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 Post subject: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:11 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm
Posts: 42
I'm thinking about getting a pair of custom road shoes given the difficulty in finding a pair of stock shoes that are comfortable when 1 of my feet are 1/2 European size larger than the other, and also has a large bunion.
I've searched for reviews on these 2 US shoe makers, and haven't found much written about them recently. Since the last few write-ups around 3-4 years ago, I believe both of these shoe makers have moved. I'm not sure if the moves mean different owners as well.
Would anyone with custom shoes made by either of these companies in the last 2 years or so wish to share their experiences, both good and bad? I particular, what was their delivery time, how comfortable were the shoes, how durable were they, and how were your interactions and communication with these companies? Was your experience with them positive enough to justify the high cost?
Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:11 am 


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:12 am 
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Posts: 698
I spend a good amount of time training with a friend on the Rocket7 shoes and have 4 friends with pairs of them. One of them is an olympian so he's purchased a second pair over time but the others have simply had them worked on (new uppers or moving from BOA's to laces). Either way each of them seem extremely content. They have improved over the years as well in construction I think.

While I have not ridden them I will say even with speedplay cleats they have to be the lightest things I have personally held. 2 of them have just custom uppers and the other 2 have the full deal. They were able to add extra padding in one of the shoes to meet the needs of someone when sensitive hot spots on the heel.

Each of them seem to think the guys are pretty responsive over there when they do have any questions.

Not sure what average lead times are though.

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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:43 am 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:03 pm
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Location: Back in the saddle...
I purchased a pair of D2's back in 2008, so unfortunately my contribution is a bit dated. I can say, however, they were tremendous shoes. They fit perfectly, were unbelievably stiff, and lasted me 5 seasons of serious mileage. When I finally decided they were a bit "tired," I would've gladly purchased another pair... except the price was exponentially greater than what I had paid before. Way above the cost of inflation. Since then, I've been on the never-ending search for a substitute.

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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Posts: 555
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA
I've had a couple pairs of each brand.
IMO Rocket7 has a better orthotic feel, are slightly lighter, but use all velcro straps. And I've had fit issues with the uppers.
D2 has a better build quality and feel, the shoes always fit great but I've had no luck with Don's orthotics and had to substitute Superfeet insoles. I'm awaiting another pair of D2 right now. On balance I prefer D2's offerings, and tend to go with their wire closures.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:06 pm 
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Posts: 757
I've known people who've bought D2 and been very happy.

I went with Riivo for my custom shoes. I now have two pairs. I went with Riivo because I liked the styling and pricing better. They offered a semi-custom option that was cheaper than full custom. And if you go with the molded insole - $100 upcharge for the semi custom, he is building you a shoe off the mold of the bottom of your foot.

Also, the last couple of years, right after Christmas, they offered 10% off for additional pairs to anyone who has a mold on file with them. That's why I now have two pairs.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
UpFromOne wrote:
... the shoes always fit great but I've had no luck with Don's orthotics and had to substitute Superfeet insoles.


Out of curiosity, did you do your moldings at home, or did you visit Don at his shop? Seems to be an awful lot of money to spend if the orthotics don't work for your feet! For the cost, they should be perfect.

My pair only had three velcro straps, but at the time that was all he offered. Frankly, I miss that design. I think all the BOA and latches and other gadgets are just parts that will break. The velcro was simple yet incredibly effective.

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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Posts: 555
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA
boysa wrote:
UpFromOne wrote:
... the shoes always fit great but I've had no luck with Don's orthotics and had to substitute Superfeet insoles.


Out of curiosity, did you do your moldings at home, or did you visit Don at his shop? Seems to be an awful lot of money to spend if the orthotics don't work for your feet! For the cost, they should be perfect.

My pair only had three velcro straps, but at the time that was all he offered. Frankly, I miss that design. I think all the BOA and latches and other gadgets are just parts that will break. The velcro was simple yet incredibly effective.


D2 currently offers the Electrifly, Super Crit, and Classic, all of which are velcro models.

Yes, I did the molding at home with his kit, and have decades of fitting experience with both skate boots and cycling shoes.
That wasn't the issue. Don believes in high arches to transmit foot power, I personally do not.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:51 am 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
Thank you for being more specific. Your initial comment was a bit vague, and I was simply curious. I would think Don would make the changes you want, and get the orthotics to the point where you are happy with them. A close friend of mine had some issues after using the fit-kit, and he dropped in on Don while passing through Colorado. The two of them sat down for a long session and sorted things out.

I am aware what D2 currently offers, I was merely responding to your comment about Rocket7 only using velcro straps and that I had a different experience than you. I have no issue with solely relying on velcro straps. As I said, when I purchased mine the SuperCrit and the Tri were the only offerings, along with maybe a MTB shoe. I don't remember an option to leave out the orthotics, either. As I said, my experience is quite dated.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm
Posts: 42
Thank you for your input.

# boysa:
Your story sounds exactly like mine! I also purchased a pair of D2's back in 2008 and found the shoes to be great in terms of fit, comfort, quality of construction and stiffness. My problem with them now is that my feet and bunion have gotten slightly larger over the years, and these shoes are now very snug and become uncomfortable on rides over 2 hrs or more. I would purchase another pair if the price did not double in the 9 years since I purchased my first pair of D2's.

