I had been looking for a pair of new cycling shoes for the past several months. Last year I had just finished building up my sweet F. Moser Leader Ax and wanted something special.
One main decision makers in the process was that I do not like the look of the modern shoe with the straps and clips. I began to wonder if there were a nice leather cycle shoe out there. After all my best hiking boots are leather (in good shape and more that 20 years old), my nicest and most comfortable dress shoe is leather (italian i might add) and my old rock climbing shoes have a leather upper. Why not my bike shoe too?
Like any modern aged asshole with an internet connection, I googled, 'leather cycling shoe'. It didn't take too long before I found that Dromarti is making and selling just what I wanted. Then this spring, Bicycling magazine features the shoe in a 'gear' issue. Time to pull the trigger.
After figuring out that my size 10 American foot needed a size 43 European shoe I ordered the 'Sportivo' in black. Martin Scofield soon got back to me that the order would be delayed a month due to a back order issue and that payment would held until the shoes shipped. I was not in a big hurry so I was not at all worried about this.
My shoes were shipped and arrived about 4 weeks later. Much to my initial disappointment I received the shoe in brown, not the black I had ordered or was indicated on the enclosed order forms. Although after looking at them for a while, I realized that it was a 'good' mistake. I contacted Martin, told him of the error and my decision. He promptly refunded me the cost difference.
Brown does have more of a 'classic' look and ultimately that was I was going for. The leather is soft right out of the box and has that sweet, sweet ' im gonna get high sniffing the leather' odor. The contrasting light brown interior is beautiful.
I have only had a chance to use them for one ride so far. It has been cold and these are not for cold weather. The fit is tight laterally across my foot so extra socks are not an option. I squoze my foot in there with the laces fully loose, adjusted the tongue and tightened them while weighting my foot. If there is one thing I have learned about leather, and shoes in particular, is to set them up perfectly the first time, because you will never undo a bad crease or slanted tounge.
I set out on the initial ride. The fit reminds me of my rock climbing shoes or ice skates, tight enough to make your foot muscles tired but all in the name of performance. Regardless of the tight fit I found them very comfortable and had no issues with hots spots. The heel cup, a common problem area, was unnoticeable. Im sure it wont take long for the leather to form to my foot,stretch a bit, and be super comfortable. Especially if they get wet and I ride until they dry. After all I had the same experience with my hiking boots.
Be warned, by purchasing these shoes you are importing them into the US and will be subject to duty import fees. Mine were an extra 56$ that I was not planning on; fuck you very much. Even still, the total cost is about the same as a similar high quality 'modern' sytle shoes like Sidi.
Here are some links to other reviews. BIKE RUMOR,