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review

DMT KR3 knit shoes

7
£235.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Stiff sole and very comfortable upper, but flat insole and single-dial adjustment won't please everyone
Comfortable fit
High breathability
Basic, flat insole
Single-dial adjustment
Weight: 
440g

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The DMT KR3 knit shoes combine a super-stiff carbon sole with flexible knit upper, which may seem counterintuitive, but the result is a flexible fit that doesn't lose much, if anything, in terms of performance.

Breathability is clearly a major factor for DMT, which perhaps isn't surprising from an Italian company. Alongside the knit upper you get a large port near the front of the sole, though out of the box it's taped over – I chose not to remove it, as temperatures while testing were never exactly Italian.

The knitted upper allows significant airflow – in fact, at anything below 15 degrees I needed oversocks with them.

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In terms of fit, DMT shoes are longer than many. While DMT provides the usual size information, it also gives dimensions in centimetres – I recommend referring to that and measuring your feet. I found the length made them feel at least one EU size larger than the stated size.

2021 DMT KR3 Knit Road Cycling Shoes - in step.jpg

They're quite narrow, too, much like Mavic, Sidi and Giro typically are. But while I personally struggle with those brands, the knit fabric on the KR3 gives vastly more flexibility and as a result, they are incredibly comfortable.

2021 DMT KR3 Knit Road Cycling Shoes - laces.jpg

The flexibility does feel strange at first – it can feel excessive. For racers or riders looking for the absolute maximum performance it may impact power transfer, but for me – and I suspect the vast majority of riders – it's marginal and the extra comfort is worth it.

Adjustment is via single Boa dial, which allows for incremental adjustment and has a quick-release function that makes them easy to take off. They are also incredibly quick to put on due to the flexibility of the knit construction.

2021 DMT KR3 Knit Road Cycling Shoes - side detail.jpg

Some riders may wish for an extra dial as, while this one tightens equally along the shoe, the sheer flexibility means separate toe adjustment would be useful.

> How to choose your cycling shoes

The insole is very basic. It's flat with no added cushioning, and while DMT does a custom insole option, it's an extra cost. As a rider with a high arch and footwear being an area that I often have fit issues, I suffered with pain on the first few rides.

Superfeet yellow insoles vastly improved the comfort, but when high-end shoes from the likes of Shimano, Specialized, Giro and Rapha come with various comfort-tuning options included, the KR3s' sparseness disappoints.

2021 DMT KR3 Knit Road Cycling Shoes - sole toe.jpg

At £235.99 these are a useful chunk cheaper than the £310 KR1 versions that share much of the same technology, but there is no doubt this is still a sizeable amount to spend on a pair of shoes.

2021 DMT KR3 Knit Road Cycling Shoes - sole heel.jpg

With a firm, stiff carbon sole matched to incredible flexibility and comfort in the upper, they are a great option for riders who may previously have struggled for comfort, or for riders who suffer from hot feet issues. Just check the sizing carefully.

Verdict

Stiff sole and very comfortable upper, but flat insole and single-dial adjustment won't please everyone

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road.cc test report

Make and model: DMT KR3 knit road cycling shoes

Size tested: 41

Tell us what the product is for

DMT says: "Light, comfortable and fast full Knit road shoe. With its full knit construction we have created a very light shoe with great breathability that has just enough stretch to perfectly match your foot shape. Full Engineered Knit upper combined with BOA Fit System and our aerated carbon outsole make this a race ready shoe that you will barely feel on your feet."

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

DMT lists:

Full Engineered knit upper

Variable thickness and knit structures for ultimate comfort

BOA® Fit System with single IP1 dial

Aerated Carbon outsole

8mm front/rear cleat adjustability

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Riders wanting maximum power transfer may find the upper too flexible.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
4/10

Come up approximately 1 EU size larger than expected.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

The upper is exceptional, but the narrow shape and basic insole may be an issue for some.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

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

No marks or wear evident.

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

Comfortable yet stiff.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The impressive comfort of the upper.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The insole is very basic and I had to replace it quite soon.

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

They are expensive, and a single Boa and basic insole at this price is quite disappointing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not - too expensive.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Excellent comfort in the upper and a stiff carbon sole may seem odd, but they almost feel invisible. The flat, basic insole and lack of toe adjustment is a bit disappointing at this price, though – and the sizing needs improving.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

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