When we interviewed STR/IKE MOVEMENT founder Marc Morisset one year ago, he told us his brand is all about making shoes that perform precisely and look great as you’re kicking your workout’s posterior. Ok, what he actually said was:
“[Our] goal is to design and produce technically proficient product while maintaining a clean wearable aesthetic.”
So I had virtually 52 weeks to let that design brief of sorts sink in, to prepare me in the event that a pair of STR/KE shoes showed up at my doorstep. That finally happened late last week in the form of the new Chill Pill, a shoe I’d seen photos of long before the FedEx stork dropped them off. Still, I wasn’t ready for how truly casual-looking these are, so casual in fact that my first First impression was wondering where they put the athletic capability Marc had referenced.
The clean suede forefoot, cross-hatched mesh aft, and slim 3.9 millimeter drop sole doesn’t scream CrossFit, the multi-directional movements of which STR/IKE shoes aim to handle with aplomb. But having put some running distance on the Chill Pill, I can say I hear its performance voice, so to speak, quite clearly. It kind of starts off in a hushed tone with the pliable and supportive suede/mesh tandem, and becomes more and more enthusiastic when you put the bouncy-good Stable Platform ride to use. I think it’s a shoe much more into showing than telling, and that’s a nice change of pace these days. Plenty of traction underfoot; the embedded north-south grooves help roll through each step.
As I’m sure Bryan will examine, the “V” situated lacing is an intriguing inclusion. I found it eliminated a good deal of material bunching where your forefoot bends so all stays snug down there. All in all, a very light and solid cross-training, er, CrossFit ready shoe, and without a doubt the most laid back-looking athletic shoe I’ve ever worn. STR/IKE got the name exactly right. Just remember to apply that sentiment to your casual wears and take the performance side to the gym.
Order the STR/KE MVMNT Chill Pill in Coral, Dark Denim, Grey Fleece, and Transit Black now at strike-mvmnt.com.