Adidas Velosamba: Long-term cycling shoe review


With urban cycling trends on the rise, the demand for city-friendly cycling gear has become a focal point for many established brands. Adidas, seizing the opportunity, has brought forth the Velosamba cycling shoes, blending the classic Adidas aesthetic with features catering to the urban cyclist. The Velosamba is a portrayal of Adidas’ attempt to marry fashion with function, particularly targeting the city commuter who prioritizes style alongside performance.

Unveiling the Adidas Velosamba

Adidas ventured into the cycling domain, taking inspiration from its popular Samba shoes, and introduced SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) cleat compatibility while reinforcing the sole for an efficient riding experience. The idea was simple yet ambitious – design a shoe apt for cycling without compromising its casual, urban appeal. Thus, the Adidas Velosamba was born, appearing as a regular trainer yet hiding beneath its facade the capabilities of a cycling shoe.

At a glance, these shoes could easily pass off as your everyday trainers, aligning with the casual style many urbanites adore. This subtle aesthetic allows a smooth transition from the pedal to the pavement, making it a potential staple for urban commuting.

Construction: A Closer Look

The Adidas Velosamba shoes sport a fully integrated rubber cup outsole, featuring a two-bolt cleat fitting compatible with SPD clipless pedals. The design incorporates a full-length reinforced insole intended to provide a supportive base for more efficient pedalling. The upper part is primarily composed of coated leather, making it easy to clean, with a section of textile lining at the front, which might require a bit more care.

The resemblance to the iconic Adidas Samba soccer shoe is unmistakable and will likely appeal to long-time Adidas enthusiasts. Further, a lace snap is added to keep the bow intact during the ride, preventing any unwanted entanglements with the drivetrain. Reflective detailing on the heel and sides is a thoughtful addition to enhance visibility during those early morning or late evening rides.

The Ride (And Walk) Experience in the Adidas Velosamba

The Velosamba shoes have been crafted to provide a snug fit, easy to slip on with a high at the heel design. The stiff full-length sole is in place to ensure solid power transfer, making accelerations and long straights feel smooth and efficient. However, the stiffness, although beneficial on the bike, proves to be a drawback when walking. Despite the traditional sole design aimed at ease of walking, the Velosambas lack flexibility at the forefoot, making the walk less comfortable post-ride.

The issue of heel slippage was also noted, which might deter those who have a fair bit of walking to do post-ride. Thus, these shoes seem to shine the brightest for those whose commute involves more cycling and less walking.

Value, Alternatives, and Suitability

Priced at $120.00 / £100.00, the Velosambas sit in a reasonable range compared to other stylish SPD-compatible shoes like the Chrome Southside Low Pros or the Quoc Chelsea Boots. With colour options in Navy and Cream White, they offer some variety, and for those with a preference for vegan materials, a $130.00 / £110.00 vegan alternative is available.

While the Velosambas are a commendable attempt at bridging the gap between casual and cycling footwear, they may not be the one-size-fits-all solution for every urban cyclist. For short rides with minimal walking involved post-ride, these could prove to be a good fit. However, for a balanced cycling and walking commute, alternatives like the Chrome Southside Low Pros or even considering a flat shoe/flat pedal combo might be a more comfortable choice.

In essence, the Velosambas are well-crafted, appealing to the eye, and perform well on the bike. Yet, when it comes to walking, they fall a bit short of expectations. The choice, ultimately, hinges on the individual’s commute routine and personal comfort preferences.

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