Quoc Pham Urbanite Low Top Shoe (Review)


If Google has led you here for a review of these shoes, first may I say welcome to the blog of the world’s leading theorist of bicycle urbanism. You might like my book! You might also like my new shoes. I apologise for not having owned them very long, thus being unable to truthfully predict how long they will have on this earth. My best guess is 5 years if I walk in them a whole lot, or 10 if I don’t. The weakness with any walking/SPD shoe is the sole must wear down eventually, exposing the cleat to the footpath then someone’s nice floor boards.

I paid through the nose for these babies (from here), so I want to promote them like crazy so they never get ran out on special. That would really hurt! But I doubt it would happen, unless Brooks or some company with a nicer name than “Quoc Pham” (sounds like a $10 Thai dish) comes up with something exactly the same. The closest thing to these on the market right now are these by Dromarti that, frankly, only a kook would wear with trousers, dress shorts or jeans.


The Quoc Pham Urbanite is the shoe to commute in if, like my good self, your penchant is for snatching training rides between drinking engagements and token appearances at your place of work. Just putting these shoes on as I leave home at 11am every (well not every) morning makes me feel as though I am living life to the full. Which in my case is true. In your case, the shoes might help the illusion.

So they are a pair walking shoes that occasionally grind on a rock, and a pair of cycling shoes without enough padding over the top that you will forget you are wearing them on your up-stroke. Oh well. Never mind. Futons are a lot worse for sleeping and sitting than these are for walking and cycling.

I feel taller and younger with these on my feet. They have that feel of vegetable tanned quality leather. They come ready-laced. The tongue doesn’t drift to one side thanks to a clever V-cut at the top. You can sit cross-legged and give the girls sneak peaks at your cleats. I’m really, really impressed, which is why I am sharing these thoughts. Now go buy my book!



  1. Luke says:

    They’re good. On display at Condor, semi-partners to Rapha. Would be be buying if my sensible/fun audax bike had not been totalled in disagreement with a moped last week.

  2. Ignorant says:

    Quoc Pham is the name of a gentleman.

    • Steven says:

      who I can thank for designing these shoes. I’m travelling with them right now. It’s such a relief to be traveling with one pair that does everything!

  3. David says:

    Thanks for the great review, Steven. These shoes look really smart.
    About the grinding when walking, do you find that happens a lot? I’m giving up on my Chrome Truk SPD shoes because they grind all the time (even when they were new) and I’m hoping that these would be a good alternative.

    • Steven says:

      The cleats only grind when walking outside on surfaces with exposed aggregates, like concrete footpaths. But it’s not bad enough to make me choose other shoes when heading out for a walk. Inside, they’re totally silent. Plus, I’ve been giving them a hard time on the bike and they’re fine. I couldn’t be happier really. They’re up there with mavic wheels as things that actually work 🙂

    • David says:

      Thanks Steven, they sound a lot better, I’m soled!

  4. Hi, what the weight per shoe? Thank you

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