If you ride, and you’ve been blessed (cursed?) with a sense of style, you know how hard it is to find a decent pair of shoes. Something more protective than Chucks, and less clunky than full-on boots. Something you can wear throughout the day and not look like a cast member from Mad Max. Actually, Mad Max is pretty awesome, but you know what I mean. Anyway, problem solved. Meet the IR x RM Outback. Built to ride.
We’re not so naive as to believe that we’re inventing a category here, but we do think we’re jumping pretty far out in front of a category that’s sorely lacking in style. But rest assured, we’re not stopping at making shoes that look cool. No, we’ve endeavored to create a very special pair of shoes with some real riding functionality built in. Let me tell you what we’ve done:
We started by sourcing genuine Horween, full-grain leather from their tannery in Chicago. This is seriously beautiful leather. We’re using 2.5mm thick pieces for the main upper panels. Then we modified our standard toe cap by extending it to offer shifter protection. We even did the same on the right foot for you vintage British bike riders! Speaking of vintage bike riders, if you ride a kickstart bike you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve stiffened our standard Vari-flex Bi Fit composite lasting board by about 25% from the heel to the mid foot to give you more protection from deflection when kicking over your bike 100 times. We retained our normal flex characteristic in the front so you can walk like regular human, assuming you’re a regular human. The collar is a super soft but durable oiled suede, and hidden in the collar, both medially and laterally, is a nylon malleolus (ankle bone) protector.
We all know that the tie that binds brands in collaborations can often be tenuous, if not pure marketing hype. So, let me assure you right off the top, that’s not the case here. Sort of. Our story goes all the way back to eighteen months ago, when I sat down with Iron and Resin founder, Thom Hill, to pitch him this idea. Of course I was already a fan of his brand, and since we’re both Souther California companies with shared interests, we have many mutual friends. However, we didn’t know each other. Nevertheless, I invaded his beautiful little Airstream trailer and told him my idea. I showed Thom a sketch and laid out my thoughts on how I’d like to turn an ordinary Ridgemont Outback sneaker boot into a proper motorcycle riding sneaker boot, and how I thought using Iron and Resin as inspiration for materials and colors was a match made in heaven. I sat there, droning on about shift protector overlays and internal malleolus protectors, until his eyes sort of glazed over and he raised his hand in the universal sign for “shut the fuck up.” I thought it was over. I began lining up more points in my mind about our shared perspectives and love of the outdoors, but the light returned to his gaze and he lowered his hand and said, “you had me at motorcycle.”
And there it is my friends. BECAUSE MOTORCYCLE. When you love bikes as much as we do, what more reason do you need.
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