Hannah checks out the DZR Turin boots, just as they get a whole lot easier to get hold of int he UK and Europe.
When offered a pair of these DZR Turin boots to try out before the launch, I thought they looked like the perfect thing to wear as a bike journo on a trip to Sea Otter. I could walk or ride as required, I’d be able to hop on and off bikes as needed, hang out in bars… you know, essential work stuff.
Instead, Sea Otter was postponed, and all UK bars closed. Even our office shut down, as we worked from home under social distancing and lock down rules. I’ve barely worn a pair of shoes for weeks – had I seen this coming I would have got a selection of slippers and all day lounge wear in on test.
My boots shipped all the way from the USA, however since then, DZR has established a European distribution centre, which is conveniently based in the UK. This should make it a whole lot easier to get hold of DZR shoes, for which sh0pping and taxes has previously been an issue for UK buyers. These particular Turin boots however are available now in the USA, but not until autumn in the UK and Europe (though they are on pre-order).
DZR Turin Boots – Out The Box
The DZR Turin boots look like casual moto style boots, perfect for wearing with skinny black jeans, or rolled up denims – whatever really. The leather upper and gum sole look like good quality streetwear boots, not cycling specific wear. There is a small reflective tab on the heel, but that’s it, until you look to the sole and spot there’s space to attach cleats – and a chain themed tread pattern.
The boots ship with a gum wedge to fill the cleat slot, so in theory you could skip the cleats if you wanted, though there’s quite a large channel around the plug, meaning you may struggle for grip on flat pedals. I did manage a short spin out on them as flats, and wouldn’t be opting to tackle anything tricky with them in this set up. But, you’re surely not buying these to ride as flats – otherwise you could buy any old pair of street boots. You’re buying these because you are the kind of person that hops on and off a bike, wants the efficiency of cleats, and needs to look cool while you’re doing it.
Sizing is true to street size. For some reason, in cycling shoes, I always take a 41, but in street shoes I take a 40. I ordered these in a 41, and they’re a touch larger than I would ideally like. That said, I haven’t yet been able to really wear them in, and the leather uppers are still relatively stiff and new, and the laces have yet to settle into that perfect spot for my feet. There are a lot of lace holes, and these are not boots to be taken on and off frequently – there’s no cheat zip, you have to loosen the laces. Being quite a tall ankle boot, they need a lot of loosening to get your foot in or out, and then lacing back up again to get them to fit. Once you’ve got your laces tied, there’s a handy elastic lace holder, though it could use a little tab to make it easier to fish out from behind the laces.
The boots look to be well put together, with the leather work being neatly stitched. The main joins are twin stitched, with decorative additions elsewhere. Out the box, I saw no loose stitches or frayed ends, though on taking the close up photos I’ve noticed a stray stitch has appeared at the top of the left boot’s eyelets. A rubber bumper round the front should offer a bit of extra protection up front. Overall, first impressions are of well made and quality boots. The use of real leather seemed like a bit of a novelty in an age of synthetic replacements.
DZR Turin Boots – On The Move
In lieu of any cool places to go and hang out, I’ve been out on a few rounds of daily exercise while wearing the DZR Turin boots. They’re quite flexible, so for me they’re better suited to shorter rides, or clip-in pedals with a little support. On Shimano lollipop style pedals, towards the end of a longer ride while grinding up a hill, I wished for a little more support across my feet. But extended rides up moorland trails are not really what these boots are made for – for rides to the pub, or the office, I don’t think you’d get the same issues of fatigue.
Off the bike, the cleats stick out enough to give you that tap shoe effect, which is OK for a bit of general walking around, but I think you’d want to tread a little carefully on the tiled floor of a shipping centre – especially on a wet day.
I was careful to wear my boots with long enough socks that the uppers weren’t touching bare skin – I think that would cause rubbing, particulary in the wet – but I was pleasantly surprised to find that a new pair of leather boots didn’t have me reaching for blister plasters. It’s been a period of less than ideal testing conditions – I haven’t had chance to take them out in any rain to check out their performance there. I look at those laces and wonder how easy they’d be to get undone after a good soaking. But I’m not going to bemoan the sunshine. I would however quite like the opportunity to test them while hanging out at a bar.
I don’t suppose anyone really needs to ride clipped in through town, but on a drop barred bike I just don’t feel quite right unless I’m clipped in – despite riding flat pedals the rest of the time. If you really want that clipped in feel and you’re looking for a pair of smart looking boots that will take you from bike to office to bike to bar, then that’s exactly what these will do. Plus, the entire range of rather nice looking shoes just got easier to get hold of.
|Price:||$199 / €175.53|
|Tested:||by Hannah for|
Use code HELLO54 when you join us as a print or digital member and your membership will be half price for the first year.
The Print+ membership where Singletrack magazine drops through your door, plus full digital access, is normally £45, now only £22.50 with the code. And a digital membership where you can read all the digital magazines is normally £25, and now £12.50 with the code.
Simply use code HELLO54 at checkout.
(New annually renewing membership only. Excludes Gift Memberships, Discount applies to first year. Cannot be used in conjunction with other offers, or when switching memberships)
Why on earth would you want to be clipped in on the way home from the pub? That’s just asking for trouble. The last time I rode home from the pub after a skinful was dodgy enough on flat pedals. Mind you, the laps of the BMX track were entertaining 😀
@brakestoomuch Because the added uncertainty over whether you can unclip will make sure you pedal all the way up the hill, sobering up in the process, and preventing bedspins?
Also reduces the risk of bike theft, if you’re attached to it.
At that price, they’re more expensive than a pub bike. Less FMBs, more FMLATPBs.
Seems a good idea if you only have bikes with SPD’s as it’s save changing pedals. Nice looking boots too.
My Pub bike has some old M636 DX SPDs which are easy/comfy enough to ride on in a pair of vans, but some stealth SPD footwear might be nice…
But no Pictures of them on and actual human?
Do they actually look a bit stupid when worn with a pair of shorts in current weather? (like most boots tend to)…
@cookeaa I struggle to take pictures of the bottoms of my own legs! I probably wouldn’t wear them with shorts because I want my socks to stick out above the boots, and that is probably a bit of a trendy look for someone my age. I’ll try and wear them next time I’m with another human and get some pics.
Another piece of footwear that is shaped nothing like the human foot.
Can all future shoe reviews have a photo of a bare human foot on top of the shoe liner please?
@Onzadog pics added, though I hope this isn’t just a ruse to get free foot pictures 🙂
That liner isn’t anywhere near the shape of your foot. More a comment on the liner being wrong than a dig about your feet
Thanks for the updated pic. Why is this always the case with shoes? Would you buy a helmet that wasn’t the shape of your head? Or gloves the shape of your hand?
The shoes should have enough room for a load bearing foot. That one clearly doesn’t.
What makes these cool? Quite possibly the ugliest looking shoe I’ve seen for a while.
wow they make them up to size 41! im only a 9