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Dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial cycling shoes review

2 Nov 2017
Verdict:

Designed for performance, the carbon sole show is dhb's latest attempt at high end for a budget

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£120
For 
Stiff and comfortable, good value for money
Against 
Dhb branding may be off-putting for some, made my feet look boxy

Somebody recently described Dhb to me as an 'unstoppable force' in the cycling market. Time will tell how accurate that opinion is, but it's safe to say gone are the days of the brand offering cheap, poor-quality cycling kit from underneath Wiggle's umbrella.

Dhb has now earned its own place at the table of cycling kit giants – and is only getting bigger. 

These days, it produces merino jerseys, aero bibshorts and now carbon-soled shoes, the kind of products you'd normally associate with high and mighty European brands.

Buy the Dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial cycling shoes from Wiggle now

Dhb's decision to release a carbon-soled shoe makes sense, too. Shoes, alongside helmets and sunglasses, represent the last piece of the puzzle – crack good cycling shoes and you've pretty much made it.

At £120, the price is certainly attractive and will likely sway a fair number of buyers on its own. The question is: what are you getting for your money?

Having worked in a shoe shop during my university days, I know how particular people can be about what they put on their feet and how hard it therefore is for a shoe brand to cater for all.

Your feet are most likely different to mine, and mine are different to the next person. 

My feet are long and flat, resembling a diver's fin, with a deceptively high arch despite their pancake appearance. They spread wide and the bones protrude. Much to the displeasure of gift buyers, my feet usually destruct a shoe within a few months.

In a word, my feet are awkward.

So when I slid my foot into the Aeron show for the first time, I was left smiling.

My long and flat foot found plenty of room thanks to the flat footbed, which suited my paddle-like feet. This flat profile also helps make the shoe customisable, making it easy to add a specific inner sole for those with high arches.

Dhb promises comfort from this shoe, then again all shoe makers do. But despite the rigid carbon sole I wasn't felt with the kind of aches and pains after a long day in the saddle that I've experienced from many far pricier alternatives.

From the top,the Aeron dial appear more box-like and less sleek than your typical carbon-soled performance shoes. But for me that's a compromise worth making for increased comfort.

And flipping that on its head, Just because these shoes are comfortable, doesn't mean to say that performance has taken a hit.

In the saddle, out of the saddle, on the rivet and pushed back into your seat, these shoes did a great job of transferring my power, such as it is, straight through to the pedals and I rarely felt hard done by when pushing them to the limit.

Weight is kept down to a respectable 325g including cleats (size 44), making them by no means the lightest shoes around, but far from the heaviest too. They feel more like a driver's moccasin than a ballerina's slipper – but definitely not a worker's boot.

Dhb has opted against the Boa dial, preferring its own Atop design. The main difference is that instead of the pull and twist method for loosening the dial, the Dhb system requires a simple hard twist to undo, something that worked for me but won't be to everyone's liking.

Looking at the shoe off the foot, it's fair to say it isn't the most striking of designs, and the oversized branding that stretches over the entire outside of the upper isn't to my taste.

If like me, you may be after a more refined look, at £50 cheaper Dhb also offers the Dorica. 

Those looking for a more subtly branded alternative may find Dhb's lace-up Dorica shoes a more understated choice, and one that's £50 cheaper too.

Buy the Dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial cycling shoes from Wiggle now

Unlike the Doricas, though, these shoes have been designed as performance-focused road racing shoes.

And while Dhb may struggle to convince existing carbon shoe owners to switch allegiances, for those looking to invest in their first pair of carbon shoes the Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial will be an attractive choice.

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