DMT R1 shoes review

They look distinctive with their half-coloured upper and the two Boas should give plenty of adjustment, but do DMT's top road shoes live up to their flashy image?

Cycling Weekly Verdict

A quality shoe with nice features but those with narrower feet may not find the fit comfortable

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Quality construction

  • +

    Stiff sole

  • +

    Distinctive looks

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite high volume

  • -

    Not super-ventilated

  • -

    Some pinch from the tongue and boa

  • -

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Team Sky sprinter Elia Viviani has already taken several wins in 2016 and when he did so, his feet were clad in DMT R1 shoes in Sky’s light blue, black, and white livery. Sadly, this is a custom colour option not available to us mere mortals, but the distinctive R1 is available with its outer half in bright orange, yellow and white as well as an all-black option.

Elia Viviani wins stage two of the 2016 3 Days of DePanne. Photo: Watson

Viviani wins stage two of the 2016 Three Days of De Panne in his R1s. Photo: Watson
(Image credit: Watson)

The DMT R1 shoes are certainly attractive, with the synthetic upper nicely integrated into the carbon sole and an array of small ventilation holes in the outer forefoot and along the instep. There’s also a vent in the all-carbon sole and venting holes in the insole. The shoes are supplied with a sticker to cover the sole vent if all those holes become too much though.

Watch: Team Sky pre-race exercise routine

The sole is very stiff and wraps well around the insole and the heel cup, meaning that there’s a good feeling of lateral stability. The heel itself is quite high and feels supportive. It has small rubber gripper dots around the inside at the back to help avoid heel lift.

>>> Viviani's custom shoes for the 2016 Giro d'Italia

There’s plenty of padding around the cuff and the tongue, although the latter has an unpadded section of around 1cm at its top. It also has a couple of Velcro pads to attach it to the shoe’s upper and stop it moving around. The upper of the DMT R1 shoes is closed with two Boa dials for precision adjustment.

Stiff sole is well-vented

Stiff sole is well-vented

The Italian company says that the DMT R1 shoes are perfect for narrow feet, but despite my foot being quite wide, I found that there was plenty of room both in the forefoot and the heel, whilst a tester who does have narrow feet found them too wide for a good fit.

>>> Cycling shoes buyer's guide

Although I did not feel any heel lift, I did find that my feet slipped around from side to side rather more than I would have liked, even when wearing thicker socks. This wasn’t entirely sorted out by tightening the ratchets either, although I did end up with a bit of discomfort across the top of my foot from the upper closure wires and the unpadded part of the tongue when I did so.

Despite their number, the ventilation holes in the uppers are quite small. Although they’re adequate for spring days, these shoes get a bit warm in the heat.

So although the DMT R1 shoes are well priced for a premium model and might be good for those who need a high volume shoe, those with narrower feet may prefer a different option.

For more details visit the Paligap website.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.