The DMT KR3 are DMT’s mid-level cycling shoes and are marketed as “light, comfortable and fast full Knit road shoes.” Not only does the DMT KR3 cycling shoes utilize DMT’s distinctive full knit upper, it also offers Italian design and performance at a more affordable price point. The retail price of $299.90 the KR3s sits between the nylon soled KR4 and the more expensive KR1 shoes. The KR3s shoe combines a fully engineered knit upper construction with a stiff carbon fiber sole for optimal performance and comfort. Designed to work with 3-bolt cleats, the KR3s also have Look Keo memory eyelets and an impressive 8mm forward/aft adjustability. An aerated carbon sole also funnels air through two front vents through internal air channels in the molded insole.
The DMT KR3 shoes combine Italian design with a high-performance and flexible full engineered knit upper construction.
|Measured Weight (in g)||470 (EUR 43)|
|Likes||+ Highly ventilated|
+ Slipper like fit with knitted uppers
+ Stiff and glossy carbon fiber sole
|Dislikes||– Single dial closure|
– Limited color selection at current time
– Difficult to put on or take off with one piece upper design
|Where to Buy (US)||Alé Bikewear|
While most brands use subtle white or black cardboard shoe boxes, the DMT shoes are an eye-catching bright orange. Aside from an inspiration quote there is minimal branding on the box. Inside the box you’ll find:
- KR3 cycling shoes
- DMT branded travel bag w/ internal zipper
- 2x Look Memory Eyelet Screws
- BOA repair tool + tags
We’d recommend using or saving the Look Memory Eyelet screws (read our guide on how to use them) as they are easy to lose and difficult to re-order. These are also the first shoes we’ve seen that include a BOA repair tool for maintenance or replacement of the BOA dial. It’s a nice touch that speaks to the quality of the shoes. DMT also ships the KR3 shoes with transparent decals over the front air vents which can be used in colder or wet climates to keep the shoes dry and warm. We suspect the adhesive on the decal would wear out with repeated use though.
FIT & FINISH
While the KR3 may lack the bling-bling appeal of the KR1 Crystal shoes, they are the most affordable carbon sole road cycling shoes DMT offers. The KR3 comes in three colors from the white color scheme you see here as well as a black and blue version (the blue color isn’t currently available in the US which just leaves just the white or black options). That said, even the white shoes have a sleek two-toned “tuxedo-like” finish with a black center section and DMT branding. DMT’s orange tags on the top of the shoe and along the heel add a splash of color to the otherwise monotone shoes. The full knit uppers also feature a variable thickness and structure which gives the shoes a distinctive and premium look.
The KR3s also look more like Italian slippers than shoes as DMT has opted for a tongueless one-piece upper construction. Instead of a center tongue there is a flexible fabric center that stretches to accommodate wider feet and compresses as you tighten the BOA dial closure system. It’s a sleek design that takes advantage of the variable thickness and orientation of the knitted upper fabric. The uppers are attached to a glossy full-carbon fiber sole which we found to be as stiff as other high-end shoes. The three-bolt design offers a full 8mm forward/aft adjustability with positioning indicators and a Look Memory Eyelet which makes installing cleats a breeze. We also appreciate that DMT has added a replaceable heel pad which can quickly be swapped out with two easily accessible screws.
One unique feature of the DMT KR3 shoes are the molded insoles. They are fully ventilated with perforations on the entire surface and also feature air channels along the bottoms to help funnel air from the air through the shoes. This sleek design works in conjunction with the front air channels and the perforated upper material. While the soles lack the swappable insole attachments found in more expensive shoes such as the Shimano RC9 or Scott RC SL shoes, they worked surprisingly well right out of the box.
Unlike the more expensive KR1 shoes, the DMT KR3 shoes utilize a single top mounted BOA IP1 dial closure system. The dial placement is a few inches from the ankle with a traditional two row lacing pattern. Although we’d prefer a multi-zone dual-dial closure system, the single dial design works well with the knitted upper material. As you tighten the shoes the elastic center section compresses and distributes the tension on the shoe. Compared to dual dial shoes such as the FLR F-XX Knit, the KR3s don’t offer as much adjustability in the toe box as much as we would have preferred.
Being an Italian shoe, the sizing is a bit different from Shimano or other cycling shoes. The advice we received from DMT was to size down compared to equivalent Shimano shoes which worked well. The EUR 43 shoes had a similar length to our Shimano RC9 S-PHYRE EUR 44 shoes with a more narrow width. That said, the flexible knit uppers are very elastic which made them comfortable even for our wide feet. To be honest, the upper material almost felt too elastic as you don’t have as secure of a feeling of stiffer traditional cycling shoes. There are no internal seams or bulky material to cause pressure points or discomfort which means the KR3 shoes feel like slippers instead of cycling shoes. They still performed well for high effort sprints or climbing, but the combination of the flexible uppers and single dial closure system sacrifices some performance. Ventilation on the shoes is also quite impressive as the black center portion of the shoes are fully perforated with the aerated insoles helping to funnel air along the sole of your feet. Even riding with the shoes in the midst of a heat wave, our feet remained cool and comfortable.
Overall, we found the DMT KR3 shoes to be sleek and quite comfortable on the road. The tongue-less design provides a slipper-like feel with enough flexibility and ventilation to remain comfortable even on all-day rides. Although we wish DMT offered more color options, the two-tone white/black design looks distinctive. We also appreciated the attention to detail such as the pop of orange branding and replaceable heel pad. The main drawbacks of the shoe in our opinion is the single dial closure system which lacks finer control and the fact that the shoes are difficult to put on or take off due to the one piece upper design. That said, the DMT KR3 combines the Italian styling and full knit upper construction the brand is known for at a more accessible price point. If you’re looking for cycling shoes that fit more like Italian slippers, the KR3 shoes are hard to beat.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Alé Bikewear. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.