On first inspection of the “Cove” shoe from the US shoe manufacturer DZR you’d think you’ve just got a typical lifestyle shoe in your hands.
All the more surprising then when you discovered the thread holes for fitting pedal cleats. “Cool, finally a stylish mountainbike shoe which works with clipless pedals” – but does the function of a special sports shoes suffer from the looks? We used them for a few weeks and here’s what we learnt.

Review - DZR Schuhe (1 von 7)

The world of mountainbikers is divided into two camps: clipped-in and flat. Both choices have advantages and disadvantages, and there are even those who use both systems. Whoever decides for a clipped in connection to their bike does it for quite clear reasons: a more rigid sole allows a better power transfer, pedalling loads are more balanced through pulling on the pedal (you are closer to the “round-cadence”) and losing contact with the pedals in rough terrain or on harsh landings is almost impossible.

Qualities which you get used to very quickly and then also want for every-day cycling. A clipless shoe for an indirect ride to the ice-cream parlour, to commute or to ride to the beer garden also needs to have other characteristics: it needs to look good. The “Cove” shoes from the American brand DZR certainly shine in that respect, but how does it look with comfort, durability and function?

Right from the start the looks of the Cove match its comfort. It’s nice to wear and doesn’t pinch anywhere. Walking is also easier than with most clipless pedal shoes.
This is mostly down to the less rigid sole. The workmanship of the the thin upper and inner material is great, the shoes are well sewn and glued together. The uppers are made from a strong artificial leather and cloth material so the shoe is absolutely vegan friendly. The toe box has an additional layer of rubber to increase strength and improve durability.

The shoes are fastened with classic laces and are supplied with a bright orange and more subdued brown set. Both proved to be reliable and never came undone during use. There is no additional buckle at the top of the laces but the lace ends can be stowed under a practical rubber band so ensuring that they don’t get snarled up in your drivetrain.

Dank einem eingearbeitetem Reflektor an der Rückseite des Schuhs ist man im Dunkeln besser sichtbar
Thanks to a built-in reflector on the rear of the shoe you will be more visible at night
Eine zusätzliche Gummischicht im Bereich der Zehen soll Verschleißfestigkeit gewährleisten
An extra layer of rubber over the toe area should increase durability

The sole of the Cove shoes also exhibits many characteristics of a street shoe. The smooth profile and hard rubber material do however decrease grip when pushing on damp or dusty forest trails. After a few meters riding the bike we also wished a slightly more rigid sole. The cut-out area of the soles for mounting the cleats wasn’t glued well on our test model. This meant that dirt could collect between the rubber and plastic layers allowing the rubber to continue to peel off. The quality here needs improvement.

 An der Aussparung der Gummisohle war unser Testmodell schlecht verklebt.  Hier sammelt sich Dreck zwischen den Sohlen, der die Gummisohle weiter abreißen lässt.
The cut-out section of the rubber sole on our test model was badly glued.
Dirt can build up between the soles allowing the rubber layer to further peel away.

The sideways positioning of the cleat mounting rails is not optimal. We had to position the cleat as far inwards as possible in order to get enough clearance between the shoe and the crankarms. This moves the feet very far in and doesn’t leave enough scope for fine tuning of your position. There’s plenty of room to adjust the cleat forwards/backwards. The cleat sits sufficiently deeply recessed in the sole to prevent unnecessary cleat wear when walking. However it is also noticeable that in spite of the fitted cleat there are open positions on the interrupted sole which are only protected by a thin membrane, not sufficient to protect your feet from the elements in the mountains. Dirt and water can penetrate to your feet easily.

Die Möglichkeiten zur Positionierung des Cleats ist teilweise ungenügend
The options for positioning the cleats are not quite sufficient


  • Modell: DZR Cove
  • Price: 109,90€
  • Weight: 520g (Shoe / Gr.44)
  • Available Sizes: 41 – 47


The DZR Cove offers great looks and a nice fit. If you don’t need a super stiff sole and can live with the somewhat restricted cleat positioning you’ll find a well made show in the Cove which looks good both on rides and whilst supping beer afterwards.

More info: http://www.dzrshoes.eu/

Words: Daniel Schlicke / Hannah Röther Photos: Christoph Bayer

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.