There are a handful of “riding shoes” on the market that aren’t totally lame. Riding shoes aren’t your traditional clodhoppers. They’re functional. They’re stylish. And they’re all the rage. Some companies are doing them, but are they doing them well? It takes a certain know-how and a s—tload of real-world expertise to really understand what it takes to blend functional motorcycle footwear with the mass appeal of a Vans Sk8-Hi classic. Style is the name of the game, but safety is paramount.
Roland Sands Design is paying attention with its new Fresno riding shoe ($200). But isn’t Fresno the armpit of America? (Actually, it’s Bakersfield. I should know. I grew up there. But why Fresno?)
“We were up in Fresno scouting some racetracks and wishing we had a shoe that could be casual and safe to rip your bike,” recalls Roland Sands. “Not everyone loves boots, so we were shooting for more of a skate mid with all the protection of a real riding shoe. It became the Fresno because that’s where the idea was hatched.”
RSD’s take on a skate-inspired shoe features a top-grain cowhide upper with a reinforced heel cup, ankle and toe box, a reinforced shank, abrasion-resistant shift pads, a CE-approved cup sole, a Hipora waterproof membrane, an RSD multidensity “cheater” insole, a reflective lightning bolt, and waxed laces. They’re available in black, black gum (shown), and tobacco in men’s sizes 8–13.
Being a Vans fan myself, I’ve been wanting a skate-styled moto shoe that makes me feel confident every time I throw a leg over the bike. And the Fresno’s attention to detail and stylish goodness is exactly what consumers have been waiting for.