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Thursday, June 16, 2011

DON LAMSON AND D2 SHOES....

 If you do not know of Don Lamson and you are a cyclist, well you should. Don has a storied past in the Hills of Colorado as not only one of the original inverted aerialists on skis, where he was ranked in the top 10 in the world for many years back in the pioneering days of this discipline, but he is also a world renown custom shoe maker. For many years he did custom ski boot work and now he is the proprietor of D2 Shoes where he has been building custom cycling shoes for every level of athlete for several decades. His shop is impressive, and you are pretty much welcome to come see both Don and the custom shoe making process at anytime at his shop on Chambers Avenue in Eagle, Colorado. Custom shoes have been shipped all over the world to many world class cyclists for so many years from this location. The shop is impressive and seems simple, don't let that fool you, as the latest computer technology will be involved as well as plenty of hands on work, and I had the fortune to have my feet go along for this cycling custom pedicure ride recently after knowing Don for several years and seeing and hearing from so many of my riding friends just how sweet these D2 shoes are. There are some great videos detailing the fitting process on the D2 website, and below is what you can expect for your final product and why D2 makes such a big difference....


The process starts with custom foam imprints of your feet, this is for the custom insoles which will be the perfect fit in a shoe that fits every single spot of your foot like a glove. This will be your shoe....and only your shoe.

These insoles have been made from my foam imprints in the "crush box", they are firm, and fit the contour of my feet perfectly, and I mean perfectly, which is a critically important part of the process as well as a very important part of the final shoe as this will provide you with a larger platform to transfer energy to your pedals providing you with maximum bang for your buck during your pedaling stroke. There is ZERO wasted energy at the contact point of foot to insole to pedal, you will notice this 2 minutes into your first ride in D2 Shoes.

Don will then take many measurements from both of your feet as they are inevitably shaped different. It's an interesting process and let's you know right away the guy knows his shit, big time. Following this construction will begin. There are what seem like 100's of molded foot "forms" in the production shop which Don will then use for the best fit for your foot, he is then able to fine tune around these molds based on your particular foot measurements and come up with the exact fit you will need. Construction is impeccable, stitching is perfect and the Vibram soles are BOMBER for MTB riding and of course killer for cyclocross and it's demands, just ask Katie Compton, 7 time National Champion, she rides D2, and for a reason.



There are a myriad of colors to choose from for all parts of the shoe, customize it how you like it, or in my case, I simply asked Don to come up with something he thought would be cool, and this was the result, and I agree. The shoes are built so that cleat position is in the middle of the mounting zone for optimal power, you can "mess" with this as needed, however I have taken Don's advice and set them up dead center and they seem to be perf. The first thing you notice when you pedal for the first time in these shoes is that they are "snug", as they will give just a hair and form perfectly to your foot as Don uses incredibly premium leather product in his construction. The top of the shoe literally fits like a leather driving glove, however the performance comes from the stiff carbon insert, the Vibram sole, and the stiff custom insole that transfers all of your energy to the pedal stroke, it's an amazing ride and fit, and worth every penny spent.

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