Sign up for our newsletter


Back to the 80's: What these new Le Coq trainers mean for cycling fashion

Josh Cunningham
24 Nov 2016

It would be easy to look past the significance of these new Le Coq Sportif X Look trainers. Here's why you shouldn't.

For years French brand Look has been a jack of all trades and a master of many. Bernard Hinault rode to victory pushing their pioneering clipless pedals during the 1985 Tour de France, and Greg LeMond the next year atop one of the first carbon bikes. Likewise Le Coq Sportif - the traditional manufacturer of the Tour de France's yellow jersey - has always broken new ground in the field of sports fashion, so a collaboration between the two brands comes as no surprise here.

The trainers that have just landed here in the Cyclist office are part of a larger collection called The Capsule, and both pairs do indeed hark back to a point in time and fashion that cycling isn't quite ready to let go of yet. The lace-up Omicrons are a fairly traditional sneaker, with just the subtle Look branding showcased in various points around the shoe, but in the velcro XT Shifters we find a full-on tribute to tastes of a bygone era. Similarly to the Omnicron there's an ankle sock component, which presumably has some sort of stability and comfort benefit similar to Nike's Lunarepic runners, but we all know that its true appeal lies in how outrageous it looks.

While the sock liner carries a hint of yellow, the bold velcro straps bear the outline of the two other colours synonymous with Look branding, blue and red. The Le Coq Sportif emblem meanwhile can be found emblazoned on the heel of each shoe. 

The careful design and branding of these particular shoes will always be reminiscent of the 1980's and 90's; of images of Lemond, Hinault and La Vie Claire, but they also represent something of a catwalk item, signalling a change in the way that cycling fashion could develop into the next few years. 

Oakley's Eyeshades could be found being donned again by WorldTour pros back in 2014, and the resurgence of the brand's classic M-Frame model since then can't be denied. Brancale, another brand many associate with the same era, has recently enjoyed a relaunch, and while its employed modern materials and technology in its contemporary shoes and garments, the original design styles are very much respected in its products. Rapha's 2017 ranges meanwhile include lots of acknowledgments to the 70's and 80's, and new independent cycling kit manufacturers seem to be popping up every day, with each trumpeting the whackiness of their designs, some of which are seemingly fresh from the 90's peloton, louder than the last.

What goes around comes around, and it seems here that Le Coq Sportif and Look, two of the biggest players in the game, are going to continue what they've done for decades, and lead the cycling world from the front.

Read more about: