15 September 2013

Tracey Neuls for Tokyobike - Cycling Shoe...

This week I visited Tracey Neuls in Shoreditch. As an East London girl, I cycle around Brick Lane a lot & often stop to window shop at the hanging display in her Redchurch Street store... so it was a pleasure to be invited to spend an afternoon trying on her stunning shoes, and have a preview of her exclusive shoe collaboration with Tokyobike for the London Design Festival 2013.

Tracey's footwear has a loyal following amongst women in both the UK and Japan, and has also struck a chord with female cyclists who love the comfort and style of her shoes with their rubber sole to cycle around the city in. With both Neuls and Tokyobike sharing an appreciation for simplicity and a contemporary approach to design (and Neuls being a fan of their bikes after seeing them at Clerkenwell Design Week) their collaboration to celebrate the London Design Festival and London Fashion Week makes perfect sense.

The limited edition cycle-friendly shoe has been created with everyday wear and comfort in mind. In the collection is the "Geek", a TN shoe which originally found popularity amongst female cyclists and has been redesigned with cycling specific features. These include the signature half-moon stitching becoming a reflective 'cat eye' detail on the back for visibility.
The other style is "Fern", an ankle boot with a heel-shape designed to sit right into the pedal and not slip. The reflective detailing on the back of this boot is a ribbon strip.
Both designs have a new integrated rubber sole created especially for cycling. Geek's sole curves over the front of the shoe, protecting the leather from scuffing. With 1.5 cm of sturdy and very hard rubber at the base, Tracey and Tokyobike also aim to banish the annoyance of losing the top piece of your heel that usually wears down.

I really love the fluid shapes of both bike shoes and their organic and sculptural style - something typical of Tracey's designs, which hasn't been compromised for the bicycle. But the one that really caught my attention was Fern which I couldn't resist trying on...
Slipping into the Fern, the feel of the soft grey leather along with with the thick insole instantly screams "comfort", which is of course great both on and off the bike. It's like a glove for your foot, which over time will mould to your shape... bonus. The distinctive pointed toe shape (a huge plus for me with my love of Winklepickers) was originally sculptured in clay by Tracey and made into a mould on which the boot is created. No one else owns this shape in the shoe industry, making it that touch more special.
It's fair to say I was more than taken with Fern... and can't wait to start cycling around London in this rather stylish boot with a heel perfect for cycling. A full review will follow on VCG...

The Geek retails for £165 & Fern for £250. Both shoes are available to buy from Tracey Neuls online and her East and West stores and from Tokyobike on Tabernacle StreetShoreditch.

More photography from my visit can be viewed here

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