Target Sets Sights on Wide-Width Shoe Customers With Trend-Driven Women’s Styles

Universal Thread Aviana Microsuede Block Heeled Mules

Target is going after a new demographic — the wide-width customer. The company has announced its plan to increase its current offering of women’s shoes in the category available at both Target stores and online.

According to the company, the initiative has been in the works. Over the past year it has expanded its offering of wide-width shoes, which currently makes up 30% of its entire women’s shoe department.

“We want our guests to know they can count on Target for a wide range of sizes and styles, from swimwear to intimates to apparel and shoes, so they can look and feel their very best,” said Jill Sando, SVP and GMM, apparel and accessories and home for Target. “In shoes, we’ve recently expanded our assortment to include hundreds of wide-width shoe options to ensure all guests can find the perfect shoes that fit amazing and complete their look.”

Coming for fall, Target is introducing more than 100 new styles in wide widths, including ballet flats, booties and heels. And the retailer will continue to expand these options across the kids’ and men’s departments.

Target is not alone in its efforts. There are a range of brands currently catering to the size-and-width market. These include Clarks, Easy Spirit, J. Renée, Naturalizer, Walking Cradles and others. While they have traditionally targeted a more mature customer, they’re now recognizing there are younger consumers today who need wider-width shoes, and they are raising the style bar on their collections to appeal to these consumers.

[“source=footwearnews”]

Tonys 2019: Behind the Scenes With Legendary Event Designer Raúl Àvila

people dressed in black attaching rainbow roses to a green wall

On a night as star-studded and revered as the Tony Awards, any event designer would be hard-pressed to create an atmosphere as award-worthy as the plays being celebrated. But Raúl Àvila is not just any event designer. Àvila, who counts A-list event planner Robert Isabell among his mentors, designed this year’s Tony Awards red carpet with a theme that feels “particularly profound” to him. “The theme of this year’s carpet is inspired by the anniversary and celebration of World Pride,” he tells Architectural Digest. “I’m so proud to showcase the flag in the way that it deserves. What a beautiful testament to how far we’ve come.”

For this year’s carpet, Àvila stuck with roses, some of which he dyed or spray painted to compliment the theme (all roses, as has been the case in years past, were generously donated by Passion Roses. The Colombia-born designer and his team spent “months and months” planning the elaborate red carpet decor to ensure “the most seamless transformation” possible. “There are so many people involved with the process and many voices to be heard, but ultimately we always find consistency in the decision,” he says. In terms of inspiration, Àvila says he didn’t need to look any further than the Broadway community itself, which has always been “such a representative community.”

three bouquets of yellow roses
This year’s pride theme called for a rainbow of roses.

Courtesy of Raúl Avila Inc.

gray shelves stacked with boxes orange buckets on the floor in front of them
Supplies for the big night.

Courtesy of Raúl Avila Inc.

a pair of hands wearing gloves holding a bouquet of roses
Arranging roses for the display.

Courtesy of Raúl Avila Inc.

“We draw inspiration from everywhere, but focus, of course, on the broadway community in all its splendor,” he says. “Whether it’s the shows themselves, the music, the artists, or the performers, Broadway is an endless source of inspiration.” In previous years, Àvila has showcased bursts of pink and red-hued roses, an arresting all-red rose wall, and even a lush, all-green red carpet backdrop, all of which spoke to some facet of the dynamic world of theater. “I wanted the red carpet to evoke the style and elegance of the theater,” he told Vogue in 2016 of the all-red rose wall. “I chose roses in a striking red to cover the length of the step and repeat. It’s the ideal backdrop for arrivals to capture the glamour of the evening.” That year, Àvila and his team of 50 crew members needed 20 hours to assemble the 100,000 red roses; this year’s colorful homage to the LGBTQ community will undoubtedly require even more time and effort. But, Àvila says, it’s always worth it witnessing his vision come to life. “Seeing everything come together in the end, when I can finally take a breath and say ‘We did this,’ is always my proudest moment,” he says. “[Then] I celebrate with everyone. It’s the Tonys!”

[“source=architecturaldigest”]

An Interview with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe

Image result for An Interview with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at AdobeEarlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe who leads its Design Practices group and author of Subtraction.com. Vinh, who was in Chicago to speak at the HOW Design Live conference, talks about how Adobe is using Adobe XD to integrate UX and UI design and prototyping into the product creation process for everyone from freelancers to big companies. He also discusses designers’ role in addressing the problems social media is facing, how artificial intelligence is beginning to play a role in design, and his podcast, Wireframe.

