Autumn Gear Guide
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Her design process is as individual as her shoes, taking inspiration from everything and anything. Tracey Neuls is meeting all our cycling needs … and then some!
Every woman searches for that perfect pair of shoes: the pair that is not only stylish, but fits like a glove, and is comfortable enough to wear each and every day. For women who ride bikes, many times shoes also need to be sturdy enough to handle the wear and tear of pedaling around town. Thankfully, there’s a designer in London, England, happily meeting all our cycling needs … and then some!
Tracey Neuls has been designing ladies’ and men’s footwear for nearly 15 years. Each design is uniquely stylish, with comfort being key. As her story says, “In this day and age women should be empowered, not impeded by pain causing footwear.” Her design process is as individual as her shoes, taking inspiration from everything and anything. The toe shaping procedure stands out; sculpting them in plasticine because the smell reminds her of innocent days spent sculpting as a child.
More recently, Neuls noticed a need for fashionable footwear for the lady cyclist. “Our customers are on the go, busy women. They were telling us how great our rubber sole styles were to cycle around town in and this got us thinking, why not develop a bike shoe.” Teaming up with Tokyobike, Neuls designed a mini-collection of bike-specific footwear for the London Design Week and London Fashion Week. The response to the collection was phenomenal, earning Neuls’ Geek Bike design a nomination for the Design Museum London’s Design of the Year 2014.
The Bike Collection showcases Tracey Neuls’ signature style modified to meet the needs of the daily female cyclist. The key to the collection is that each of the bike styles looks great both on and off a bike. They are a stylish shoe for an active life, and ideal for any occasion. As with all of her shoes, Neuls designs with the wearer in mind. Burdening yourself with an extra pair of shoes is not an option. Life is too complicated!
The Geek, already being worn by women for riding due to its comfort and design, was an easy place to start. Understanding the beating soles of shoes can take when riding a bike, the base of each shoe is made with more than half an inch (1.5 cm) of hard rubber, sturdy enough to eliminate wearing down too quickly. The sole of the Geek wraps up over the toe to prevent the leather from scuffing, and features a half-moon reflective “cat-eye” on the back heel for increased visibility. As Neuls describes it, “Minimal detailing with maximum impact, making you safely visible, dazzling all eyes – day and night.”
The George was another successful design for Neuls for over ten years, offering a cool slip-on Chelsea boot for those ladies looking for a little more fashion. The George Bike offers the same hard rubber sole that holds up against the wear and tear of walking and riding, but instead of the cat-eye detail, they feature a sleek reflective strip along the back seam.
Understanding that ladies want more than just a practical flat for all of their bike shoe needs, Neuls also developed the Fern boot. A bike shoe with a heel, something that could take a woman from bike to office, and then out for the evening. The rubber heel of the Fern Bike fits perfectly against bike pedals, and the sole is a streamline rubber mold with no top piece, providing the perfect combination of casual and elegant. The Fern is sure to be a favorite, with its subtle heel, sleek design, and slightly pointed toe. Wear them to work, and then out with friends, while feeling stylish all day.
This exclusive collection has quickly become a fan favorite for her loyal following, ensuring that the Bike Collection will remain a permanent feature of Tracey Neuls’ designs. No longer do ladies have to worry about pedals ravaging their favorite pair of shoes simply because they choose to bike and look fashionable while doing it.
The Bike Collection and all Tracey Neuls designs are available in her two London stores. For those of us in North America, they can be found on her online store at traceyneuls.com.