dhb's entry-level road shoes offer a fair amount of stiffness and a simple velcro closure system - but beware of the sizing
The dhb Troika Road Shoe offers a good level of stiffness for an entry-level shoe as well as excellent ventilation. However, as we’ve found with the rest of dhb’s shoe range, you need to watch out for sizing.
The Troika is one of two shoes introduced by dhb at the £70 mark, alongside the Dorica we’ve already reviewed. The main difference between the two is the closure system; whereas the Troika we have here has three velcro straps, the Dorica goes for a classic lace-up look.
Both sets of shoes were unveiled last autumn, with dhb promising to ‘shake up’ the cycling shoe market with their first footwear range for five years. It’s fair to say these shoes present good value for money, while the flagship Aeron shoes also offer plenty of bang for your buck, coming with a carbon fibre sole and micro-adjustable dial closure for £120.
Unsurprisingly, both the Troika and Dorica shoes share a similar construction, with the primary difference being the closure.
A semi-perforated synthetic upper is paired with further vented areas at the ankle and heel to ensure plenty of ventilation throughout the shoe. The material is hard wearing and, while testing white shoes made avoiding marks near impossible, they wiped off easily enough after grubby rides without overshoes. The upper isn’t particularly supple but neither is it uncomfortable, which is the priority with shoes at this price.
Back to the ventilation; there are also three vents along the bottom of the shoes – two below the toe box and another underneath the foot’s arch – and the airflow is noticeable.
The shoes are built around a nylon sole and although it’s not as firm as more expensive carbon or carbon composite soles, it does a decent job when it comes to power transfer and stiffness.
At the back, meanwhile, you’ll find a rubber heel buffer along with a rubber strip at the front to help when walking. The shoes are designed for a three hole cleat system, with markers to help align your cleats properly, but they are also compatible with two-bolt SPD pedals.
As mentioned, the main difference between the dhb Troika Road Shoes and the Doricas is the three velcro straps, as opposed to the lace-closure. The velcro straps work well and make use of a tried-and-tested system whereby the buckles are slightly off-centre to ensure nothing digs into your feet. Indeed, to the untrained eye the closure system makes them look fairly similar to the Giro Techne or Rapha Climber’s shoes.
One important thing to note, however, is the fit. It’s significantly larger than you would expect, with Wiggle even recommending you buy one size smaller than you normally would. I sized down to a 42 over my usual 43 and they still felt a little on the large size. Not ideal given you’ll be buying these online.
These are entry level shoes, of course, so they’re not the lightest – 289g per shoe for a size 42 is quite heavy. Nevertheless, at £70 there’s not a whole lot to dislike here.
The dhb Troika Road Shoes have a strong look, good stiffness for an entry-level nylon sole and effective ventilation. They are a little on the heavy side, but for the kind of riding most people do, this won’t be a significant issue.
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