Debuting this coming season, ION have expanded their collection and launched two mega exciting riding shoes: the flat pedal VANE_AMP and the clipless RASCAL. But what sparked the latest footwear releases from this surf and bike brand? And what sets these shoes apart from the competition? We paid an exclusive visit to their Munich home to find out.
How did the new ION shoes come into being
Rob J’s lounge had somehow turned into a mountain of shoes. This was the 17th March 2015, and it marked a turning point for the ION-sponsored athlete known for his pretty cutting-edge style. The purpose of the shoe mountain? As a rider, he was dissatisfied; pissed off with all the current models on the market, and amazed at how the bulk of shoes had failed to marry good performance on the pedals with comfort and style off the bike. In desperation he called the guys from ION and together they were pitting their minds towards one task: expand ION’s collection by incorporating a fifth product category.
More than 18 months later we’re stood in the ION HQ in the South of Munich. A lot has happened behind the scenes, and it’s no longer just a pipedream: In collaboration with the Swiss shoe experts SUPLEST, ION have braved the move forward and spun up two brand new designs: the flat pedal VANE_AMP and the clipless RASCAL.
Is the ideal solution often a compromise?
The word ‘compromise’ is often unfairly thrown around and given a bad rep – but, as the guys from ION will argue, it usually brings out the best all-round solution. While their designs were pretty radical at the outset, they developed into two ultra versatile models that meet ION’s two main criteria: great performance paired with style. In the hunt for perfection, the prototypes came out en masse, different soles were trodden in and the design underwent more than just a handful of alterations.