Adding some much needed style to the staff team at the office, a very swanky pair of DZR kicks have arrived at Freewheel HQ, just in time for testing for issue #25 of Enduro Magazine. Not that we were lacking any style in the first place, but, well, every bit helps around here…

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DZR might not be a name on the tip of every mountain bikers tongue, but we’re betting that you’ll be seeing a lot more of their SPD shoes around the trails in coming years. That’s partly because of a chock-a-block roster of high-profile sponsored racers from around the globe who are flying the flag, but also because of the maturing MTB market in Australia that is beginning to embrace a new wave of apparel and gear that is kicking the ‘roadie-spandex’ look. Their range has been received with a bit of a ‘love-hate’ opinion that has divided our riding buddies and significant others, but we like the subtle aesthetic.

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The Blue Suede shoes you see here are the high-top ‘Mamba X’ SPD model, which despite their urban stylings are purpose-built for the singletrack. They feature a well-padded construction that uses an asymmetrical design with more material on the outside of the upper to protect the ankle area during the event of a crash, and less material on the inside to prevent rub between the shoe and the crank arms. One of the listed features for the Mamba X shoe, is that they’re ‘Vegan Friendly’ due to the use of a synthetic leather material that aims to save one cow at a time. But if you don’t like cows, DZR happily make the same shoe with a full grain genuine leather (called just the ‘Mamba’).

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There’s a grippy rubber ‘Link Traction Outsole’ for the base of the shoes, which you can run out of the box with flat pedals, or with clip-in pedals when you remove the rubber panel underneath the ball of the foot. What you can’t see from the outside is the metal-reinforced nylon shank that runs throughout the length of the midsole, which is used to bolster the shoes overall stiffness and stability when mashing on the pedals. Integrated reflective logos on the back of the shoe give a nod to DZR’s urban roots, making these more than just a pure dirt shoe. If you’re not a fan of the tall cut on the Mamba shoes, also available from DZR is a low-top version called the ‘Dice’ model, and they even make a womens-specific version called the ‘Link’. If your riding sees more bitumen than dirt, DZR make a whole host of other sweet kicks that elect for a more streamlined look.

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Keeping your feet snug inside the Mamba X shoes is a double act of laces and a single velcro strap. You’ll notice that the side of the shoes extend up and over the edge of the shoe laces quite deliberately, in order to both protect the retention points and to better shield your tootsies from water and contaminants. The Mamba X is available in sizes from 41-47, and the women’s Link model comes in sizes from 37-41. Suggested retail price is $159, making them competitive with offerings from Teva, Shimano and 5-10.

Keep an eye out for our in-depth review in Issue #25 of Enduro, but in the meantime you can find your nearest dealer for DZR Shoes by heading to the Aussie Importers website: Strykatrade. Or if you want to learn a bit more about the DZR range and the Mamba X shoe, check out: www.DZRShoes.com