We don't tend to seek out brand partners, simply because it's hard finding people that think the same way about community, quality and creativity. But if we kept a list, Colorado's Rodeo Adventure Labs would be right at the top. We love their bikes, their rider-centric approach and their unbridled enthusiasm. And when emails back and forth about design turned into thoughts on working together, both Quoc and Rodeo saw an opportunity to create something unique. "Collaborating with Quoc and customising the GT felt exciting to me, and not just because I could play around with colours," says Rodeo Founder, Stephen Fitzgerald. “But because the fundamental product, the shoe, aligns so nicely with how we like to ride bikes."
Stephen has ridden our stock GT model in all weathers and conditions over the past few months, notching up more than six thousand miles of hassle-free adventure. "The shoes have continued to hold up brilliantly, and that impressed me," he enthuses. "The soles aren't peeling off, the uppers aren't scratched to oblivion, and they seem to clean up wonderfully after the muddy days. I spend a lot of time scrambling around on foot on my more aggressive bike rides and I need shoes that are supremely comfortable and durable. The fact that they also happen to be visually appealing is simply an added bonus."
With its mint green band and a near-white upper, the Rodeo GT is a stylistic departure from the current Quoc colour palette. "We love the celeste colour that we used for the rubberised portion of the upper because it reminds us of United States Forest Service vehicles," he explains. "Those vehicles tend to be painted a similar shade of green and are used to transport rangers and stewards of so many of the forests that we love to play in." Whereas the uppers are all confidence: "White isn't an obvious colour to use for a shoe that will quite probably end up getting filthy," Stephen admits. "But having seen how well my original pair of GTs cleaned up, I wasn't apprehensive about the shoes looking ragged after a few adventures. I also kind of like the idea of the shoe slowly taking on the patina of the riding that it had been exposed to."
Colours aside, the Rodeo x Quoc shoe inherits the same build and fit as the other GT models in our gravel bike shoe series. And thanks to his extended test of our standard GT model, Stephen is already well-prepared for size questions. "People have asked me, 'Is the shoe narrow? Is the shoe wide? How is the arch? How is the toe box?'" he says. "I don't think much about the shoe's fit when I'm out riding because I don't notice the shoes at all, they just disappear. Comfort to me is about the lack of noticeable flaws, and these shoes are simply comfortable. That's why I'm excited to share them with the Rodeo community."
Shop the Rodeo x Quoc GT here.