(The following has been condensed and edited for readability.)

Tell me a little bit about what you’re working on at Adobe these days.

Adobe XD is one of the main priorities at Adobe. We’re really passionate about the experience design space; really passionate about how product designers, UX/UI designers, they’re really kind of leading the way for how professional creativity is changing and XD is more than just an app, it’s a platform to help us build what designers need. So we see it as more than just a design app. It’s also prototyping and sharing, and so it’s really meant to help designers, and also the people who work with them, get more value out of the design process and be more productive in general.

How does it work with the code side of things when the designers pass things off to the programmers?

That’s an area that we’re really interested in. So, you can design something in Adobe XD in the drawing mode, which is roughly analogous to what you’re able to do in Illustrator or Photoshop in terms of determining what an interface looks like and creating all the artboards. And then you can bring it to life with a prototype, and you can share it with the marketing team or with other designers by sharing a web prototype.

We also have developer specs, which is basically a way of letting a developer take a look at what you’ve created, see all of the colors, the type, the spacing, everything, and that’s going to get more and more sophisticated, more and more rich over time, so that the developer handoff is really smooth. What we want is for design to flow as elegantly as possible throughout the whole team and also to help maintain the integrity of the designer’s vision, their intention, all the way through.

I know you’ve done a lot with things like the animations and the prototyping phase. What kinds of things have you been able to implement there?

Auto-Animate, that’s what we call that feature. We really believe that prototyping is a very critical leverage point for designers, in not just the whole design process, but in the way they work with clients, with stakeholders, with their in-house team, with all the rest of the business. And the reason is that prototypes get you very close to something that’s real without actually committing you to code, so that you’re not afraid to throw things away.

The way we conceive of prototypes – by intention, by design – they are not meant to be the actual code. We may get to a point one day soon where you’re designing right to code, but for right now we really think that to help people get an idea out of their head and into a clickable, tangible, movable version is really important because it changes the conversation. It brings clarity to the whole team. It brings clarity for the designer as well because now they can see how practical their idea is.

So, that’s a long way of saying animation is a really, really elemental part of that because once you see something moving, it becomes more than just an idea, it becomes something that just feels like it’s just a few inches away from reality. And that gets people to pay attention. And so, when we thought about how to implement an animation, there are tons of great animation tools out there that let you do very, very sophisticated animation. What we tried to do is think of a way to let you create sophisticated animations with as shallow a learning curve as possible.

So, Auto-Animate is based on a very simple sort of keyframe approach where you have one artboard where a circle might be the top of the screen and one artboard where a circle might be the bottom, and if you link them up as a prototype, it will actually move from one position to the other, like tweening from the old Flash days or something like that. And that’s something that everybody gets the first time they see it, they say, ‘Okay, I can do that.’

I think that is a really important part of our approach to it because you can get a lot more sophistication, and we’ll enable more sophistication later, but the challenge of mastering a complex interface, like a timeline interface or a scripting interface, can be very off-putting. So we want as many people as possible experimenting with animation creating richer and richer prototypes, and I think we’ve opened up the door to lots of folks. So we’ve seen people create some amazing stuff with this simple concept. The thing above all is that it’s super fun. You’re not wrestling with really complex user interface conventions, you’re just moving stuff around and doing it the way a designer thinks, which is usually visually.

It reminds me a lot of how Apple’s Keynote works because it does the same kind of keyframe stuff.

Well, Keynote is one of many inspirations. It’s purpose-built for presentations. It’s very visually oriented. It’s super easy to learn. All of the metaphors are consistent. There’s a high degree of visual integrity there. We like that model for sure.

So what’s your focus? Is it on custom UIs? Is it on the existing standard set of controls?

We focus on everything that comes under the umbrella of user experience design, which, roughly speaking just means that you’re thinking about the sum total experience for the end user; how to get from screen to screen and then what the interface looks like and what the interactions are and how information can be found and so forth. So, roughly speaking, yeah, it would be for the custom designer, for the designer who’s creating something bespoke for their company or their clients or customers.

But we’ve also invested a lot of money in putting a ton of UI kits out there for iOS, for Android, for all different kinds of things, so that people can get up and running really quickly, and can access them right from within the app. So if you’re not a “trained designer,” you can actually put things together really easily. And we see that in a lot of companies where XD, because it’s so approachable, people outside the design team will start using it in order to create mockups – create quick prototypes – to get ideas.

