As the end of summer approached, I looked down at my old cycling shoes and realised they were slightly more battered than I'd previously convinced myself, so I set out searching for a new pair of shoes to see me through the autumn and into next year. Around this time DHB announced their revamped shoes. After a little bit of research I thought I'd give them a whirl and happily received a pair from my other half for my birthday.
The shoe of choice was the lace up 'DHB Dorica' which comes with the following specification from Wiggle and is available in black or white:
- Lightweight synthetic upper; semi perforated upper for breathability
- Ergonomic lacing system for a precise fit
- Nylon sole with three Bolt Look/SPD SL Road cleat fitting mounts and MTB SPD option
I chose to have the black version in the hope that they would look cleaner for longer. Straight out of the box the size 45 pair I have weigh in at just under 300g per shoe; they're not the lightest shoe in the world but for £70 nobody really expects that.
When it comes to putting them on your feet DHB have done a pretty good job. One of the things I always struggle with is finding a wider cycling shoe to accommodate my wide feet. Thankfully DHB have taken into consideration that we don't all have super skinny feet and given a bit of wiggle room that you don't get in a great deal of cycling shoes these days.
Lacing up the shoe is something best done after jiggling your feet around a little to find the best position, but once you're in and laced up properly the shoes feel snug and hold your foot in place well; the benefit of laces being that you can open and close them up at various points on your foot to get a snug fit. There is more than enough lace in the shoe for you to be able to knot up as you wish and half way down the shoe you'll find an elastic retainer to tuck away the rest of the shoe lace. One niggle for me here was the length of the laces; there is just a bit too much on the shoes so even when they're tucked away they still feel a bit too long.
The base of the shoe is made of Nylon rather than carbon so offers up a little more flexibility but still feels sufficiently stiff enough under power. The choice of base material means that the flexibility they provide makes them a little comfier over longer days. Unlike most shoes I've owned in the past DHB have chosen to position the vent in the shoe towards the mid-sole, almost directly underneath the arch of the foot. I hadn't quite considered the impact of this until I rode a few frosty mornings recently; by placing the vent further back in the shoe it still allows for air flow but stops you getting frozen toes quite so easily or spray from the road into the shoe. Overshoes also cover the vent for deeper winter riding.
Another point of note, though applicable to all lace up shoes, is that they allow you to pull on an overshoe so much easier than those with a Boa or ratchet system. Once you've tucked the laces away overshoes slide on easily and sit flush with the shoe rather than jutting out where the tightening systems would usually be found.
Overall I've been impressed with the shoe so far, having covered over 1,000 miles in them at this point. You can't really go wrong for £70 and end up with a shoe that looks every bit as good as its upmarket comparatives for a fraction of the price. As mentioned above my biggest niggle is the rather long shoe laces but you can just swap them for your own if you feel the need.
You can buy the shoes over at Wiggle: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-dorica-road-shoe/