mc2 rubber
The Crankbrothers Stamp Shoe tread pattern is optimized to pair with the Stamp MTB Flat Pedal – Photo by David Cheskin

Review: Crankbrothers Stamp Shoe

The new range of MTB shoes from Crankbrothers is largely based around their Match System concept, whereby each shoe is optimized to marry perfectly with its respective pedal partner. It’s simple; the Crankbrothers Stamp Shoe is designed for optimal surface area contact at the shoe-pedal interface with the Stamp pedal.

testing crankbrothers stamp shoes wet conditions scotland
Photo by David Cheskin

Thus, in a perfect World we would have spent the majority of our time testing the shoe with Stamp pedals. However, those guys were posted out later than the shoes, so we spent most of our time on Look’s new Trail Roc flat pedals. 

crankbrothers stamp shoe review
Photo by David Cheskin

First impressions of the shoe were good. In particular, the fit was very good; the tongue is well-padded providing comfort to the top of the foot, the heel cup is deep enough for the heel to feel secure in the shoe, aided by little rubber dots on the inside for added friction. The BOA dial and velcro strap is a winning combination; biblical amounts have mud have tried and failed to trouble the fit system. 

Stamp Shoe x Look Trail Roc

Out on the trails, things were a little less straight forward. The first thing I noticed was the stiffness of the shank. These are much stiffer than the Specialized 2FOs I’m familiar with, but slightly less stiff than Ride Concept’s Hellion flats. The extra stiffness alerted me to the fact that I was running my shock a little too hard; my feet were frequently bouncing off the pedals.

testing crankbrothers stamp mtb flat pedal shoes with look trail roc
Photo by David Cheskin

This setup error was previously masked by the very flexible shank of the 2FOs. It is also possible that the 2FO rubber has lower rebound properties than Crankbrothers’ proprietary MC2 compound. Resetting the shock SAG, I continued testing the shoe. The situation was markedly improved and my feet remained planted on the pedals, bouncing off only a few times per ride on the rougher trails of the valley.

The grip offered by the MC2 compound was acceptable. It wasn’t so sticky that I felt “locked-in” and couldn’t shuffle my foot placement.

Crankbrothers Match: Stamp Shoe x Stamp Pedal

Latterly, I have tested the Crankbrothers Stamp shoe with their intended pedal pairing; the Stamp 3 Flats (the smaller platform, to match a UK 5). Pleasingly, this is a combination that just… works. Grip on the Stamp 3 pedals is significantly better than the grip offered with the Look Trail Roc pedals.

crankbrothers stamp shoe works beteer with stamp 3 pedal than look trail roc pedal
The Crankbrothers Stamp x Stamp Pedal pairing was significantly better than the Stamp x Look Trail Roc pairing

It’s an interesting observation because the Trail Roc pedal has 12 pins, whereas the Stamp pedals have just ten. That said, the Stamp 3 platform is significantly smaller, undeniably facilitating better contact with each pin. It could of course also be down to the fresh pins on the new Stamp 3 pedal, and/or the fact that the pins are consistently taller.

Either way, the grip is very good. We shan’t over analyse it. We’ll simply continue to enjoy the bike-handling benefits from the secure “locked-in” ride feel.

The Bottom Line

testing crankbrothers stamp mtb flat pedal shoe peebles scotland stump gap
Photo by David Cheskin

We’re very happy to recommend the Crankbrothers Stamp shoe as a comfortable and grippy flat pedal mountain bike shoe. The intended Stamp Shoe-Stamp Pedal pairing is a winning combination. We’d advise taking full advantage of the fact that Crankbrothers offer the Stamp in two platform sizes, as we noticed enhanced grip with a smaller platform. Crankbrothers recommend the smaller platform for sizes <10 (US), and the larger platform for sizes >10 (US). 

cb stamp flat pedal mtb shoe boa dial

The shoe is not waterproof (nor does it profess to be) but it is very quick-drying. The BOA fit system is robust enough to withstand copious amounts of mud. Personally, we prefer a slightly more flexible shank, as it provides more feedback from the trail. However, this is a quality, well thought-through MTB shoe that will perform all day long in some pretty tough trail conditions.

Pricing & Availability

crankbrothers stamp mtb shoe boa closure testing scotland david cheskin
Photo by David Cheskin

The Crankbrothers Stamp shoe is available at three price points. We tested the top-end model with the BOA fit system, priced at $179.99. For info and pricing on the eight other Crankbrothers Shoes released today (including clipless options), see our tech post here.

crankbrothers clipless mtb shoe
Crankbrothers Mallet clipless MTB Shoes pair with the Mallet pedal for DH and Enduro


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jason d west
jason d west
3 years ago

I really like the Boa but not a fan of the un sticky soles and the frankenstein looks. Hopefully the boa thing catches on.

3 years ago

I wonder if we’ll see an ‘eggbeater’ pair of shoes.

3 years ago

that blue tho!!! these look great!

3 years ago

Needs more significant toe protection and ankle support for me to consider it. Hope that boa thing doesn’t get clipped off from bushwhacking.

While rare, a “pedal strike” that stubs the toe is traumatic enough to want some shoes to defend stronger against it than some standard skate shoe. Same with ankle support, as twisting an ankle from an unintended dismount is something you’d want to mitigate (which low-cut skate shoe do nothing to help with).

The FiveTen Karvers were my favorite shoes. Split time with them and a Freerider and picked the Karver 99.9% of the time (0.1% account for time when my Karvers were wet/dirty). Its sole felt more burly and filtered more trail buzz too.

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