What platforms is XD on?

Windows and Mac. I should also say that we have two companion apps for iOS and for Android as well.

How do you approach those two products differently?

We try to create a consistent experience while also trying to be true to each platform. We don’t want to create a compromise between them that’s not satisfactory for Windows users or satisfactory for Mac users. So our designers spend a lot of time on both platforms and are very cognizant of what makes each platform unique or what its strengths are and how to respect that for each user.

And also, being truly cross-platform and being good citizens of both is a huge part of our strategy because a lot of other computing tools don’t offer that, especially for Windows users, because so much of the design community is on Mac. For Windows users to be able to use XD and get virtually the same experience and to be able to collaborate with their design studio they hire, which is maybe on Mac, or the design team, that actually makes a huge difference because now they’re going to be speaking the same language – that’s really important.

So is the product geared towards someone who’s working as a designer in a company? Or is it something that individuals like a solo indie developer might want to use as well?

We think user experience design is a profession that runs the gamut. So it’s individuals, small teams, independent studios, small, medium, and large-sized agencies. In-house teams are also small, medium, and large, and their needs are different, but the basic tools that are required to get your job done are roughly similar enough that we believe a solution like XD can be inclusive of everybody.

So if you are an independent designer working on your own, XD is terrific. If you are on any kind of a team, the collaboration features really smooth the workflow. And if you work at a big company with a big design team with super sophisticated requirements, we have a plug-in infrastructure for you to be able to tailor your workflow to build tools that are specific to your company’s needs. We really like the idea that it can scale.

Adobe has been offering subscriptions far longer than we’ve seen on platforms like Apple’s App Store. Do you ever worry that having a subscription leaves certain people behind? Adobe does a great job with students, making products available to them at a price that they can afford, and it works well for companies of various sizes, but what about the person who comes right out of school and maybe is just trying to do work on a portfolio on their own?

So first of all, Adobe XD is free to start, so you can actually create as many files as you want, and work for as long as you want in XD. When you start sharing projects online and collaborating with other people, that’s when we hope you will become a Creative Cloud member.

But the subscription model in general we believe actually gives more people the opportunity to try the app. And our subscriber numbers, which I can’t quote off the top my head, but they’ve just been growing and growing, we have more and more people coming into the Creative Cloud world than ever before. And part of the reason is an enormous amount of investment goes into each release of these apps we’ve got. The apps are cross-platform, they’re internationalized, they go through a heavy QA. We spend a lot of time thinking about how apps work for enterprise and for individuals. So, it’s a huge investment.

Now, in the pre-subscription world, when we were selling perpetual licenses, we had to basically charge for the complete value of all that. With the subscription model, you can pay for a month, or you can pay for 24 months, you can sign on and sign off. And actually many small companies take advantage of that because they have freelancers come in and work for six or eight weeks, and then they leave and turn off the subscription. So that’s really helpful.

And what it does is it allows people to pay for the value that makes sense for them. So if they are going to work on a six-month contract or something, they want to pay for six months. Well, that’s actually a one-to-one mapping of the value that they get for those six months. If they are engaging in projects continually and collaborate with lots of people, then they’re paying each month, and they’re getting every single update for the app that they’re subscribed to. And, if they’re subscribed to all updates, they also get many of the new products that we create just added to the bundle. So the value equation is very different from perpetual licensing, but we believe it’s more accessible for more people in general and makes sense for more businesses.

What do you think about Marzipan coming to Apple’s platform? Any thoughts on where we’re going? Because it’s going to be really interesting from a design perspective. Some of those early Marzipan apps in Mojave are pretty rough right now.

Well, I should say that I don’t know anything more about Marzipan than I read on MacStories. I personally haven’t been disclosed on anything from Apple. I do agree that some of the apps are lacking in terms of their Mac-ness. And as a very, very long-time Mac user, that makes me a little bit sad, because I really like all of the beautiful details the true Mac has.

On the other hand, I’m excited for a world where these platforms come closer together. I think making it easier for developers to create apps that work on phone, tablet, and desktop is super exciting. And for any new frontier like that, it’s not uncommon for things to be a little bit rough in the beginning, like the early days of Mac OS X.

In one of the interviews I saw with you from a while back, you talked a little bit about AI and machine learning and how that plays into design. Tell me a little bit about where you see that going.

