Sneakers come in all shapes and sizes but very few can securely clip you into your favorite bike. From commuting to a casual weekend ride DZR has utility and function in mind to make your day that much easier. In the past we have looked at some of their shoe designs as having too much of this or not enough of that without finding that proper fit needed to call them our go to pair of shoes. We are proud to say that the Mechanic has swayed all of our opinions in a very positive way.
When we first laid eyes on the DZR Mechanic shoes we noticed how simple they were in appearance and this was honestly the deciding factor needed to give these a try. Let’s face it, the idea of having cleat compatibility on an everyday shoe is only helpful if the shoe looks good enough to wear in public with confidence. Unless you are a passionate cyclist who walks around in their racing shoes with pride you probably wouldn’t even give the idea a second thought. As the images show the mechanic looks just like an attractive pair of skate/surf inspired shoes that wear seamlessly with denim and shorts. The perforated toecap is vegan and looks just as good if not better than a leather replacement could offer. This proved to be the case whether we were going out for an evening dinner or daily errands the shoes were received well among our friends.
Aside from looks the mechanic packs a plethora of unique features to please the everyday cyclist. We used these shoes weekly as we commuted only a few miles to work. When you’re on the bike storage is at a minimum and carrying the laptop and notebook is far more important than a second pair of shoes. Fortunately the mechanic fits our dress code well and might even enhance your style at the same time. When on the bike we were pleased with the ballistic nylon sides of the shoe as they are compliant yet provide protection from pedal strikes or road debris. To add durability the shoe DZR constructed the sole from natural sticky rubber for a functional grip on a wide variety of surfaces. We will admit that the sole is much thicker than what you might be used to on any casual shoe but also serves as a solid platform between you and your pedals.
Just when you thought you would have to leave the tech features at home we discovered what DZR refers to as variable flex shank. This can more commonly be referred to as a full length nylon mid-sole for added stiffness and power transfer. Although not visible from the outside this was a noticeable feature when out of the saddle during the morning commute.
Let’s get down to the bare metal here….
The mechanic is compatible with both Shimano spd cleat as well as crankbrothers premium cleats. Both options mount extremely smoothly with the removal of the rubber screw plate. Initially we noticed that the cleats appear to be recessed too much to make contact with the pedal and we assure you that you will notice this as well. Fortunately there is no need to be alarmed as contact was made and the cleat engaged comfortably at that. You can add contact sleeves as needed a well if you prefer a different feel.
Over all you will find a comfortable fit both on and off the bike. Given our use we advise that you fit the shoe a half size down that what you are used to as the nose has a bit of extra space. If you have a wider foot you will snug into the mechanic and if you are a fan of your narrow performance footwear you will need to tighten the laces down as the outsole if forgiving. DZR has launched many attractive and functional riding shoes in the past but the mechanic is by far their greatest feat yet.