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UDOG, the self-styled “underdog” of the cycling shoe world, looks to make a splash in gravel with the DISTANZA. The new shoe’s wraparound sticky rubber helps protect the wide toe box, and the proprietary “Tension Wrap System” (TWS) looks to let riders dial in a comfy fit at the mid-foot.
The range-topping version of the DISTANZA revolves around a carbon composite outsole. It’s designed to fulfill every cyclist’s gear priorities: stiffness and weight reduction.
UDOG DISTANZA: Details
The sticky rubber sole wraps up around the toe cap with meaty lugs. TWS attaches to it with four TPU straps that connect to the laces. The idea, UDOG said in a press release, is to “hug the metatarsal area of the foot from the instep to the bridge” for an “optimum” fit and “matchless” ride feel. UDOG claims 16 points of contact between the rider’s foot and the shoe’s upper.
The upper itself is “three-dimensional engineered” mesh, which the company says prioritizes lightweight and breathability. And the lacing structure, it says, cuts down on stitching.
Overall, UDOG wanted a shoe that could be all-day comfortable for riding and even hiking. The sticky, deep-lugged rubber, broad toe box, and deep heel cup look to meet those qualities.
UDOG’s roots in Veneto, Italy, provide inspiration and testing grounds for both the DISTANZA and its other shoes, the company said.
“This region’s vast diversity from the Adriatic coast to the rugged Dolomites passes through cities and never-ending gravel riverbanks and has served as an inspiration for the designs. To create this unique shoe, the team rode the region’s favorite trails from coast to crag, through cities and countryside to connect with the environment and understand how it can inform brand gear and how to use it,” according to the press release.
The UDOG DISTANZA Carbon weighs 315 grams in a size 42.
It comes in “Cinder Black” at $334 on the company’s website as of this writing (significantly more than its $270 stated MSRP). The lower-spec DISTANZA, with a nylon carbon-reinforced outsole, weighs 15 grams more and costs $240. Each shoe is available with clipless compatibility only.