What It Is: A thoroughly modern urban sneaker that is SPD-compatible but doesn’t look it.
Why We Like It: Commuter bike geeks are kind of obsessed with footwear (trust us). If you ride regularly, clipless pedals and compatible shoes are a necessity, but that almost always means having to carry a “regular” pair to change into once you get to the office. There are some bike shoes out there that claim to be wearable all day, but we usually find them to be either too casual and sneaker-like or still too technical looking. The DZR Mechanics split the difference superbly. These comfortable lace-up shoes are cut like a deck shoe, but the brown ballistic nylon paired with the natural colored gum rubber sole make them eye-catching in an unassuming way. We got multiple complements from people who had no idea that SPD cleats were hiding underneath. Plus, those cleats were recessed enough so the metal didn’t click when we walked, but perfectly placed for easily clipping in and out of our pedals. Riding was always comfortable, and the sticky sole provided plenty of traction off the bike.
Nitpick: While the Mechanics’ soles are designed to be stiff in strategic places when you ride, we didn’t find them to be stiff enough. Any trip beyond the most casual morning commute had us wishing there was a bit less flex and better power transfer to the pedals.