The Dainese Tulu not only offers crash protection, but it is also comfortable and stylish.
About a month ago I was in search of a comfortable pair of riding shoes for a last minute scooter test. Buried under a stack of boot boxes I came across a pair of Dainese Tulu shoes. Luckily they were a size ten and fit perfectly. As with most gear from the Italian manufacturer the styling is decidedly European, sleek and refined. If not for the impact inserts and shift pad, the true intentions of these kicks would be a mystery to the general public. In fact you could get away with wearing them out on the town and nobody would be the wiser.
Constructed from perforated suede cowhide and D-Stone fabric the Tulu is meant to breathe easy so it’s designed for those hot summer days. I have been wearing these during the crazy May and June temperature fluctuations here in Southern California, and they have been comfortable in the cool beach mornings all the way to the heat of the Palm Springs Desert. I would say anywhere above the 60-degree mark your toes will be just fine.
The soles are nice and grippy on the floorboards of scooters and cruisers and are stiff enough for relaxed use on sportbike footpegs. Once at your destination, this shoe is one you can just leave on rather than changing into tennis shoes or flip flops. The foot bed is comfortable enough for wearing all day at the office and walking around for a few hours won’t put you to tears. In fact I met my wife at the mall for a one of her marathon shopping sprees and my credit card gave out long before my feet did.
Comfort is definitely key in a pair of riding shoes, but they must be up to the task of protecting your feet in the event of a crash. The Italian cowhide and D-stone fabric offer formidable abrasion resistance. Double stitching holds the shoe together while the TPU insert on the outside prevents your ankle from resembling something from a horror flick. Hidden lace holes not only look smooth; they also keep your shoe strings from catching on the bike easily thus removing them in short order during a tumble.
I’ve become very fond of my new Dainese riding shoes in the short time since I’ve discovered them. The only complaint I have would be that the pricing is a bit steep at $199, but nothing comes cheap in the Dainese catalogue. And for good reason as the level of safety and craftsmanship is commensurate to its lofty price tag. The only other problem is the black suede gets dirty quickly and requires constant vigilance to keep them looking as new as the day they were unboxed.