DMT KR0 Road Shoe Review: Ivan's Long-Term Take
Knit uppers in shoes aren’t really new to bike shoes, but while the concept has taken the running shoe world by storm, adoption is more conservative in the cycling shoe world. Not so at DMT, as the Italian shoe company offers their 3D Knit upper on every single one of their shoes, all the way up to the DMT KR0 shoe Ivan has put through its paces.
Below are Ivan's thoughts on how knit shoes work in cold weather, what DMT shoes are like day-to-day, and who these Tour de France-winning shoes are best for.
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I want to start with sizing. Getting your foot dialed into the right size is key. To me, that will make certain parts of the shoes perform better, like how the rubber heel grips, and being able to easily slide into the upper knit. Choose the wrong size in the KR0 and you’ll likely have a poor experience with the shoe. Sizing is that important with this shoe.
You will definitely want to try out sizing with a cycling sock that your gonna wear, or go on their website and print out their shoe calculator. But getting the right size will make this shoe perform tenfold better than otherwise.
Setting up the shoes is pretty straightforward, although they work best with three-bolt road cleats. I really like that the KR0s come with a Look memory plate hole, which makes changing from a used Look cleat to a new one easy. So when it’s time to replace your cleats, you leave the memory piece from the old cleats in place and place the new cleat on top without having to realign them! Just plug and play. Sweet right?
The shoes use two of the top-end Boa Li2 dials which have a lower profile than other Boa dials. This makes it easier to use a shoe cover or overshoe, a good idea for when temperatures drop. Two dials make it simple to get the tension you need on the top of your foot and forefoot.
ON THE BIKE
Sliding into the shoes feels amazing. The DMT KR0 shoes felt a bit narrow at first when putting them on. Don’t let that scare you; once your foot is fully in, the knit will hug your feet quite nicely. Like a new sock! Unlike other shoes where you're dealing with comparatively rigid leathers and other materials that don’t adapt to YOUR FEET at times, the DMT uppers stretch and mold easily. Pretty wild how nicely they wrap your feet.
But let’s talk about performance. You want to know about how they perform and most importantly how they feel doing it right. In my eyes (and to my feet), I feel that the best cycling shoes should feel transparent. I want them to perform and feel great, whether it's for racing a crit or long days in the canyons. Above else, I don’t want to think about them when I ride, I just want them to work. The KR0s did just that for me.
The KR0 is a low-cut shoe, with what DMT calls their “3D Knit”, that feels great when pedaling. The low-cut design gives space for your ankles to be supported but breathe also. Having the upper knit prevents any uncomfortable rubbing, and because the knit is one continuous piece, it doesn’t use a tongue like a normal shoe. That means it avoids the annoying digging from the tongue that you might get from other cycling shoes.
That upper knit really allows your feet to move naturally, not feel like you’re pushing against unnecessary materials. You can really notice this when grinding at a slow cadence. I mean they just feel great!
The DMT KR0 carbon sole adds an extra experience to the shoes. These soles really are stiff, which paired to the natural foot movement you get from the kit, makes for a comfortable feel. It allows you to really dig into the pedals at any angle and not feel like your feet are all over the place.
It is wild how natural your feet feel in these shoes. They really are transparent.
I worried about how well the shoes would hold my heels in place considering how low profile they are, but I found the heels of the shoe to hold my foot’s heel quite nicely. This is thanks to extra grippers inside of the heel, which I really noticed while trying to beat my PR up Emigration Canyon. That is also a plus for any sprinters out there, or anyone wanting to pedal as hard as they can every now and then.
So far, I’ve ridden the KR0 shoes in cold 30°F Weather and can tell you I got a ton of ventilation going through the knit. I mean a ton. It feels like it has 360-degree ventilation. Like my feet felt like the guy on the Maxell cassette tapes. The carbon sole has a massive cut-out at the arch, and a smaller one just below the toes as well. That allows air to go through while descending and while grinding it out on your favorite canyon. I have no concerns of these shoes getting hot in the summer.
That being said I don’t wanna take away that you can’t rock these shoes in colder weather. Again that upper knit feels like a sock. So with the right overshoe, you can wear these in some colder temps and be okay.
One would think that a knit upper would be fairly fragile, but these look like they are gonna last a while. They haven’t stretched or torn in my nearly-daily use. They also have a layer film on the shoe that will help with scuffing or any normal wear and are reinforced around the heel and toe box, the two places that will see the most abuse. I really don’t see these shoes getting beat up bad. But like any shoe with a fabric upper, be cautious that they will be a bit harder to clean. Be careful if you want to stay looking fresh!
My overall conclusion is that the DMT KR0 shoes are amazing. You get a shoe that performs great no matter how hard you throw down on it. A shoe that feels great on long days. Ultralight and stiff. And above else, you end it with a pair of shoes that look fire!
If you're looking for shoes to spend all day in or shoes to race in, you can’t go wrong with any shoes in the DMT lines. You really can’t. But if you’re looking for the best shoe DMT makes, the KR0 is the road shoe you need to choose.
Words by Ivan Reza and Alvin Holbrook. Photos by Cody Wignall.
DMT KR0 size 37 can not be used in combination with Shimano cleats. The cleat is bended too much. DMT has no solutions.
P. De Schoenmaeker on
Did you use your normal size?
I have a size 46 in Northwave and decided to use a size 46 in dmt as well. Even though i have half a finger of space in front.
Tried the 45,5 but my toes touched the nose when i walked.
Michiel Grosemans on