DL Killer KS1 shoe review

Boil in the bag custom shoes

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Former Italian pro rider Danilo Di Luca may have had a chequered professional career, but post-racing he’s put together some interesting Italian-made bikes, and has now launched perhaps the most bling shoes ever to arrive at BikeRadar.

The all-new KS1’s custom fitting follows in the footsteps of Bont and Lake’s cook-to-fit protocol, but instead of going in the oven, you put them into the supplied bag, which goes into a pot to be soft boiled for 15–20 minutes.

Once boiled, pop the shoes on and sit down with your knees at a 90-degree angle and wait for 10 minutes or so until the shoes have moulded to your feet. To set them fully, putting them in the freezer to cool quickly worked well. This is a pretty convoluted process, and I had to go out and buy a pot big enough to take size 45 shoes!

The fit is superb, even without the moulding. The super-stiff carbon sole curves up the sides of the upper, under the covering, and wraps into the heel cup. This encapsulated design makes the KS1s really stable, with the soles’ absolute rigidity truly impressive.

On the bike, their minimal weight and very low stack height make for brilliant contact with your pedals

The footbed has a decent arch support and the overall shape is wide and low volume, with the rounded toe box a sign of the anatomically-designed upper. The upper is tightened using wires attached to twin Atop dials.

The Atops don’t have the two-way micro adjustment of Boa IP1s, but I never had an issue with these easy-to-use adjusters. The upper holds your foot so well you rarely need to touch the dials after a quick turn to take up the slack.

The sole has minimal drillings for venting, but I appreciate the large bonded rubber toe bumper and deep, replaceable heel protector.

On the bike, their minimal weight (554g a pair, size 45) and very low stack height [distance from the centre of the pedal to the sole of the shoe] make for brilliant contact with your pedals. The stable, stiff shape gives the feel of super-power transfer.

The KS1s are not for wallflowers, with the dazzling coloured chrome upper making a real statement. My test pair have quite a lot of the ruby slipper about them, and drew plenty of Wizard of Oz and Dorothy jibes.

At £390 these are phenomenally pricey, and you can find equally good race shoes for less, but they won’t be as exclusive or as bling as these Killers.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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