The DMT R1's full-carbon fibre sole and soft upper make for an excellent mix of stiffness and comfort, ideal for the racer or those who just like to really smash the power through the pedals on long rides. They can get a little warm in the summer, though.
For shoes with a £220 price tag, the R1s include all the features you'd expect them to: full-carbon sole, top notch build quality, Boa fastening system, and classy looks. Yeah, this all-black version may look a little stealth-like, but if you want to go really snazzy they are available in two-tone yellow/black, orange/black and white/black.
The manmade upper is very soft, probably one of the most supple I have ever worn, which makes for a comfortable fit all-round. The shoes are actually quite wide compared with a lot of others on the market and I did have to tighten them up quite a bit, but the upper just moulds around your feet without any pressure points.
With regards to sizing, I found these 45s spot-on in length, and the width was never an issue – my feet didn't move around inside them – though it might be something to bear in mind if you have very narrow feet.
Retention comes in the form of two Boa systems, which are really easy to tweak on-the-fly and you can get the wire tension just right across the top part of your foot. The tongue is quite thin but has a bit of extra padding under the Boa dials, plus one side of it has Velcro to keep it in position when you take the shoes on or off. Thanks to its thinness it doesn't bunch up no matter how tight you do up the Boas.
The heel is reinforced for support, and to stop any lift of your foot as you pedal the R1 comes with a rubber dimpled section that grips your sock just above the heel.
The sole is full uni-directional carbon fibre and there's no noticeable flex at all, even when under full power. The design is slightly tub-like, where the edge of the sole comes up around the base of the foot a little to add a bit of stiffness and support in all directions. The shape certainly suited me, with a supportive arch that wasn't too high.
The sole is drilled for three-bolt cleat fixings to suit Look, SPD-SL and so on, and there is a sandpaper-like texture to prevent the cleats slipping. Once you've got everything in position you can use the numbered lines for subsequent cleat changes.
Ventilation is probably the only downside, as there is barely any. The upper has a few pin-prick holes but that's it. Admittedly a mesh panel would spoil the looks, but on hot summer days your feet do get a bit sweaty.
At the front of the sole is a mesh-covered vent funnelling air up under the feet, through 17 x 5mm holes in the sole above where the cleat attaches, and 17 corresponding holes in the removable insole, but it isn't really that effective because there is nowhere for the air to go once it's inside the shoe.
If hot feet is a real worry, DMT does make a summer version of the R1 – the R1S – so those might be the ones to go for, at a tenner more.
In terms of weight the DMT R1s are pretty average at 630g for this pair of 45s. They can't compete with the recently tested Shimano RC-7 at 604g (size 48) or Giro Factor Techlace at 576g (46), although they don't feel heavy when you're riding.
Value-wise I'd definitely pay the full price for these R1s – they are a brilliant all-round package and are really well put together. They certainly feel and look durable enough to warrant the outlay, and in terms of comfort and performance they are up there with my absolute favourites, the Giro Factors.
Add a few more air holes in the uppers and the R1s would be pretty damn near the perfect shoe.
Highly comfortable and stiff performance shoes that could do with a little more breathability
road.cc test report
Make and model: DMT R1 Road Shoe
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
DMT says: "The R1 is the height of performance, comfort and style in the DMT road shoe range.
"The full carbon sole provides incredible stiffness, whilst the 2 x Boa® closure and anatomic foam padded upper provides ultimate comfort."
With very impressive levels of stiffness, these R1s are aimed squarely at the performance rider.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
DMT lists these features:
New Anatomic Quarry Areated Carbon Sole.
Anatomic + areated + quarry - 3 holes + carbon UDFAW 150 + rear studs interchangeable
Anatomic + light and breathable + bottom part in polypropilene 100% + holes for a maximum areation of feet
Reinforced to close better foot + closure external profile
Upper construction close on the top to be perfect for narrow foot + lateral holes areation
Anatomic (with internal P.U. soul) soft with foam inside + performant cover material + transpirant
Inner foam for maximum comfort + micro injections antislip
They are quite roomy widthways.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The upper comes clean with just a wipe over with a cloth.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Being very stiff and comfortable makes the R1s perfect for long, fast rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft upper.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Needs more ventilation for summer use.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The R1s are very good at what they do and are reasonably priced against their competitors. The only downside for me is the lack of ventilation on the uppers, and if you've got narrow feet they might be a bit on the sloppy side.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.