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Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes review

31 Aug 2021
Verdict:

Performance cycling shoes that raise the bar for the brand

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Hugely comfortable • Utterly secure • Clever construction • Lightweight • Classy design • Stiff sole
Against 
Slightly crude dial closure • Only available in black or white

Zero disrespect intended, but Dhb – the in-house brand of online cycling retailer Wiggle – has for many years been synonymous with workaday cycling kit for the entry-level rider.

The brand’s offerings could (and still can) be relied upon to offer top-notch clobber at an attractive price, and that’s what is at the heart of its appeal.

However, the introduction of Dhb’s Aeron Lab collection, starting with the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes, heralds a new era for the home of budget kit. And, if these shoes are anything to go by, it’s going to be a golden one.

 

Fit and comfort

Life is often fraught with compromises, but the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes achieve a balance of firm fit and sumptuous comfort with no hint of a trade-off. The stretch-fit tongue of the shoes adapts to the shape of your foot as the Atop dial closures are fastened.

A fairly wide-fitting upper is accommodating (and crucially fits true to size, rather than you having to size up or apply guesswork when buying online). Even the gel insole offers a hint of comfort, but not enough cushioning to detract from feel for the pedals.

 

The trump card for me is the particularly effective grippy material at the heel which holds the back of your foot solidly in place. Featuring what Dhb refers to as a 'directional weave', your socked foot slips into the shoe but it won’t slip when you raise your pedal on the up-stroke.

Buy the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoe now from Wiggle

The one area of fit which is ever so slightly irksome is the finesse (or lack thereof) of the dial closure: it tightens as well as anything I’ve tried from the likes of Boa, but its loosening, by way of turning the dial in the opposite direction, is accompanied by a sickening crack which sounds like you’ve broken something.

 

Construction and performance

The synthetic upper of the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes is constructed from a single seamless piece of material, and textured in a way which Dhb claims to be more aerodynamically effective. The carbon sole – which you’d expect to be made from this material, given the price of the shoes – is as stiff as you’d hope.

There hasn’t been a moment in my time of riding in these shoes when I’ve felt I wasn’t get the most out of the bike. I’m not generating watts into four figures, but you feel the immediacy of input where it matters, especially when climbing.

 

This is of course aided by the incredibly secure fit offered by the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes. At 265g per size 42 shoe, they’re not the lightest, but are still respectably unbulky.

Value for money

For a brand which has built its deservedly good reputation on budget cycling kit, it’s arguably a risk to be launching a premium product. However, the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes are indeed a triumph of decent design, optimum comfort and lossless performance.

Buy the Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoe now from Wiggle

For the same money, or even slighlty less, you can pick up carbon-composite-soled shoes from much more ‘sexy’ brands, but I’d argue that with the Dhb example you’re not making the same compromises in the comfort or fit departments.

Nor for that matter are you paying for the name. A greater degree of colour options would be nice, but black or white will go with anything…

The Dhb Aeron Lab Carbon Road shoes are classy, comfy and fast – apart from the less-than-classy closure method, there’s nothing to stop me from recommending them unreservedly.

Price: 
£180

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