Italian manufacturer DMT’s mid-range KR4 road shoes hit the sweet spot between performance and affordability, says cycling writer Mark Bailey…

DMT KR4 Road Shoes

$210 / £174.99, chickencyclekit.co.uk 

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Pros:

  • Comfortable knit fabric
  • Feather-light road racing design
  • Unique head-turning style

Cons:

  • Speedy racers might prefer a carbon sole
  • No sole markers for easy cleat adjustments

Comfort: 4.5
Durability: 3.5
Stability: 4
OVERALL: 4

Based in the Italian city of Verona, DMT was formed in 1978 but the brand has been making headlines in recent years as the shoe choice of double Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar. A word often used in the brand’s marketing materials is ‘craftsmanship’ and this artisanal quality is evident in its mid-range KR4 road shoes, which blend slimline aesthetics with technical innovation. Check out the rest of the best cycling shoes for every kind of riding.

DMT KR4 Road Shoes features

The shoe’s USP is its engineered 3D knit fabric and sleek one-piece design, which provides a sumptuous sock-like fit. The soft and stretchy fabric adapts to the shape of your feet, offering a comfortable and customised fit. It’s like wearing a beloved pair of well-worn running shoes.

The shoes feature an adjustable Boa L6 dial and cable system. I was worried that the single dial set-up may cause my feet to slip around more than they would with the tighter double dial system found on pricier models. But the reinforced heel and sock-like design ensured a stable fit. I’ve tested dozens of shoes and even with premium pairs I get pinch zones. But the KR4’s seamless one-piece knit design all but eliminates pressure points. I have narrow feet so the KR4’s streamlined fit really suited me, but some wider-footed riders may struggle.

Product shot of DMT KR4 road shoe

The slipper-like design of the KR4 contributes to their super light weight

Available in black, silver and petrol blue, the KR4 has a head-turning design, and the orange flash of the DMT logo on the heel and tongue provides a playfully stylish Hugo Boss-style pop of colour. I tested the silver pair which look like they’re made of chainmail but weigh just 8oz / 227g per shoe. Spinning the pedals out on the roads, you feel like you’re dancing through the air.

DMT KR4 Road Shoes performance

The moisture-wicking fabric is also highly breathable, so the shoe doesn’t need open vents, which can get chilly on cooler spring or autumn rides. But with their slim fabric, these are not intended to be a winter shoe, and I’d be wary of tearing the upper – though the reinforced toe section should limit that risk.

As the KR4 has a nylon composite outsole, speed-chasing riders may prefer a stiffer carbon sole, which has become the standard for elite riders looking to avoid energy leakage and max out their power output. But I found this sole was plenty stiff enough for my mid-level endurance riding. Stiff shoes can leave me with numb feet on longer rides, but I didn’t have that problem with these shoes.

The KR4s have fixing holes for standard three-bolt road-cycling cleats, but sadly there are no handy guide markers printed on the sole for easy cleat adjustment. That will irritate riders who like to tinker with their cleat position for optimal fit, and it seems an uncharacteristic oversight.

All in all, the KR4s are a fast, light and comfortable shoe which are a joy to ride in. DMT has cheaper and pricier options, but this would be a solid choice for any regular road rider chasing speed, style and comfort.

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