Review: DL Killer Vito cycling shoes take a good kicking
It’s not supposed to rain in Mallorca. We all know it has to at some time but to get a downpour on one of the few days of the year when it is actually wet is to have really drawn the shitty stick.
You feel like asking god for your money back, it’s hard not to take it personally, especially when you come from a country where the default setting is grim.
So in Mallorca, even when the clouds hanging over the mountains look like they want to smash you in the face, you go out riding anyway. How bad can it be? It’s Mallorca.
One and a half hours we spent in that cafe in Caimari waiting for the deluge to stop. It rained, it poured, it came down in stair rods.
There was no way I was going out in that, not with the Killers on; my handmade Italian shoes, the Gucci loafer of the cycling world, so gorgeous and comfortable and expertly crafted that it was difficult enough screwing a £10 pair of cleats into those sensually smooth carbon soles. I was damned if I was going to get them wet.
The rain stopped, as rain inevitably does, and we set off along already drying roads in 30 degree heat with steam rising from the asphalt like a hot spring and we had avoided getting wet.
Until the flood. Growing by the second, fed by a mountain’s worth of rain, we had no choice but to chance it and ride on, which was fine until the road dropped beneath us and we were axle deep in it. The Killers didn’t stand a chance. So soaked did they get that I had to pull over and upend my feet, water gushed out of those perfectly punched airholes, surely they were ruined.
Of course not. These aren’t some pansy shoe thats only good for a wine bar. These things are built to last longer than you. Treated leather, carbon soles, rubber toe bumpers and calfskin lining, it’s the sharp-dressed Italian hitman of cycling shoes. Really handsome but hard as nails.
A night on the balcony with the innersoles out and you’d never have even known they had got wet. Those shoes shrugged off the rain. They laughed in the face of full submersion. Even those stylish waxed laces with their neat little red tips got through unscathed.
That’s what you get from being made in Italy, with each shoe informed by generations of shoemaking experience and a pedigree in creating some of Italy’s finest inline skates. We can thank former Italian pro cyclist and 2007 Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca for the DL Killer brand, because it’s his, born of a career racing in shoddy footwear, presumably.
Which goes some way to explaining why these look so amazing and remain so bombproof.
I’m not going to go dancing in puddles with them again any time soon hopefully, but it’s reassuring to know that something of such obvious craftsmanship can take a good dunking if I get caught out.
Summary: These shoes look almost look too good to ride a bike in, but looks can be deceiving. Thanks to faultless construction and a manufacturing heritage drawn from inline skating, they are quite capable of taking pretty much any punishment you care to throw at them, and still look amazing.
* PLEASE NOTE: DL Killer is represented by Johnny Red PR, a sister brand of Paperbike.