About two years or so ago, I stumbled upon this company and their "sneakers." Six months later I saw them at Interbike, a cycling trade show held annually in Las Vegas, NV. I took a pair home and wore them religiously for a year and a half. As a messenger, I was clomping into buildings wearing road shoes, then advanced to mt bike shoes with a smaller cleat slipping and scrapping all over tiles, hardwoods and marble floors. Seeing the evolution of a street shoe with SPD capabilities was a breath of fresh air.
After cutting out the sole and mounting a Crank Bros Eggbeater cleat ( http://www.crankbrothers.com/pedals_eggbeater.php ), a very slight tapping of the metal to the floor was still there. I've worn through a couple of cleats over the year because of this, but its still an incredible advantage over using spacey looking clipless shoes with minimal traction. The first round of laces have long been replaced, so be sure to tuck them into the shoe or the now provided elastic lace catch above the toe-box on the tongue.
With a full length, variable flex, stiff mid-sole shank, the transfer of power to the pedals is much better than a regular shoe, more helpful on sprints and climbs but still comfortable enough for walking around your local market, restaurant/bar or off-site meetings.
Spending several hours and consecutive days in these shoes is possible with comfort due to the flexible nylon mid-sole. The shoe holds up well in the rain. Take out the tongue and the shoe dries over night. Through heavy use though, I have broken the mid-sole where the cleat attaches. They may have addressed this in the new Task Series by an integrating metal reinforcement to their standard nylon shank. Today these shoes would be the predecessor of the Midnight low-top sneaker.
The lifespan of these shoes, cosmetically, is a year of moderate use. Keep in mind, I have had one pair I used heavily, exclusively and daily. Its a year and a half later and the shoe has been retired to recreational use strictly due to the cosmetic aspects. Its still possible to use them and they still hold up strong but are just not in the most presentable condition. The reviewed shoe is now destroyed and a new review is in the works for a more current shoe under moderate usage, the Strasse, both male and female versions.
Ezz has also been testing out the Strasse:
On a weekend trip up to NYC, My main focus (besides spending time with my lovely wife Erin, hi honey, winkies) was to get a pair of casual cycling shoes. I really liked Sharif's DZR's, and since they don't have any commuter specialty bike stores in Atlanta, I used my trip to NYC to check out both the Chrome store and a couple of cycle shops that carried DZR. I hit up the Chrome store in Soho, tried on the Midway pro's and just felt they were to bulky for my narrow feet, leaving disappointed because I really liked the way they looked online. Later, we passed by Bicycle Habitat to check out their selection. They only had 3 pairs of DZR's left, I was glad to see they had a pair of the Strasse's (http://dzrshoes.com/strasse) just for me and a pair of Tosca's (http://dzrshoes.com/tosca) for Erin.
Upon arriving back to Atlanta, I couldn't wait to take my new kicks for a spin, of course I hadn't switched the pedals yet, so I scurried over to Loose Nuts (www.loosenutscycles.com/) to pick some up. I snagged a pair of Crank Bros Eggbeaters & cleats (review coming soon!), and rode back Removing the rubber from the DZR's was pretty easy, I was super careful and had a sharp knife to cut around the edges with jedi like precision. After screwing the cleats in I was ready to ride. For a while I was nervous about being clipped in on my bike; mostly mental, but after a couple of practice rounds clipping in and out, paired with a short ride around Atlanta and I was hooked. /span>
Now, I use these shoes all the time, from hitting the bars with friends, long weekend rides, to working at the Tabernacle keeping up with the hustle and bustle of patrons anxiously gearing up to watch whatever band is playing. For those who want a comfortable SPD shoe that you can wear everywhere, without haulin around another pair of shoes, and not clomping about with road bike , get on it. The only thing I would change is the extremely long laces, I just find them unnecessary, but fortunately the smarties at DZR have made a nice little rubber loop in the tongue for me to tuck those bad boys away. But plain and simple, I love my DZR's. If they were a woman, I'd seduce them into sleeping with me, then I'd actually call them the next day.
Future tests will include the beefier Task series shoe from DZR, comparable Chrome's pro series shoe and others. Another test, another day. We're looking forward to seeing the progression of DZR.
UPDATE 4/16/2014: After 2 years of hard rides the DZR Strasse's shank cracked in half on my way back home after a weekend of putting in some miles. Unfortunately for me they were one of my favorite shoes of all time and were as comfortable and broken in as a new pair of blue jeans! The snap did not affect my riding at all, so don't worry if this happens to you while on a long trek, they'll hold up just fine once your destination is reached. These shoes withstood, long-standing nights working at the Tabernacle, and were even flexible enough to chase down a non-paying patron trying to blast through the doors!!
But everyone is different, all people ride differently so they may last longer with lighter use. But as you know we beat the hell out of everything we test to give you fine consumers the best and accurate review we can! But DZR's shoes are 100% Spindlero approved, and recommend them highly!! But after a day of bidding the Strasse adieu and pouring a sip or two on the concrete, we've now moved on to the Jetlag Nero's and hope to get in a review for you lovely people in the near future!!