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 I’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 some found dialling in tension created unpleasant, localised pressure on the foot, I 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 I found the Boa dial’s pressure less than ideal, the discomfort decreased while cycling, but still remained noticeable — I had 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. My size 45 pair weighs 620g, a little more than the previously range-topping R1, and while I love the inventive design, I found the RS1s impractical in operation.