Instead of dumping one giant, unwieldy gift guide slideshow on you this year, we're spreading out our annual gift ideas over 12 Days of Crossmas, and going a bit more in-depth in each product. Need something fast? A digital subscription to Cyclocross Magazine or a subscription combined with our latest issue are two quick, easy options to get something in the lucky recipient's hands.
(As always, we're never paid to feature such items, and so you can trust someone on the CXM Pit Crew likes these products).
DZR's H2O Cycling Sneaker
If you ride in the rain, you know wet feet can be a nuisance. San Francisco’s DZR Shoes and their H2O sneaker take a big step towards keeping your feet dry in wet conditions.
The H2O sneaker is a mid-rise, full-leather shoe with a rubber rand and gum rubber sole much like a skate shoe. The key differences are DZR’s ‘Power Plate,” a steel reinforced nylon shank, and mountain bike cleat compatibility both letting you ride as fast or technically as desired.
The H2O’s upper leather is soft and they are beautifully constructed with a gusseted tongue and an elastic band to keep the laces secure. To keep the sheepskin leather’s good looks it needs a waterproofing treatment. Thankfully, the H2Os comes with a tin of mink oil for that purpose so you can keep the leather from becoming waterlogged. Even absent such a treatment, DZR’s Hydroguard membrane sandwhiched between the leather up and a mesh liner keeps your feet dry.
DZR’s Brian Dillman told us that in their research other “waterproof shoes leaked at the area where the cleat mounts.” DZR solved that with their waterproof membrane and in real-world use the H2O is completely waterproof as long as water doesn’t come in over the top. Dip your DZR H2O-shod foot in standing water and there is no leakage.
Riding flat pedals or clipped in, the H2Os are comfortable and offer efficient pedaling. The mid-high upper does not seem to affect pedaling. But the shoe is heavy at 480 grams per shoe, typical of sneaker-style cycling shoes. The cleat pocket is also deep in the sole, an advantage when walking, but it renders pedal engagement and release a bit hard. The H2Os are also wider than typical race-oriented shoes so care should be taken in positioning cleats. DZR’s H2Os are not race shoes, though you could race in them. They're stylish, practical, and versatile for all your cycling pursuits. Plus your feet will stay dry.
More info: dzrshoes.com