I think right now, it’s still the Wild Wild West. There’s a lot of enthusiasm around AI in terms of the end-user experience and how to make great experiences with immersive technology for consumers and for business users.

We are really excited about the opportunity to make things better and remove friction and tedium for professional users as well. So there are things that designers do every day and have been doing forever that are second nature that you don’t think about – like lining things up or wiring an artboard together or drawing a home icon and then linking that to the home screen. These are things that a computer can do just as easily or at least suggest to you. So to remove the tedium of doing that work and letting you focus just on what only a designer can do.

We have this AI platform called Sensei, which takes a ton of anonymized data from millions of users to help us figure out what are the best practices for doing certain things that we’ve implemented on the Photoshop side or on the digital imaging side in terms of helping people with presets for manipulating photos and so forth. I’m actually not super in the weeds on those details, but I know they’re doing a lot there. As we’re building the foundation for XD, we’re looking to bring that kind of stuff to it as well.

What role do you think designers can play in fixing some of the problems that we’re seeing with social media? Is there a role for designers working on making that a better experience for people?

Absolutely. This is part of my talk tomorrow actually. In many ways we’re in this situation partly because of design; because design has sort of abetted the sort of unbridled ambitions that people love to optimize for on these platforms – you know, eyeballs, clicks, views, likes, and so forth. And it’s been really effective at doing that.

So when you think about all these problems, they’re not just technology problems, right? They’re not just a matter of the algorithm. You’re thinking about the sum total user experience, and design can’t solve them on their own, but I really believe that design needs to be a key part of that conversation.

The responsibility of the designer in crafting solutions is to think about the total experience of the user or the customer. Like what is the effect on that customer of seeing only confirmation bias-oriented content in their feed? Or we’re only pushing them to come back, again and again, to view the same thing over and over again at the expense of other activities in their lives. I think design and the approach that designers bring to research and the whole user journey, so to speak, is a very valuable tool there.

So part of the challenge is that the world at large doesn’t see design in that light necessarily. First of all, the world doesn’t really understand design. They sort of assume it’s all technology. So I think part of our challenge is to try to level up the conversation around design to help people understand it, and appreciate what it can bring, and then be proactive in trying to figure out how to solve this problem.

Tell me a little bit about your podcast.

It’s called Wireframe. We do it in partnership with Gimlet who are based in Brooklyn, New York, conveniently where I live.

The hook is to tell high-quality, in-depth stories about design, and to treat design in the way that you might hear stories about architecture or technology or art or culture, like on the radio. Our attitude is design traditionally hasn’t been treated that way. Most of what gets written about design is written by designers for designers. There are tons of great design podcasts out there, and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but they’re almost all just interview format, and so it really feels like you’re dropping in on shop talk, right?

What we tried to do is tell a complete story about design. Our first episode was about the Hawaii missile crisis and how that warning system was flawed in terms of design. We try to show how design led to the situation and how it can be part of the solution. We try to take you into the mind of a designer, but in a narrative way. It’s not just interviews, it’s actually a story start to finish that, hopefully, pulls you in.

And what we found is that it’s been surprisingly popular with people who don’t call themselves designers. They get pulled in and start to see design as something tangible that they can relate to. And at the same time, it’s actually been really fun for people who know design already, because they’re not accustomed to seeing design, or hearing design I should say, treated in this manner.

[“source=macstories”]

Aldous Harding’s Designer mixes a lush surface with compelling depth

One of my favourite things of late has been to show unsuspecting people the music video for Aldous Harding’s ‘The Barrel’. As a song, it’s an excellent little thing, the perfect aural venn diagram of Tori Amos and Katie Melua – all the shameless opacity of the former mixed with the pleasant approachability of the latter. With the willfully bizarre video, it gains an extra dimension, a threat and a weirdness that draws you into the song rather than pushes it away. Maybe it’s Harding’s simple, beguiling dancing. Maybe it’s the sudden shift to a blue-faced goblin. Maybe it’s that sudden cut at the end.

It’s a song that I haven’t tried to figure out. I’m perfectly content to listen to it over and over again and bask in the very obvious surface pleasures of it; the interplay between the guitar and the piano, Harding’s smoky falsetto and the insistent drumbeat. But hearing it in the context of Designer, Harding’s first album after her Taite-winning Party, it makes me want to figure out what is at the heart of the song. To get to know it better, to get to love it better. Or, at the very least, try and work out why ‘I know you have the dove / I’m not getting wet’ has been in my head for the past few months.

