The DMT KR3 road cycling shoes look stunning, with a really clean knitted upper. They’re the little brother of the premium KR1 shoes and while the KR1 has built-in webbing to toughen it up, there’s a little more give in the KR3’s fabric.
DMT has been canny in deciding which pro riders to sponsor. Whereas many shoe makers will sponsor whole teams to ride in their shoes, DMT supplemented its long-term relationship with Elia Viviani by signing then-rising star Tadej Pogačar to wear its shoes.
A Tour de France win later, plus a string of other victories, and DMT is shoemaker to the hottest property in pro cycling. More on Pogačar’s shoes later.
The KR3’s uppers are knitted in a single piece, which means there are no seams. There isn’t even a separate tongue, with enough stretch in the opening and a puller tab to allow you to pull the shoes on with ease. There’s nothing to dig into the front of your heel once you’re riding either, so they’re comfortable however long you keep going.
Closure uses a single Boa IP1 dial, with the wire passing through a second set of cable guides over the forefoot, which augments the clean looks. There’s a more padded section to the uppers under the Boa’s wire, which prevents it cutting into your foot.
The rest of the upper is knitted, with thicker, coated construction at the sides and under the Boa guides which adds a bit of support and helps keep out wet and dirt. The part of the upper over the forefoot and sections around the sides are made of uncoated woven fabric though, which gives excellent airflow, a soft feel and lots of comfort.
The minimalist upper helps to keep the weight of the DMT KR3 impressively light, with a pair of size 42.5 shoes coming in at 464g.
There’s a rubbery section around the inside of the heel which helps stop heel lift. That’s supplemented by a raised heel cup to keep your foot firmly in position as you ride.
On the bottom, DMT’s carbon sole unit is plenty stiff enough for effective power transfer. I couldn’t bend it by hand, even if DMT says that the KR1’s sole is stiffer still. There are a couple of vents under the toe to add to the breathability of the uppers.
It’s nice to see a screwed heel piece, which can potentially be replaced, although there’s no added protection from wear at the toe.
Comfort is supplemented by a well-shaped insole with good arch and heel support and I never felt uncomfortable or suffered from foot aches, as I have done in some other shoes.
Performance, but make sure you size right
At first sight, I thought that the DMT KR3 road cycling shoes would be a bit long and narrow for a comfortable fit for my pretty average feet. That’s not the case though. The front of the sole unit is wide enough to support the forefoot well and there’s plenty of give in the knitted uppers to conform to your foot.
There’s a bit of a mismatch between DMT’s European and UK sizes, with the size 42.5 being marked as an 8, whereas I’d have expected it to be a UK 8.5. So I started off with a size 43 as I thought that the 42.5 would be too small for my feet.
That turned out to be a bit too large for me. Dialling up the tightness to avoid my foot slipping around meant that, with the single Boa dial, most of the pressure was over my midfoot, while the front of the shoe was still not very tight and the uppers rucked up slightly side to side.
Dropping a half size to a 42.5 made the front of the shoe a closer fit and helped even out the pressure, but it would be easy to buy a pair of KR3s which didn’t provide optimum fit and pedalling efficiency, if you didn’t try them first. The European sizing is a better guide to fit.
Which brings us back to Pogačar. With more structure, the KR1 might not be prone to the same fit issues in its uppers, despite using the same single dial closure as the KR3. But Pogačar now rides in the latest £350 KR TDF.
With a lace-up construction, it’s likely to help distribute pressure more evenly than a single Boa. And the Tour de France yellow colour is a nice reminder of their star user.