It’s been a little while now since these shoes were made available to the public. Dustin has been using his since before NA’s, while Julian and I got ours just before worlds. In the past, I’ve used the hell out of some DZR Black Mambas and also used a pair of Coves for commuting. My Coves easily stood up to my five mile a day commute, but the Mambas had a few issues with staying in tact while being used for polo 5 days a week during “peak” polo season. The issues with the Mambas for me were the sole peeling back in the front, the top of the ankle area ripping from being hurriedly pulled on in excitement before polo (my fault), the strap ripping, and lace holes snapping/ripping. All that being said, the Mambas still handled polo much better than my Nike clipless conversion, and helped identify areas that needed to be made stronger for a polo specific shoe.
That leads us to the Marco, the first polo specific clipless shoe available for purchase. This is a pretty cool product with a pretty cool history. It’s been fun working with DZR and Brian over the past few years and seeing the result of continuous feedback and improvement. The first thing I noticed when I picked one of these up was how much less it weighed than other “casual” SPD shoes, while one of the most noticeable improvements is the new strap, which is much wider than the strap on the Mamba and has a sweet polo mallet on it.
You can also see in the above photo that the Marco has some serious eyelets for lacing. I only ever ripped one lace out of place on the Mamba, but something like that can take some time to work around. The Marco is easy to lace up quick and get moving and the chances of you ripping your laces out of the shoe are greatly diminished with the addition of these metal eyelets.
More great features on the Marco are the four vent holes on the inside of the shoe, as well as the loop on the back above the ankle that makes pulling the shoe on easier and diminishes the chances of tearing the shoe itself. Having played with these at Worlds in Florida, I can say the vent holes seem to do their job well. I never felt like my feet were causing me to heat up while playing, and I also hung out all day at the courts in these in relative comfort. The rubber sole is glued on but also has added stitching to help prevent the separation of the sole that some of us experienced with the Mambas. The sole itself is extra grippy, while the inside and outside of the ankle area have extra padding for when that wild swing hits you instead of the ball. This is a bonus for me, the mid/high top is a style preference of mine and the fact that it doubles as some padding is pretty awesome.
Overall I really, really like these shoes and I am impressed with DZR’s progression in designing the best SPD shoe for the traveling polo player. They’re not heavy and clunky, but somehow are even stiffer than the Mamba when on your bike. When off the bike they feel like a normal, comfortable shoe that you would pack along with your Sidis on a biking trip to wear after riding. As I said earlier, I’ve been using mine since October and have had no issues with them. At times I’ve forgotten I was wearing them.
If anybody has any questions about these feel free to send me an email and I’ll try to answer with photos or information: Cody@guardiansbikepolo.com
For more technical info or to purchase a pair head over to https://www.dzrshoes.com/marcoblk
Thanks for reading!