The Jetlags are another offering from casual SPD shoe specialist DZR. Marketed as women's specific, it's good to see another design available on the market for people who want the performance and security of SPDs, without the geeky looks of a cycling shoe.
Depite my initial enthusiasm about this being women's kit in proper non-gender stereotypical colours, I found the style a little underwhelming. Aside from a limited run of knee high boots, the Jetlags are the only women specific shoes in the range (although the other designs are marketed as unisex). In fact, the design is exactly the same as DZR's Nero shoe. Presumably the women specific aspect is to do with fit.
There are some nice touches: a reflective design element in the shape of an inset chainlink on the heel, and thick vulcanised rubber buffers on the toe and sides, which will ensure your feet are protected.
The idea here is a 'performance casual shoe', and the Jetlags are certainly a world away from standard trainers: the soles are surprisingly stiff on the bike, and the increased power transfer and foot stability was noticeable over riding with flexy trainers or everyday footwear. A shaped heel cup and padded edging around the ankle worked adequately to keep my heels in place, though there was a little heel slip when walking off the bike.
I wasn't hugely impressed by the grip of the rubber soles, especially in wet weather on metal pedals. A bit of artistic etching on the soles lends some tread to much of the surface, but the 8cm x 5cm cutout-able rectangle above the cleat / ball of foot is pretty much smooth: hardly ideal. I eventually cut out this section to test the shoe with SPD cleats installed; a simple process of running a craft knife over the pre-scored section of rubber. The shoes are supplied with clear plastic stickers to go under the insoles to prevent water ingress, and I haven't had any issues going through puddles. Clipping in removes the slight niggles over grip, and the shoes performed very well with no clearance issues, even on pedals with a support platform.
Off the bike, walking is just fine. They do lend a slight roll to your gait, but that's soon forgotten about, and I couldn't feel the cleat at all.
The shoes are a tidy construction job: all seams and welds are well finished, and the thick canvas uppers add to the overall sturdy, solid feel. That sense of durability hasn't been lost in the test period, and I'm confident that they'll stand up well over time.
Be aware of the sizing. The test pair are 39s, which is the size I always wear for Converse All Stars and Vans; both 'off the bike' shoes in a style and materials comparable to the Jetlag. Sole to sole, all 3 pairs of shoes have almost identical length, but in use, the DZRs come up probably a half size smaller.
The Jetlags are 'slip on', which is where the design failed me a bit. My feet aren't exceptionally wide, but the widest part of my foot felt very cramped in the shoe, and – unlike almost every other cycling shoe on the market – there is absolutely no room for adjustment. Beneath the wide velcro strap (which does allow a degree of tightening/loosening, but only on instep), there is a small patch of elastic, but this has no effect on the canvas upper in the toe box area. By creating 'the first and only slip on' cycling shoe, DZR have lost a very important feature for individual riding comfort. On the plus side, the relatively narrow fit may be a godsend to women with slim feet.
Overall, the Jetlags are a bit of a Marmite shoe, both in design and fit, but they easily outperform leisure shoes on the bike with the cleats installed.
road.cc test report
Make and model: DZR Jetlag Women's SPD shoes
Size tested: 39
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The first and only SPD compatible slip on. The ultimate companion for the lazy cyclist. Oxymoron you say? Well so is the idea of a performance casual shoe. You have to be one to know one.
On the expensive side, but other shoes are of a similar price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
General fit and lack of adjustability
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not
About the tester
I usually ride: Van Nicholas Mistral My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, audax