DZR H2O clipless waterproof sneaker review

Commute in the rain in style

The mid-top shoe looks good from all angles.

The mid-top shoe looks good from all angles (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: DZR H2O clipless waterproof sneaker

DZR is a San Francisco-based shoe maker with a new offering that will keep you dry during your next rainy, damp or snowy commute. Meet the DZR H2O, a fully seam-sealed waterproof SPD compatible sneaker.

Wrapped with DWR (durable water repellent) treated sheepskin leather that’s very supple to the touch, these $169 shoes feature a stiff metal-reinforced nylon shank and gum rubber traction outsole. Power transfer is efficient while grip on all surfaces is excellent.

Stat Box
Power plate: Metal reinforced Nylon shank Link traction outsole: for grip
H2O hydro barrier: Fully seamed and waterproof Reflective heel badge: Visible 600 luminosity
Material: Full grain leather MSRP: $169
Elastic lace catch: Keeps your laces tucked away Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 out of 5

  • Leather and materials quality is tops
  • Hard to get in and out of
  • Construction is excellent
  • Some heel slippage unless tightened quite a bit
  • Styling is good even off the bike
  • Not as comfortable to walk on because of stiff sole
  • Grip is impressive
  • Needs a non-SPD version for commuting
  • It really blocks out the water

Review: DZR H2O clipless waterproof sneaker

We were impressed by the quality of materials and build of the shoe. The sheepskin leather is nicely sewn in with an inner lining that produces a comfortable, seamless build. We loved the outer sole that featured chainlinks to produce an attractive design with ample grip on any surface.

Great grip in wet conditions is an asset.

Great grip in wet conditions is an asset (click to enlarge).

Being a waterproof SPD shoe, it’s not your ordinary mid-top shoe as it’s heavier and harder to get in and out of. The tongue of the shoe can’t just be shoved out of the way so the laces need to be loosened sufficiently. And leaving the shoe slightly loose was not ideal either as we experienced heel lift while walking or pedaling. So extra care has to be used to put the shoe on and off.

But used properly in its element, it performed well. It’s a little harder to walk on since the sole doesn’t bend as much due to the shank for the SPD cleat. So make sure you want to use SPD cleats if you’re buying this shoe.

Otherwise like us, we’d much prefer to be commuting on flat pedals with wide platforms and shoes that are easy to walk on. But DZR has a wide selection for all those options and these same qualities can be found in their other models.

The shoe tongue is one piece molded to prevent water from getting through.

The shoe tongue is one-piece molded to prevent water from getting through (click to enlarge).


Other highlights include elastic lace loops that prevent your laces from getting caught in your chainring. This shoe features full grain sheepskin leather for durability that handles scuffs in stride and it ages well. Finally, a reflective heel badge to enhance rider visibility when around vehicles or street lights.

The sole is very grippy and it is SPD compatible.

The sole is very grippy and it is SPD compatible (click to enlarge).

The H2O is part of the DZR Street Collection, which is designed to embody the spirit of riding in the city while pushing the limit of what a traditional biking shoe look and feel like. Even if this is not the shoe for you, check the broad line for different options and price points that use the same DZR grip sole and employ the same shoe build values.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • J. says:

    I’d like to see something more than a product placement faux review. “Needs a non-SPD version for commuting” — what? That’s *any* shoe.

    You didn’t say anything about fit. Is it a perfect Brannock fit? Compared to most street shoes is it… Narrow/wide? Short/long? Big/small toebox? High/low instep? More/less arch support? Loose/tight heel? Thanks.

  • Andreas Sovi says:

    These shoes are awful. They are really cheaply made and cost a fortune. There is no customer support either. Check their Facebook page ratings and comments to see what I mean. I was fooled by the looks of these shoes which is great, but all that glitters is not gold.

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