Product Test: DZR Dice Shoes

DZR was born out of a passion for cycling—be it on singletrack in the backcountry or through the streets of San Francisco. These guys are all about putting two wheels on the ground and pedaling them. While most of their shoes are designed for the pavement, the Dice shoes are their high-performance mountain bike model.

Tech features:
The Dice shoe is the high-octane model in the DZR lineup. On the surface, it looks like a typical skate shoe, but dive in and you will find plenty of riding- specific features. The Dice has a semi-stiff sole that’s designed to deliver plenty of power transfer to the pedal without being too stiff for walking. The SPD-compatible mounts are recessed behind a high-traction sole that’s designed to give grip on a trail or flat pedal. The shoe also sports a quick-drying synthetic upper that uses laces and Velcro for closure. As an added bonus for the tree-hugger in all of us, the Dice shoe is completely vegan (no animal products are used in its construction). The Dice shoe sells for $105.

Field test results:
When we decided to test the DZR Dice shoes, we didn’t expect to put them head to head with the $400 race shoes we test regularly. We were looking for something different. These shoes are not about getting the stiffest sole or the most efficient platform. 

The Dice delivers exactly what it promises. The sole is stiff where you need it to be; the fit is comfortable, and the construction is topnotch. It doesn’t feel like a high- performance race shoe, but if that’s what you were looking for, you missed the point.

We rode the Dice shoes with both Shimano XT trail and Crankbrothers Mallet 3 pedals and had no clearance issues with either one. These shoes work best with a pedal that has a bit of a platform to take advantage of the grippy sole, and we love them for that. The cleat is recessed on these shoes, which can make the engagement tougher to find, but once there, these shoes click in with no problem. The cover for the cleats must be cut off to expose the threads for the cleat bolts, but we had no trouble with the process. DZR also includes a replacement, bolt-on rubber cover—should you want to remove the cleats later on.

The Dice offers plenty of performance without it looking like you borrowed Spaceman Spiff’s shoes for your afternoon ride, and they only cost a C-note. These aren’t for everyone, but they’ve made it into our regular rotation, especially if our ride includes anything off the beaten singletrack, like a stop at a coffee or taco shop. 

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