By Yasmeen Schuller, Intro By Brett Ratner
We here at The Chainlink are big fans of “skate” style bike shoes…particularly the type that can accept cleats to work with Shimano “SPD” or Crank Brothers clipless pedals.
For urban riding, they’re hard to beat for their combination of on bike performance, and off-bike looks and walkability. In addition, they’ve proven to be a nice option for mountain biking on slickrock trails (such as those you’d find in Moab and Sedona). Closer to home, they’re ideal for trips up to Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park. Why? Because if you’re riding a tricky section and have to bail, the gym shoe sole will stick to whatever you may happen to land on (or need to climb back up). A hard plastic mountain bike sole can just skate away as if you’re on ice (not a lot of fun).
Five years ago, I unknowingly purchased a pair of DZR shoes, branded as a limited edition product from Mission Workshop.
Hundreds of commutes and 16,000 miles later, they are tattered and worn, but still miraculously holding up.
So, when the Chainlink was offered the chance to test a new pair of DZR’s, Chainlink owner Yasmeen was super excited to experience the goodness. Here’s her impressions of their “Minna” model…
Taking the DZR Minnas out of the box, I immediately liked them because they don’t look super “bikey”. Unless I am out on a training ride or longer ride, I try to minimize the bikey look and pass as a regular person that just happens to be on a bike. This pair of shoes is great for looking “normal.” I can use my Shimano SPD pedals when I want to clip in or, if I don’t, they are just as comfortable with flat pedals. Simply remove the cleats and put the protective rubber plate back on. Basically, these bike shoes are sneakers. They’re a touch stiffer than the average sneaker but that’s a good thing when riding a bike.
Sometimes I need to jump off my bike to climb a rocky section of the trail.
I took the pair with me recently on vacation to Arizona so I could use them when we rented mountain bikes in Sedona. I brought my SPD pedals to help me conquer the climbs - I’m such a flatlander, I need all the help I can get. Sedona proved to be quite muddy in some sections of the trail and I was really glad I wore this pair of shoes. They had decent grip on the slippery, muddy ground and if I had to jump off the bike for a very rocky section, the shoes were great for walking/climbing up rocks. I’m also a big fan of the recent trend in lace-up shoes. I have a high arch and lace-ups fit and feel so much better than Velcro on my feet. I don't have to worry about loose laces because there's a loop on the shoe to tuck the laces into.
DZR Minna's held up well in Sedona mud.
More recently, I took this pair with me to Ray’s, on my own mountain bike and they were the perfect pair – much more low-key, great grip if I put my foot down, and I love the way they look.
They are also easy to clean - once the mud on the shoes dried, it was easy to brush it off and make them look like new.
All in all if you’re looking for a casual shoe that offers a little extra performance on the bike, there are worth checking out.
Visit dzrshoes.com to learn more.