The modified fit Rocket 7's are less expensive, but I've read comments about their lack of durability, at least in the past, hence my reluctance to order a pair without hearing some input! I'd hate to try saving a few dollars only to find other issues like poor fit and lack of durability.

# UpFromOne:
Can you elaborate on why you thought the Rocket7's had a better "orthotic feel" and what your issues were about fit.

# itsacarr:
Can you comment on durability of your riding partner's Rocket 7's?


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Posts: 698
The Rocket7's that I have seen are certainly not as durable as say, Shimano r321's but I would say are in the ballpark of current S-Works. At least in regards to hitting the pavement. The R7's have definitely gotten better over the years in construction but at the end of the day you end up with a shoe lighter than the D2's on average. Any shoes hovering above or below 400 grams per set are pretty silly light.

I wouldn't go trotting through a field of rocks without a bit of care :) But something tells me that applies to both shoes. The R7's also have a full custom carbon heel cup for what it's worth. At the end of the day though I think both companies can provide a shoe that's excellent with the more details you are able to give them and aside from orthotics and weight, one of the biggest differences is really the visual appearance of the shoe.

I am considering the R7's at the moment FYI.

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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Posts: 555
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA
Master-Ti wrote:
# UpFromOne:
Can you elaborate on why you thought the Rocket7's had a better "orthotic feel" and what your issues were about fit.

Sorry for the delay in reading this thread again.

R7 builds the insole integrated with the last. Meaning that there is no separate insole. The thin foam foot liner is laid in over the carbon sole shaped to your foot, with the appropriate arches formed in the carbon sole itself. In my 3 pairs over the years (2 new, 1 used) I never found them to be too high or too low.

Whereas Don Lamson builds D2 with a flattish carbon sole, and a separate "orthotic" insole. Those orthotics were always too high for my feet, and he made them that way despite my protestations, saying I'd get used to it. I never did, and put in Superfeet.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:32 pm 
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Posts: 400
UpFromOne wrote:
R7 builds the insole integrated with the last. Meaning that there is no separate insole. The thin foam foot liner is laid in over the carbon sole shaped to your foot, with the appropriate arches formed in the carbon sole itself. In my 3 pairs over the years (2 new, 1 used) I never found them to be too high or too low.

Whereas Don Lamson builds D2 with a flattish carbon sole, and a separate "orthotic" insole. Those orthotics were always too high for my feet, and he made them that way despite my protestations, saying I'd get used to it. I never did, and put in Superfeet.


You just summed up 2 very different shoe design philosophies quite nicely. I don't have experience with these 2 brands, but even within "off the shelf" premium shoe brands, you see a big variation, where some will have a nearly flat last that provides a kind of neutral platform for your preferred orthotic/ergonomic insole system, whereas others have a dramatically contoured last with a big molded carbon arch support. From an efficiency and weight savings standpoint, I love the idea of having the orthotic/insole integrated into the sole of the shoe, and if the company really can nail it on the first try, that's awesome. But from my experience with both custom molded corrective orthotics and customizable ergonomic insoles like G8s, besides the science, there is a bit of an art and also some trial and error involved in getting them right. The idea of having a whole shoe locked into a possibly incorrect configuration is a bit of a bummer.

I've always thought it would be cool if you already had some orthotics that you like, then you could use them as a basis for the shoe mold, which would take some of the uncertainty out of it as you wouldn't be trying to reinvent the (orthotic) wheel. I think that is what Adam Hansen does with his shoes, but it doesn't quite jibe with the whole crushbox foot mold system that most custom shoe companies use. You'd need to make a plaster mold of your foot sitting on the orthotic instead.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:42 am 
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Posts: 555
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA
Also the use of the foam "crush box" that some makers send you to take your foot impressions is an interesting and logical method of making the footbed.

Too bad we don't usually have an extra pair of orthotics that you could send in, for the maker to layup the carbon sole right over it (with a thin barrier film, obviously).


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:55 am 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
Maybe when Hansen retires he'll go into the shoe business!

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"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:46 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm
Posts: 42
UpFromOne wrote:
Master-Ti wrote:
# UpFromOne:
Can you elaborate on why you thought the Rocket7's had a better "orthotic feel" and what your issues were about fit.

Sorry for the delay in reading this thread again.

R7 builds the insole integrated with the last. Meaning that there is no separate insole. The thin foam foot liner is laid in over the carbon sole shaped to your foot, with the appropriate arches formed in the carbon sole itself. In my 3 pairs over the years (2 new, 1 used) I never found them to be too high or too low.

Whereas Don Lamson builds D2 with a flattish carbon sole, and a separate "orthotic" insole. Those orthotics were always too high for my feet, and he made them that way despite my protestations, saying I'd get used to it. I never did, and put in Superfeet.


Thanks for this helpful comparison of design philosophy.

Using the R7 method of moulding the carbon sole to your foot, have you seen any concerns regarding the cleat attachment sites / interface? I use Time cleats, and I'd be concerned about the sole curving upwards to support the arch of the foot, leaving a portion of the back of the cleat unsupported.


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 Post subject: Re: D2 vs Rocket7 shoes
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:46 am 


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