Light, rugged and durable: UDOG enters the gravel market with its Distanza shoes

With all-day adventures in mind, UDOG has created a gravel shoe with comfort in mind

Alberto Fonte knows a thing or two about cycling shoes. For over 15 years he has been in the cycling industry, working for brands like Pinarello, Kask and most recently, Fizik. Having taken all his knowledge from over the years, Fonte decided to launch his own brand, and in 2021, he launched UDOG, a brand dedicated to making high-performance cycling shoes. 

Last year when the brand released its Cima and Tensione road cycling shoes, UDOG announced itself as one to watch when it came to high-performing, stylish road shoes. But like many other brands, UDOG has seen the gravel sector boom and has widened its product range to cater to the market, launching its first-ever gravel shoe – the Distanza. Appealing to two types of gravel riders, the Distanza comes in two models: the Distanza in grey and Distanza Carbon in black.

The only difference between the two styles is the fabric used and the weight. The carbon edition is made from fully carbon fabric with a carbon composite rubber outsole and weighs 315g (size 42). The standard Distanza is made from nylon fabric with a carbon reinforced rubber sole and weighs slightly more at 330g (size 42). The carbon edition is said to be more like a performance road shoe in terms of stiffness, whereas the nylon shoe is more relaxed. Despite the standard Distanza's increased weight, the Distanza is one of the lightest gravel shoes on the market. 

Both styles have the unique rubber sole which wraps around the toe and under the shoe, providing greater protection and durability. While having its practicalities, the rubber sole also adds a rugged, gravel element to the look of the shoe, and its contrast with the upper fabric adds to its eye-catching design. 

Designed for all day gravel adventures, UDOG has developed these shoes with comfort in mind and says the shoe offers a generous toe box and deep heel cup, to prevent your feet from feeling too tightly compacted in the shoe even after hours of riding. Complemented by the lightweight, breathable fabric, UDOG says it ensures comfort on any ride. 

Using UDOG’s tension wrap system like the brand did with its Tensione road shoes, the Distanza also supports the bottom of the foot from the instep to the bridge, aiming to deliver an optimum fit and ride-feeling throughout the entire pedal stroke. The laminated straps which sit at the side of the shoes connect to the lace and tighten as you fasten the shoe. 

Opting for laces rather than the Boa fit system like most high-performing shoe manufacturers now use, the Italian brand says that this gives the foot complete support while riding. The flat, pressed design of the laces ensures that not only do they not come undone but also remain in place, even on the longest of rides. To make sure no laces hang loose with the potential of getting caught, the brand has implemented a lace-up closure system which allows you to tuck the ends of the laces neatly away at the top of the tongue on the shoes. 

The Distanza gravel shoes RPR at £160/€180 for ash grey and £220/€250 for cinder black carbon. 

The UDOG Distanza is now available to buy from the UDOG website:

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