Like this site? Help us to make it better.


DMT KR1 Road Shoes



Stylish race shoes but let down by the retention setup

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The DMT KR1 Road shoes are stiff, well-ventilated, lightweight carbon race shoes with a knitted upper that's super-comfortable, though the single Boa dial did create some retention pressure points. The weight isn't as low as some knit shoes, but the price isn't as high either...

  • Pros: Super-stiff; comfortable; great ventilation; good foot retention
  • Cons: An extra Boa dial would be good; pressure point on the top of the foot

If you're looking for a flashy race shoe with excellent ventilation, DMT's KR1s will serve you well. I was massively impressed by the sock-like fit that the knit construction gives you, but while foot retention on the whole is okay, I'd have liked an extra Boa dial to give better pressure distribution around the forefoot.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - side.jpg

The sole is classically Italian, with a flamboyant shape that supports the arch and wraps the heel. I found it to be a great balance of stiffness for racing, and comfort for more general riding. For full-gas race efforts, it's perfectly stiff but this doesn't translate into a harsh ride when out for on a leisurely spin.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - sole heel.jpg

There is just one ventilation port at the front of the sole, but this does a good job of pulling air under the foot. At the heel, you get a replaceable rubber bumper, a nice touch that puts the Shimano S-Phyre shoes to shame.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - sole toe.jpg

The knitted upper is great where it is exposed, but I wonder whether DMT was worried about supporting the top of the foot during the pull-up phase of the pedal stroke, because apart from the top of the toe box, centre of the top of the foot and around the ankle hem, everything is covered in a silicone-like coating that doesn't allow the knit structure to flex as much as it could. The upper is also criss-crossed with supportive ribs that anchor to the Boa lace anchor points.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - toe.jpg

It's a bit of a shame as I'd have liked the breathability of the knit fabric and the suppleness to have been unobstructed. That said, on warmer rides I could really feel the air rushing through the shoes, so it doesn't seem to have compromised ventilation too much.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - heels.jpg

While the fit around the foot is so much nicer than any other cycling shoe I've worn, the knit upper does result in some foot movement which I reckon could be solved with a second Boa dial for the forefoot.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - boa.jpg

The single Boa holds the top of the foot securely, but the pressure there from the wires is more noticeable than on the S-Phyres or Fizik shoes that I've worn. On the bike, I can't say it was overly noticeable, but ratchet the dials down a bit for a sprint or big effort and the pressure becomes acutely centred on the central upper part of the foot. It's something that Fizik got right with the Infinito R1 Knit; it stuck with a beefier design here and, as a result, there were no issues.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - boa detail.jpg

The knit fabric extends quite high up the ankle but this caused no issues apart from making the shoes slightly more difficult to get on. Aesthetically, it's something you'll either love or hate. I love it. Styling generally is quite Italian; I would have preferred a plainer design that highlighted the knit fabric more.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - opening.jpg

Sizing is good and there is plenty of space in the toe box. As a result, these are much more comfortable than a lot of the Italian shoe brands I've tried, which tend to be rather cramped in the toe box. I actually sized down from my usual 42 to a 41.5, though it's not unusual for me to be between sizes.

DMT KR1 Road Shoes - side 2.jpg

Although expensive at £310, the DMT KR1s are much cheaper than some: the Specialized S-Works Exos, for example, are £450, though they are much lighter at just 340g for the pair. A better comparison, in my eyes, are Fizik's Infinito R1 Knits. They're £349.99 and slightly heavier at 679g (size EU46), but they do feature a better retention system.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best performance cycling shoes

Are the DMT KR1s worth the money? They're very well vented, stiff, look brilliant, and durability seems to be good – I've had no pulled threads in the upper or splits where it is attached to the carbon sole. But for a race shoe, I feel the foot should be more stable in the shoe; the movement I found here was most noticeable during hard efforts – sort this and these shoes would be very good. For me, the single Boa is just not as good as a double Boa system. I'd also prefer a stronger tongue for better pressure distribution as the Boa laces dig in slightly when you tighten the dial for big efforts.

Otherwise, the carbon sole is brilliant and the fit generally is very comfortable. Using a knit for the upper construction does have a few drawbacks, but the sock-like fit is great.


Stylish race shoes but let down by the retention setup

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: DMT KR1 Road Shoes

Size tested: 42

Tell us what the product is for

DTM says: "The shoe that started the Engineered Knit revolution.

"Developed and worn by Elia Viviani to dozens of victories. Incredible comfort that will forever change how you think about cycling shoes. Light, breathable, proprietary Engineered Knit construction eliminates pressure points, fits like a glove, is super breathable and thanks to the super supportive anatomic carbon outsole provides race-winning energy transfer."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From DMT:


Full Engineered 3D knit upper

Variable thickness and knit structures for ultimate comfort

Integrated webbing

Boa® Fit System with single IP1 dial

Anatomic Carbon outsole

8mm front-rear cleat adjustability

Reflective accents on Black colorway

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:

The knit fabric provides a sock-like fit, but an extra Boa dial would give better pressure distribution around the forefoot.

Rate the product for value:

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The black is a sensible colour choice, though you might need to get your Vanish soap and nail brush out occasionally.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

For fast road riding and racing the shoes performed well, delivering power to the pedals well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The knit fabric provides such a comfortable sock-like fit. It's fabulous.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The retention system as a whole. Some reinforcement is needed to spread pressure better across the top of the foot and a second dial would be very welcome to tune the fit at the forefoot.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

There are many cheaper shoes, but comparing like with like, Fizik's Infinito R1 Knit shoes are £349.99. And you can pay a lot more: if you've got a huge wad of cash to burn, you can buy the S-Works Exos shoes for £450.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not until the retention issues are addressed.

Use this box to explain your overall score

That knit fabric is lovely, but the tongue needs reinforcement to cope better with the Boa wire pressure. A second dial would close the toe box properly. At the moment they're good, but could be better.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Latest Comments