Riding with normal shoes can be uncomfortable even with wide platform pedals on your commuting bike. Not only can you usually feel pressure points from the pedal through the soles of the shoe, you are also unable to take advantage of more efficient clipless pedals. Conversely, cycling specific clipless shoes are difficult to walk with and commuting in them would require traveling with or keeping a pair of regular shoes to swap out at your destination. Especially if you have a multi-modal commute (bike-train-bus) the hassle of cycling specific clipless shoes are rarely worth it. Therefore, the ideal commuting shoe should be comfortable, provide a clipless option, and also look good on and off the bike. This brings us to the topic of this review, the DZR S24O commuting shoes. Not only do these shoes have a sleek and urban design, but DZR has incorporated a variable stiffness sole and Shimano SPD cleat compatibility.
The urban leather exterior of the S24O gives the shoes a casual look, while the cycling specific features make this a good shoe for commuting or exploring with.
Developed for flat pedal or clipless use, the S24O shoes combine the benefits of normal shoes with cycling shoes. A variable stiffness nylon sole provides great power transfer and eliminates pleasure points from pedals, while a recessed SPD cleat mount design allows you to ride clipless without sacrificing walkability. In this review we’ll be specifically looking at the mustard finish S240 shoes (they are also offered in navy) in a size EUR 44.
|Category||Cycling Shoes (Commuter)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||1062 (EUR 44)|
|Likes|| + Sleek design|
+ SPD pedal compatibility
+ Great on or off the bike
|Dislikes||– Recessed design may interfere with unclipping|
– SPD is not as power efficient as 3-bolt cleat styles
– Nylon sole may have too much flex for some
|Where to Buy (US)||DZR|
While DZR uses a standard cardboard box for the S24O shoes it’s clear their designers have put some time into the graphics on the box. Brown accents on and around the box give it a more premium appearance, while DZR printed paper protects the shoes inside the box.
In the box you’ll find:
- S24O Shoes
- Simple branding tags attached to shoes
The shoes come with the SPD cleat mount area covered. These covers can easily be removed with an allen key to attach cleats.
Whether you’re a cyclist or not, the midtop design and mustard leather finish of the S24Os is easy to appreciate. The clean lines of the shoes give it a chic look that makes them feel at home in the office or on the road. We particularly like the look of the lightweight leather upper material and flannel lining that give the shoes an urban touch. DZR actually markets the S24Os as bikepacking friendly shoes due to the mid top boot design that provides additional ankle support. To this end, the product name itself S-24-O is an acronym for sub-24-hour overnighter bikepacking trips.
What separates an average product from a great product? Details! Personalized touches or design elements can give a product a more premium appearance and also vastly improve the day-to-day usability. The DZR S24O shoes have a number of clever design details that we were excited to discover. Starting from the rear of the shoe, you’ll notice a large reflective patch shaped like a chain link that provides additional nighttime safety and is on brand. On the front of the shoes, there is an elastic band attached to the tongue that allows you to secure any loose laces when riding. On the underside of the shoe, the sole carries the same chain link pattern which provides better grip for walking.
Unlike typical road cycling shoes which mostly utilize single or dual BOA dials, the DZR shoes have a standard lace up design. The shoe provides hooks all the way up the tongue, making it easy to dial in the desired tightness with the shoes. Although these shoes don’t provide as secure a fit as higher end road cycling shoes, they provided enough tension for cruising around town or faster sprints. The elastic catch on the tongue that allows you to tuck any extra length of lacing safely is a particularly nice touch. The laces themselves have a brown/yellow alternating color scheme that complements the shoes.
One of our main concerns with DZR shoes was how well they could balance the different demands that walking and cycling require. An ideal walking shoe has a soft and flexible sole that allows you to move naturally, while a cycling shoe has a stiff sole for optimal power transfer between you and the bike. We were pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the shoes were off the bike. While they aren’t as comfortable as knitted running shoes, with the variable stiffness sole design, they flex near the rear of the shoe while still being stiff at the cleat attachment point. They are easy to walk with and have a pleasantly cushioned sole. The chain link sole pattern also provides enough traction to take the shoes off the beaten track. Thanks to the recessed cleat design, you can also leave the SPD cleats in place and still walk with them normally.
On the bike, the nylon sole does a good job of distributing the pressure of the pedals and providing power transfer. We found that it provided a good balance between comfort and stiffness, and allowed us to ride faster. Using the dual sided pedal (i.e. Bontrager Commuter pedals or others) you can take advantage of both the SPD cleats or use them as a standard platform pedal. We highly recommend utilizing the SPD clipless cleats if your commutes are longer than a few blocks, as riding clipless allows you to ride faster and more efficiently. One issue with usability was unclipping the shoes from the SPD pedals required some wiggling as it seemed like the shoes would rub against the shoe itself. It’s not clear if this is due to the pedals we used or the fact that recessed cleat design may be too narrow.
Overall, we found that the DZR S24O are great looking and comfortable shoes on or off the bike. The ability to use SPD pedals without sacrificing walkability makes them a great option for commuters or simply riding around town faster. We really appreciated the little design details that DZR put in the shoes to make them more cycling specific like the reflective rear element, SPD mounts and elastic lace strap. The mid-top boot design and leather exterior gives them a casual yet urban look that looks good riding around town or in an office setting. While we found the SPD pedals less efficient than 3-bolt road pedals, as well as a little difficult to unclip as they would rub against the recessed sole, they provide the clipless benefits we expected. All in all, we think the DZR S24O shoes are a good option for anyone looking for a good pair of looking non-cycling specific shoes.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by DZR. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.