Shift Fuel Street Shoe Review
The boot alternative
Feet are people too, right? Well, at least they’re motorcycle riders when we bring them along with us, so they too need something comfortable and safe to wear. Enter the alternative to the street-riding boot, the Shift Racing Fuel Street Shoe. Some will call it a sneaker, it’s certainly not a racing boot, but it’s so much more!
From the first time you step into the shoe, you’ll feel right at home. With a combination split grain and synthetic leather chassis, there’s no break in necessary. Flexibility and comfort are built right in. Synthetic leather is used in areas needing more bend; the real leather is used for parts of the shoe that might come in contact with the road in event of a crash. Further protection is provided to keep the old anklebone from shattering, if not just grinding away from road rash, by medial and lateral plastic inserts embedded into the layered leather construction.
'These new kicks from Shift offer good quality construction and comfort with a degree of safety.'
With your foot firmly planted inside the shoe getting them strapped on (literally) is a piece of cake with what Shift calls a speed-lace system. The eyelets thru which the lace runs are made from nylon loops sewn inside the shoe’s chassis and hidden beneath the protective leather sheathing. The covered lace bends are a smart idea in the event of a crash (think about sliding along the rough asphalt), helping to keep the laces tied and the shoe on your foot. It only takes one long pull to cinch up the laces with this system – smooth work. A Velcro strap crosses over to both keep your rabbit-ear loops from getting caught on your bike (or getting stepped on), as well as providing some extra stability to your own weak-ass ankle.
Beneath all that leather and lace – sorry Buzz, no fringe – is a proprietary bonded sole with a honeycomb design and rounded edges. The heel of the shoe is round like a Piloti driving shoe as well, nice on the floorboards of your cruiser.
The tongue is sewn into the body at the toe box, keeping the padding where it needs to be. Remember how the tongue of your Chuck Taylors used to pull off to outside of the shoe? We have the technology to prevent that now. And, thankfully, Shift subscribes to the footwear industries’ newsletters. I like when a shoe both protects my foot as well as keeping gravel from creeping in there with my nice clean socks. Thanks to Shift Racing for caring!
Falling into both the protection and styling departments are the top-side toe guards, ensuring your shifter and brake levers aren’t cutting thru to your toes – exposing your toe ring.
Overall, it’s a good-looking shoe, and a solid replacement to the RevIt Freestyle Boots I stole from Gabe Ets-Hokin a few years ago. They’re slightly more breathable thanks to some moisture wicking materials contained in the build; I haven’t yet come home with swamp foot and have been wearing them nearly every day since I received them. The Fuel Street Shoe offers a good fit on the bike as well as being a solid walking shoe for when you get to the race, or Walmart.
At the end of a long ride, I wish they could remove themselves from my feet, as the double closure system is twice the work for weary hands to tackle. On the other hand I could be wearing a road-racing boot with a liner as big as this shoe, so this is a good compromise for commuting or casual riding.
Sizing, as with most Shift gear, is best done is person, unless you have someone like MO on your side to give you a tip. I typically wear a euro size 42, a 9 ½ on the American shoe scale. I’ve been supplied with a euro 43 and it’s a perfect fit. The reason I got the 43 is because the on the America scale, the same shoe sported a size 9 marking, so I figured I’d split the difference, and I was right. I’d suggest buying one size up on the euro scale if you happen to mail order them.
These new kicks from Shift offer good quality construction and comfort with a degree of safety. The Fuel Street shoe comes in black and retails for $99.95.