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Chrome's Storm 415 Traction boot is a good all-purpose boot for winter riding on flat pedals, and general use in changeable weather. They have good waterproofing, a grippy sole and a comfortable fit.
The Storm boot has been in the Chrome range for a while, with this new 415 Traction boot scoring a Panaracer rubber sole, and a slightly tweaked fit with more room in the toe box. If you are after a more mainstream pair of mountain bike shoes, check out our sister site's guide to the best mountain bike shoes.
The Storm's basics are the same though: this is a full-leather mid-top with a waterproof membrane and a sole designed for riding. How? Well, it's flat, and it's grippy, thanks to that Panaracer outsole, and it also incorporates a Powerplate Nylon insert to add a bit of stiffness.
How waterproof is waterproof? Well, these aren't wellies. But they're fully sealed against the elements, and the tongue is gusseted either side so that you'd need to be standing in a good few inches of water for it to overtop the boots.
I've traipsed around through mud and puddles in these boots for an afternoon taking pics at a BMX race and come home with completely dry feet. And very muddy boots. Cleaning them up is simple enough with a wipe and a bit of polish.
On the bike you're protected against splashes from puddles and surface water, and if you've got waterproof trousers that are long enough to keep the tops of the boots covered then you can ride in without a change of socks even in the wettest conditions. In the cold they're not bad but they're not exactly insulated, so when it's really cold you'll want your thick socks. There's plenty of room for those because they size up large: I'm wearing a pair of size 46 boots when normally I'd be a 47 (and even sometimes a 48) and they have plenty of room for winter socks even then.
Styling is very neutral. These black boots (you can also get them in tan) have a black rubberised toe box and black sole. You get grey laces as standard with red ones also included, and both sets of laces have reflective thread woven into them, which is a nice touch. If you work in a casual environment where you're not expected to sling on a tie and be able to see your face in your shoes then there's no reason why they wouldn't be considered suitable attire.
Do they feel particularly bike-specific? Not really, no. They're comfortable enough to walk around in all day, and they work fine on all the flat-pedal bikes I've used them on, without me thinking that I couldn't do without them. I can't say that I really noticed any benefit from the nylon insert in the sole, but it's not making them that uncomfortable off the bike either.
There's not a huge amount of cushioning in the sole which may be a function of that stiffening insert, but there's plenty of room inside for a thicker insole if that's an issue for you: it wasn't for me. I haven't had any issues with the laces getting caught in anything but even so, the inclusion of some kind of lace tidy – even a simple elastic loop – wouldn't hurt. Also, it may just be that I have fat fingers, but the heel loop is a bit stingy, which makes getting them on a bit harder than it needs to be.
Good quality waterproof leather boots that'll pass as smart and work well on the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chrome Storm 415 Traction boot
Size tested: 12
Tell us what the product is for
The updated Storm 415 Traction features a new fit with more room in the toe box and an updated Panaracer rubber tread.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
New 100% waterproof boot
TR exo-tread outsole for all-terrain traction
Versatile boot built for pedal or pavement
Contoured impact-resistant PU crash pad insole
All day, all weather comfort
A boot for all weather, the Storm 415s will keep your feet dry and rubber side down.
VERSATILE BOOT BUILT FOR PEDAL OR PAVEMENT
100% WATERPROOF MEMBRANE WITH TAPED SEAMS
FULL-GRAIN, WATERPROOF LEATHER UPPER
WITH VULCANIZED PANARACER RUBBER OUTSOLE
TR EXO-TREAD OUTSOLE FOR ALL-TERRAIN TRACTION
CONTOURED IMPACT-RESISTANT PU CRASH PAD INSOLE
WITH A POWERPLATE NYLON SHANK FOR PEDAL POWER
RUNS A HALF SIZE LARGE, D WIDTH - CHECK OUR STORM 415 TR SIZE CHART TO GET THE BEST FIT
COMES WITH AN EXTRA SET OF INTERCHANGEABLE ROUND LACES
MADE FOR ALL-DAY COMFORT AND ALL-WEATHER WEAR
Size up pretty big.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They wipe down easily and smarten up nicely with a bit of polish.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're a good all-round boot.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
High quality, good waterproofing, grippy sole, reflective laces.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Quite expensive, no lace tidy, heel loop a bit small.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
About ballpark for a well-made pair of leather boots, I'd say. We haven't really tested anything directly comparable.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good overall, not hugely bike-specific but they work well in that context and they're just a generally useful pair of boots that could pass as smart in most situations.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.