dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial - review - Road Cycling UK

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dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial – review

With a full carbon fibre sole and micro-adjustable fit, dhb's new flagship shoes are excellent value for money

These flagship road slippers from dhb were launched in September as part of a four-strong footwear range – the first to arrive from the apparel brand for five years. They’ve been worth the wait, because the Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial (to give the shoe its full name), is cracking value for money, with a full carbon sole and easily-adjustable retention system for £120. Watch out for the sizing, though, because they come up particularly big and the shoes can only be bought online.

Given that the carbon sole takes centre stage with these shoes, that seems like a logical place to start. As it is a carbon sole, it is naturally stiff, providing a good base through which to transfer power. There isn’t much flex in the sole, which has a 3k carbon weave, and that makes climbing and sprinting more efficient than when using a nylon or carbon-reinforced sole. The sole used here isn’t the outright stiffest I’ve ever used but it’s impressive nonetheless, particularly given the price.

dhb’s £120 Aeron Carbon Dial shoes offer superb value for money
  • Specification

  • Price: £120
  • Sizes: 39-48
  • Size tested: 42
  • Colours: white; black
  • Website: Wiggle

Each sole has three vents to help with airflow – two underneath the toes and another underneath the arch of the foot. The shoes also come with a rubber heel buffer to help offer some grip and sole protection when walking, although unlike some more expensive shoes it’s not replaceable. The sole is compatible with traditional three-hole cleats, so will work with Shimano, LOOK, Time and other road pedals based around that design.

The shoes have a synthetic upper made from three panels, ensuring a clean, stylish finish. It’s not the most svelte upper, making the shoes feel a touch more cumbersome than top-end competitors, but then these are a whole lot cheaper. Looks-wise, they remind me a bit of the Giro Trans E70 and Rapha GT shoes. While the upper is perforated, and airflow is fine for riding in moderate or cool conditions, ventilation could be improved in really warm weather. If I were riding in anything approaching 30 degrees for a prolonged period, I would consider using something with more airflow.

The retention system is made up of two velcro straps across the top of the foot and an Atop dial. It’s a good combination, with the velcro straps offering a simple but secure hold and the Atop dial, which is fairly similar to a Boa dial if you’ve used one of those, offering a more finely-adjustable fit. Turn the Atop dial one way and it tightens the lace in tiny increments – something which is also easy to do while riding. Turn it the other way and you don’t get the same easy adjustability; instead the lace slackens all the way off, ready to be dialled up to your required fit.

A full carbon fibre sole at this price is impressive – but watch out, the shoes come up big

So far, so good, but the one area where the shoes could be improved is with the sizing. It’s not a problem with the fit per se, but the Aerons do come up big. I normally wear a size 43 but my initial test shoes were far too big, so I swapped for a 42. The fit is fine but I’d still consider them roomier than many other size 43 cycling shoes I’ve previously tested. It’s definitely something to consider, particularly as dhb kit is only sold online through Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles.

dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
dhb Aeron Carbon Road Shoe Dial (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

That aside, the shoes are reasonably light, with a size 43 coming in at 286g each. That’s not too surprising given they use a full carbon sole, but it is still impressive for the money.

Conclusion

These are very good shoes for the price – and even better given you can currently pick them up for less than the RRP. They look good, have a stiff carbon sole, and offer a secure and adjustable fit. The sizing is an issue and ventilation could be better but otherwise you’re getting a pair of excellent carbon-soled shoes for not a huge amount of money. 

Pros

  • Good carbon sole, if not the absolute stiffestt
  • Smart looks
  • Easily-adjustable fit
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Sizing is very generous
  • Lacking a little in ventilation

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