£275 › Su­per-stiff skele­ton shoes

Cycling Plus - - NEW KIT -

DMT’S RS1 SHOES EM­PLOY UNIQUE Boa lace fas­ten­ings. Their skele­ton sys­tem sees the par­al­lel lace ends an­chored in the for­ward outer edge of the car­bon sole, and wrapped around the shoe one and a quar­ter times be­fore reach­ing the sin­gle Boa L6 ro­tary dial, on top of the two-part wrapover tongue. On their jour­ney, the laces pass through six ny­lon tubes when thread­ing through the up­pers, and are sleeved to pass through the sole.

The up­pers are ro­bust, with sturdy mi­crofi­bre ma­te­rial and gen­er­ous pad­ding be­hind the laces and around the an­kle, a sil­i­cone-dot­ted in­ner heel and rub­ber-in­jected anti-slip in­sole. The wrapover tongue has a ribbed plas­tic lead­ing edge, and the sole’s use­ful heel bumper is re­place­able, but with no toe pro­tec­tion, the car­bon scuffs quickly.

Ven­ti­la­tion comes from large per­fo­ra­tions across the toe box and a vent in the front of the sole. The shoe’s uni­di­rec­tional car­bon sole has a tub-like con­struc­tion, wrap­ping partly around the base of the up­pers, its sculpted pro­file and thin in­sole pro­vid­ing fine foot sup­port. It re­ally is one of the stiffest soles we’ve tried, and eas­ily a match for the most pow­er­ful rid­ers. If you’re not a Look pedal user, be sure to se­cure the cleat po­si­tion­ing nut or suf­fer con­stant rat­tles.

Each click of the Boa dial tight­ens the shoe by a mil­lime­tre, and those long laces need a lot of tight­en­ing torque to over­come the fric­tion from their un­usual rout­ing. The Boa dial sits just off cen­tre on the tongue, and while one tester found di­alling in ten­sion cre­ated un­pleas­ant, lo­calised pres­sure on the foot, an­other had no dis­com­fort at all. Ten­sion can only be re­leased by pop­ping the dial up, whereas a two-way ad­justable Boa dial would make on-bike tweaks eas­ier.

Although we found the Boa dial’s pres­sure less than ideal, our dis­com­fort de­creased while cy­cling, but re­mained no­tice­able, leav­ing us with ob­vi­ous skin im­pres­sions from the over­lapped up­per, and up­per bunch­ing in front of the tongue. That won’t be the case for ev­ery rider, as Team Sky’s Elia Vi­viani won the Olympic Om­nium ti­tle in Rio wear­ing th­ese, and DMT does ad­vise drop­ping half a size smaller than your usual for the best fit.

The toe box is spa­cious, and the ven­ti­la­tion ef­fec­tive at rea­son­able speeds. Our size 45 pair weigh 620g, a lit­tle more than the pre­vi­ously range­top­ping R1, and while we love their in­ven­tive de­sign, we found the RS1s im­prac­ti­cal in op­er­a­tion.

Try be­fore you buy as one rider’s pain could be an­other rider’s bliss WE SAY

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