The wife’s got her shoes, I’ve got my riding boots. From cruiser cool to track fast, MX to H2O, there’s a pair for every occasion. So, when I found myself at the onset of Spring in need of a new set of casual, street-riding shoes, out went the call to Dainese. A few days later their new Vera Cruz model arrived.
Removing them from the box, the first thing you notice is the lightness of the shoe – 18.94 ounces per shoe according to my digital scale. Next is the shoe’s subtleness of style and the fact that they’re not screaming, “Hey, I ride a motorcycle!” Besides the shift guard, no one’s really going to take notice that you’re wearing purpose-built footgear and not simply casual sneakers.
Sliding a foot into the size 11s reveals a comfortably snug fit that’s perfect for sporty, all-day riding comfort or walking vendor row at COTA MotoGP, Disneyland or the Vegas Strip. Sizing seems on the small side, because I wear a 10.5 tennis shoe and the Vera Cruz fits closer to that than it does to what I’d consider a true size 11. So think, “greater than,” when shopping for yours.
Now comes my dismay. I knew from its photos that the Vera Cruz utilizes lace-up closures, but what caught me by surprise is the lack of a securing mechanism with which to keep the laces from getting entangled with some component of the motorcycle. Sure, tucking the laces down the inside of shoe resolves the issue, but that’s neither as comfortable nor as efficient as a simple velcro strap.
The Vera Cruz shoes are constructed with split cow leather (basically, the underlying layer of skin when split from the hide’s exterior) and D-Stone Fabric, which is employed throughout Dainese’s collection. According to Dainese, D-Stone Fabric is a “high-tenacity twisted nylon characterized by high resistance to abrasion, breaking, and tear with performance comparable to leather.” The exterior of the Vera Cruz shoes looks and feels like suede, but it’s good to know there’s more to these shoes than a soft, napped surface.
In addition to its D-Stone Fabric and split cow leather, the Vera Cruz shoes boast rigid interior heel, toe and ankle protection. Dainese says the shoes are certified to the CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive. The rubber soles are by Skywalk, The Soles Of Records. Apparently, Skywalk – a company that only produces shoe soles – is held in high regard when it comes to comfortable hiking boots with excellent grip. These same qualities apply to motorcycling purposes with equally good results.
So far the shoes seem to be wearing well, with the outer sides looking fine while the inner sides show some wear from contact with footguards, brake pedals, etc. Both shoes come with shifter pads, which seems to be more for symmetry than actual use, unless you’re riding a vintage unit produced prior to standardized shifting.
Overall, we’re giving the Vera Cruz shoes a score of 82.75%. The Dainese name is regarded in the industry as quality gear when it comes to protection and comfort. No argument there, but the fact that the shoe doesn’t include something to secure the laces, while there are comparable shoes out there for lesser prices that do, doesn’t sit well with us. Otherwise, the Vera Cruz will make for excellent and stylish footwear during warm riding months.