Designer is full of songs like this. They’re not united by sound necessarily – other than a dedication to loping acoustic melodies, the only genre that fits the album is the lazily defined ‘alternative’ label – but more by a linked sense of mystery. This is an album that rewards multiple listens, with little bits of each song jumping out at you every time you listen to it. The little electric guitar in ‘The Weight of the Planets’, the sudden empty darkness of ‘Heaven is Empty’, the whimsical air to ‘Pilot’. Some songs are easier to work your way into than others, the aforementioned ‘Heaven is Empty’ is a fairly clear lament about the lack of an afterlife, but the majority of the album has a sense of finding a feeling, an image, or a character and then rolling about in it.

It’s easy to label something as ‘enigmatic’ and leave it at that, and unfortunately the label has become a backhanded compliment. We dismiss something as enigmatic rather than try and figure it out, and we reward art that reveals itself to us immediately, that tells us what its about, where it comes from, and why its here. ‘Enigmatic’ can be seen as being difficult and inaccessible, and god knows, I’ve been guilty of applying the latter label to something I didn’t think of as worthy of my time or investigation.

It’s a word that’s been applied to Harding in the past. Her earlier reticence in interviews, while perfectly understandable to me, equated a desire for privacy with a similar desire to be mysterious. Her malleable, shapeshifting voice only adds to that mystery, capable of stirring low notes and rapturous high notes, with more characters in between those extremes than you can name. While nothing about Designer is obvious, there’s nothing about this album that is closed off. Designer wants to be listened to, and relistened to. It wants you to figure it out, and to enjoy whatever the hell its about.

But while I’m figuring that out, there’s still so much surface to love in Designer. The entire album, co-produced with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, has an enveloping lushness that makes it suitable for that late night, slightly tipsy, walk home or a too-tired Sunday morning. You don’t just listen to the album, you spend time in its world, wandering around in it. The best part of a mystery isn’t the answer – it’s actually the time you spend getting there. Designer values each part of the mystery equally; the question, the journey, the answer, and it’s so rare to hear music that values all three parts equally.

[“source=thespinoff”]

Online Fashion Market (2019-2026) Rising With Immense Development Trends Across Globe By 2026 | Amazon Inc., Walmart, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Aras Kargo A.S.

Online Fashion Market

Online fashion refers to retailing of fashion product such as clothing, footwear, jewelry, accessories and others on online platform. Increasing penetration of smart phones will help to boost global online fashion market. Rising Demand of online fashion due to features such as online sizing as well as on site search. This growth is primarily driven by Growing online access as well as smartphone penetration, Innovating Sales Strategies Such as Offers and Cashbacks and Rising Demand due To Features Such as Online Sizing as well as On Site Search.

Report Consultant adds Online Fashion Retail Market Report to its research database that gives a detailed investigation of the current scenario of the Online Fashion Retail Market and developing business sector patterns. The Global Online Fashion Retail Market report offers a complete data that makes it possible for the development of business in a simple and well-planned way. It also helps in the creation of leading business options. The abstract includes the business overview, size, demand, forecast, latest trends, and Market share of the dominant players.

Online Fashion Market Top Leading Vendors :- Amazon Inc., Walmart, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Aras Kargo A.S.,11Street, Asos.com, BRT S.p.A, DPD GeoPost Deutschland GmbH, Gmarket, ZARA, Levis, adidas, Kering, Adidas, Ross Stores, Richemont, H&M Group, Hermès, TJX Companies, LVMH, Nike, Inditex, LVMH, Prada, Nordstorm, Burberry, Capri Holdingd, Kering, Kering, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Hugo Boss, Luxottica Group SpA and Ted Baker.

The report is elaborated by considering the various factors which has an impact on the businesses. It covers the applications of the global Online Fashion Market along with the regional outlook throughout the different sectors. It gives some optimal solutions to tackle the risks and problems to the existing industries, which helps to discover the desired outcome. The report also gives detailed information on the global market in terms of its revenue and various dynamic aspects of the economic growth. The annual volume of the market is examined from year 2019 to 2026.The overview of the market includes the applications of the latest technologies to enlarge the businesses rapidly.

Globally, areas such as, like North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa are examined to take great decisions in businesses. Effective policies are included in the Online Fashion Market report which gives tremendous response to scale up the businesses. The statistics included in the report gives accurate data of drivers, restraints, and opportunities, which helps to balance the growth of the existing and upcoming industries.

