Cycling is all about innovation and shoes are far from immune to this. BOA fastenings are arguably the most noticeable among recent innovations, now widely adopted across just about every top of the range cycling shoe. The BOA is pivotal to the form and function of the new DMT RS1 shoe…
The DMT RS1 shoes are much more subtle than the accompanying bag
This is because usually the BOA wire simply closes the upper of a cycling shoe in the area where, traditionally, there would be a tongue, replacing laces and velcro fastenings. Rather excitingly DMT have adopted a different approach and created a BOA system whereby the wire wraps around the ‘entire’ foot.
The RS1’s styling is suitably neutral to broaden appeal
To do this they had to create a tubular skeleton, woven into the sides of the upper and then set into the carbon sole. These skeletal ‘bones’ are made of fine hollow, nylon tubes. There are 4 on the outside of the shoe and 2 on the inside. The BOA wire runs inside these nylon tubes, through the upper and then looped into the upper-most parts of the carbon sole.
Three ‘skeleton bones’ for the outside of the foot…
Working in conjunction with the carbon sole, this allows the BOA dial to tighten the shoe 360° around your foot. In theory, and some initial tests suggest, it is very secure but only time, and some seriously hard efforts out on the bike, will really tell.
…and two for the inside
The shoe was developed with Team SKY’s top road sprinter, Elia Viviani, who is also the Olympic Omnium Champion and a Six Day winner on the track, so it should work. DMT claim, “The SKELETON SYSTEM is the result of years of advanced research at the DMT laboratory”.
Each skeleton bone is anchored into the carbon sole
I love the idea of a secretive laboratory at DMT HQ in Verona, with guys in lab coats crafting all sorts of bizarre means of securing Viviani’s feet to his pedals. Whatever the reality, the RS1 skeleton is a neat idea.
BOA wires are fed into nylon tubes to surround your foot
There is no external heel counter (the distinctive, separate heel you see on many shoes) on the RS1, instead it relies on the shape of the carbon sole and a heel gripper to provide security to this part of the foot. Initial impressions are that heel lift is well controlled, though again we won’t know for sure until we get out on the road and put the boot in.
DMT make a lot of noise about this new carbon sole. It is made of UD FAW 150 carbon (FAW is fibre areal weight, the weight of fibre in one square metre of the prepreg carbon) which promises stiffness with longevity and resilience.
The stiff, well vented sole of the DMT RS1
DMT say it has a ‘very high thermal stability’. There is a large frontal vent and then seventeen smaller (5mm) vents in the carbon sole around the ball of the foot, utilising the cleat fixings to provide ventilation. Forty two air holes in the upper top promote further through flow of air.
Like many other manufacturers, DMT employ a uniform upper to wrap around the top of your foot. It is two pieces, neatly joined at the heel and on the inside of the ball of your foot, and coloured silver in both of the available white and black shoes.
The BOA dial is a simple version, in that it is only adjustable one way – to tighten. Newer BOAs allow you to micro-adjust in both directions, useful in long hot events. As usual one click equals 1mm of adjustment. The DMT theory is that once you set up your shoes at the start of your race, you don’t need to adjust them except for coming into the final sprint. To be fair, providing the shoe fit is good, this is usually the case. Still in 2017 it would be nice to have a dual direction BOA.
Fit is wide with a high arch
Pulling the BOA dial up will completely release the wires, allowing quick removal of the shoes post race.
Styling is subtle by modern standards
Inside the upper there is a one piece, breathable ‘sockliner’, visible only inside the front of the shoe, as another one piece synthetic liner, housing the rubber heel gripper, covers it on the inside of the rear of the shoe.
You may now be wondering just how heavy the skeleton and all the other tech makes the RS1. Well the answer is, not very really. 282g (564g pair) on the CycleTechReview scales for a size 43 shoe, whilst not up there with some other brand’s sub-500g, featherweight offerings, is still on the money for a top road shoe.
Weight is similar to most other top of the line shoes
In terms of the all important fit, these shoes are reasonably wide so should fit a large number of potential buyers. If you have narrower feet, volume is easy to fill with the addition of various aftermarket insoles. I am well into a wide fit in Shimano, Bont, Lake, etc, and while not as wide as those specific wide fits, the RS1 fits my size 9 feet like a glove, suggesting the DMTs are wider than average. They do, however, also come with a high arch so again a different insole may need to be acquired by those with flatter feet.
The shoe design is certainly eye catching, while still being subtle enough by modern standards in the black and silver finish of our test pair. If you don’t like black, there is a white and silver alternative. Despite a proliferation of orange elsewhere in their range, DMT do not offer the RS1 in other colours.
DMT have a fantastic pedigree and some great names have been associated with their shoes, including cycling gods and ex-World Champions, Phillippe Gilbert and Mario Cipollini. I am sure that SKY fastman, Elia Viviani would love to emulate the success of either of these great champions and on the face of it, this shoe is well up that job. Check back soon to see what we think of the DMT RS1 after some rigorous testing.
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