An off road bike requires off road shoes!
I bought these on offer a few weeks back after much hand wringing having realised just how much I had spent on cycling so far this year! So my criteria for offroad shoes were simple:
- Be comfortable.
- Be simple in terms of not having random colours/shapes/flashes on them etc.
- Be fairly resiliant.
- Don’t cost a fortune!
Before getting my mits on these shoes I’d been riding my gravel bike by switching my Look Keo’s and wearing a pair of old Pearl Izumi roads shoes, which worked….in so far as I could clip in and pedal. That said, anyone who has ever tried walking in road shoes knows that they are not intended for that purpose unless you always walk like you are perpetually legging it for the toilet. So, after a reading some review and capitalising on my Wiggle platinum discount, I shot for the DHB Dorica shoes.
Whilst I got them about 6 weeks ago I wanted to get some riding in with them before giving my two pence worth.
Style and Substance
I LOVE lace up shoes and when my trusty Pearl Izumi Road Race 4’s began to come to the end of their life I was all too happy to drop the cash for some Giro Empire shoes. After getting them through I was gutted at how narrow they were and despite playing around with loosening the laces and changing the insoles it wasn’t meant to be and with heavy heart they went back.
So when I got the DHB Dorica’s through I was pleasantly surprised at how much width there was. I went for a size 12 (yes, I know I have small feet for a 6’7′” human!) and there was a good amount of width and my toes weren’t jammed into the end of the shoes either. A couple of review on Wiggle had moaned that they were too narrow but I have no complaints.
I like the simplicity of these shoes. They aren’t overly flashy or covered in random flashes of colour and odd coloured stitching. No matter how much I have tried I just can’t get on board with insanely colorful shoes like Sidi’s. (Socks is a different conversation though!)
I like the flexibility of varying the tension across the different section of my feet and these have been great for that. Whilst they are not top end off road shoes they are comfortable and have kept the water out well on the wet commutes I have ridden them on so far.
They are nylon soled and there was a noticeable difference in the stiffness when riding with comparison to my carbon soled Fizik’s but I didn’t buy them for stiffness. I wanted shoes that were comfortable and that’s exactly what I got. Comfortable on the bike and easy to walk in off the bike so no dancing my way across the lobby of the office or destroying Look cleats every couple of weeks. And, AND…..less faffing around trying to get clipped in at traffic lights! As someone who’d only ridden in road SPD type shoes so far, having two sides to clip in has been a revelation!
They won’t last forever and will inevitably take a beating in off road environments but so far they have done everything I wanted them to both when commuting to work and on some gravel rides in my locale.
For £50, I don’t think you can go wrong with these. Coming in two different colours (black and white) and well sized I think they are easily worth the money for a commuter/offroad/winter shoe.
If you’ve made it this far, here’s one more photo where you will just have to take my word about the fact I AM wearing these shoes riding into work. Love commuting on days like this: