DVS, while usually regarded as a skateboard shoe company, has of late been pumping out really cool bicycle-influenced kicks. Being someone who tends to wear through shoes rather quickly, I was excited when I read about the Rico CT collaboration with Cadence on the DVS Shoes website: “Products that wear into themselves opposed to wearing out is at the core of the new DVS by Cadence Facade Collection. With CTC-Technology, these monochromatic shoes are made with screen printed canvas that will reveal a story through wear and use, becoming more interesting and unique with age, challenging the idea of new is good and old is bad.”
Shoes that wear in instead of out??? Sign me up.
A bike riding “lifestyle” can be tough on shoes. Not only does the pressure exerted on the pedal wear out the sole of the shoe at an astonishing rate, bikes also can take you places where you then get off and walk; sometimes places where the terrain that you are walking on isn’t so friendly to the ole rubber sole. It probably doesn’t help that my BMX is currently a member of the oh-so-trendy no-brakes club. After wearing through a pair of Vans shoes in less than two months, I was itching to tryout something new. Thankfully, I check out John Prolly Watson’s blog quite often and he seems to be hip to neat biking products that are designed to work well on and off the bike. I have a pair of SIDI shoes that I wear when I clip in, but let’s be honest; they don’t go with all outfits and sometimes you just don’t want to click and clack when you walk.
The Rico CT is $60, which is cheap compared to most SPD-style bike shoes, but just average when considering a regular “shoe-style shoe”. Although DVS seems mainly to be referring to the neat worn-in look these shoes will acquire once they are . . . uh . . . worn in with the quote I shared, the screen printed canvas does makes for a very sturdy and comfortable shoe.
I happened to receive these shoes just a day before I was to pack up and move out of my apartment, so they got a nice breaking in via walking up and down two flights of stairs over and over and over with lots of heavy boxes and things. Like most well made shoes, the initial break-in period hurt a bit, but after just two days of regular use they were already shaping themselves to my feet. I recommend wearing a little bit thicker socks than you normally might, at least for this period. Your heels will thank you.
On a bike they perform great, as they should. The soles are just stiff enough for an efficient power transfer (as the term goes) to the pedal, which also helps to not let your foot bend around the pedal. Where many SPD-style shoes have soles that are so stiff that it’s awkward to walk around in them, these do just fine in all scenarios. I’ve pedaled them around Seattle and Ashland, moved myself out of the 3rd story of an apartment building, did a little hiking/scrambling/rocking climbing in them, and have hit restaurants, bars, and cafes with varying degrees of “class”. Also, the classic waffle-pattern-type tread-things on the bottom of the sole grips the pedal nicely and hopefully will last a while.
One of the places where I have had a problem in the past with other shoes is where the rubber sole meets the material of the uppers. This is a place that is very prone to scuffing and being knocked and dragged against things, so time will tell if the Rico CTs stay in one piece. So far, though, so good.
I bought these to use with the flat pedals that are on my touring bike (and the ones on my BMX, too, I s’pose) and they’ve been great. I’ve had a lot of people ask me about what it’s like to transition from clipping in all the time to not and well . . . I’ve really enjoyed it, but I’ve been riding flats on at least one of my bikes for almost a year now. Is riding on flats for you? Maybe. It’s really just personal preference. I really like being able to wear “normal” shoes and not go “clip-clop” when walking around grocery stores, coffee shops, class rooms, etc. It’s a bit of a mental switch to figure out efficient pedaling without cleats, but once you get it it seems just as easy and fast as when you’re clipped.
All in all these shoes are winners for me. I’ll even go as far as to say that they’re the best skate-style shoes that I have ever owned. They’re clean and simple looking, sturdy and supportive, and work well on and off the bike. For $60 they seem like a fair deal and come in the gray seen here, as well as black and a reddish “Port” color. Check out the DVS siteto see them and order them. Also, a big thanks to Prolly for having ads on his site that promote quality products that actually cut it in the real world.