This report gives an extensive valuable data that gives a clear idea about the current scenario of the Online Fashion market during the forecast period 2019-2026.

Following are the List of Major Points Covers in the Online Fashion Market:

  1. Market Overview
  2. Global Economic Impact on Industry
  3. Global Market Competition by key vendors
  4. Global Market Analysis by Application
  5. Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders
  6. Market Effect Factors Analysis
  7. Global Online Fashion Market Forecast 2026

 

About us:

Report Consultant is a prime destination for your business aptitude and analytical solutions because we provide qualitative and quantitative sources of information that are proficient to give one-stop solutions. We skillfully syndicate qualitative and quantitative research in exact proportions to have the best report, which not only gives the most recent insights but also assists you to grow. Our research reports will give you an exceptional experience of innovative solutions and outcomes. We have effectively steered businesses all over the world with our market research reports and are outstandingly positioned to lead digital transformations. Thus, we craft greater value for clients by presenting advanced opportunities in the global market.

[“source=aglobalmarketresearch”]

Review: Ion Raid Amp II – Flat Pedal Shoes With Plenty of Grip

Ion Rascal II

Ion released the original Raid Amp flat pedal shoe a few seasons ago, and while they were light and comfortable, there was one problem – the soles just weren’t sticky enough. Time to go back to the drawing board. The latest version is called the Raid Amp II, and uses a new rubber compound and a softer midsole that’s designed to allow the shoes to really latch on to the pins of a flat pedal.

The shoes still have the same look and basic design elements of the original – the uppers are ventilated and designed to be quick drying, and the asymmetric cuff provides a little extra ankle protection. There’s also a molded rubber toecap to help prevent a rider’s toes from getting bruised and battered.

Ion Raid Amp II Details
• Pin Tonic sole design
• Molded rubber toe cap
• Elastic lace holder
• Asymmetric padded ankle cuff
• Weight: 470 grams (size 45, per shoe)
• Colors: black, grey, pink
• Sizes: 37-47
• $139.95 USD
• www.ion-products.com

The tongue isn’t gusseted, but there is an elastic strap sewn into the middle that helps keep the laces tucked out of the way. The Raid Amp II shoes are available in sizes 37-47, with three different color options: black, grey, or pink.

Ion Rascal II
Ion call their new sole design ‘Pin Tonic’.
Ion Rascal II
The asymmetric cuff and extra padding help dull the blow from crank and frame impacts.

Performance

Good news – the Raid Amp II shoes are actually grippy, and not in the usual “almost like a 5.10, but not quite” way. In fact, I’d put the stickiness level right on par with that of 5.10’s S1 rubber, the stuff that’s used on their Freerider Pro shoes. I’ve used the Raid Amp II’s on a very wide range of pedals – Shimano XT, Anvl Tilt, Kona Wah Wah, Burgtec Mk4 Composite, and found that there was plenty of traction in every instance. The shoes are stiff and supportive enough to wear on long rides without needing to worry about foot pain, but there’s still enough flex to make walking around off the bike feel very natural.

The shoes have a snug, foot-hugging fit, closer to what you’d expect from a pair of well-broken-in climbing shoes as opposed to a super-roomy skate shoe. That means these may not be the best option for riders with wide feet, but it does give them a very high degree of sensitivity, which makes it easy to tell exactly where your foot is on the pedal. How precise a shoe feels isn’t something that’s discussed very much, but it makes a difference when it comes to making those foot position micro-adjustments that flat pedal riding often requires.

The Raid Amp II’s aren’t going to keep your feet from getting soaked in a rainstorm, but they don’t turn into lead weights once they’re fully saturated either. The upper material doesn’t retain much water, and it didn’t take long to get them dry and ready for another dousing after wet rides. I haven’t tested them in any really scorching temperatures, but they do seem to breathe well, and the lack of any extra-thick padding in the uppers should help prevent any overheated feet once summer time arrives.

Ion Rascal II
Ion Rascal II
 The soles are going strong, but some of the stitching has started to come undone.

Durability

The soles of the shoes have held up very well over the last few months of use, without any unexpected wear or delamination, but I did run into some stitching related issues with the uppers. The stitching that holds one of the pull-straps on has begun to come apart, and while the last few stitches are holding strong, I’m not sure how long that will last. Some of the stitching just past where the front of the laces end has begun to give up as well, which is a little more worrying than losing the use of a pull-strap.

[“source=pinkbike”]