I’ve always thought about knit cycling shoes as an extra pair that you’d wear primarily on hot, summer days. Going no further than checking them out in the store, they seemed like a light, great-looking, nice-to-have luxury for those who enjoy and can afford such things.
I was attracted initially to DMT’s top-of-the-line KRO shoes. The white ones, of course. When I tried them on, they felt like I was wearing thin, super-attractive, and super-expensive socks, the kind one might wear in soft leather loafers to a cocktail party at a nice ocean-side resort, if one did such things.
So, not me.
But with the introduction of the DMT SH10, I saw possibilities. First, it has structurally supported heel counters or heel cups. The KRO lacks this and wearing it even in the store, my heel moved freely and seemed unprotected.
Second, the SH10 is just as gorgeous as the KRO but looks like it would cool my feet more evenly than the KRO. The SH10 has a uniform, 3D-printed look knit upper, essentially giving it perforations across the entire knit upper and under the toes.
This suggests to me an even better airflow than the KRO that has cooling perforations in the upper and a mesh screen in the outsole across its toes and another large mesh screen under the arch.
And third, the SH10 is priced competitively with dual Boa, top-of-the-line road cycling shoes from other brands. The KRO is even more expensive.
So, I bit.
Actually, I had to wait in anticipation since the DMT SH10 was first introduced in Europe and wasn’t available in the US where I ride until early 2023.
And when they did arrive, it was winter and my hot indoor trainer rides with a hard-blowing fan was the closest I could come to a summer simulation. I completed testing the SH10 in the spring on some surprisingly warm April days, a few cooler ones, and even a day with pop-up rain showers.
Unlike any shoes I’ve worn before, the DMT SH10 gives me the sense that I’m riding barefoot yet with a very strong connection to my pedals. The combination of knit uppers and hot-spot-free closures dials, laces, and guides make it feel that my feet are moving along topless.
At the same time, the outsoles are rigid making the SH10 feel like I’m giving up nothing on the downstroke.
After I transition to the upstroke and as I’m kicking forward between the upstroke and downstroke, I do feel like I’m giving up some efficiency as my heel isn’t held in place very well. While, as mentioned, the SH10 does have a structured heel counter, it has more volume and isn’t as rigid or formed in the heel cup area compared to other dual-Boa, comparatively priced shoes we’ve tested.
At the same time, the DMT SH10’s forefoot is as narrow as any we’ve tested. While the knit upper provides some give, I still felt a bit of pressure from the shoes at the outsides of the balls of my feet. And I wear a rather standard width, size EU43 shoe in most brands.
The length feels right and there is sufficient, if not ample room in the toe box. And like many cycling shoes, these DMT start with a very flat arch and you’ll want to add some aftermarket insoles if your feet need more support there.
While the comparative last chart shows the details, the DMT SH10 fit is closest to other Italian brands Giro and Sidi.
The bottoms of my feet became less comfortable the longer my ride. After a couple of hours in these shoes and despite tightening the Boa dials appropriately, it feels like my feet are moving around too much.
On days cooler than about 55F/13C with any kind of wind blowing, my feet were a bit chilly. They did dry out and clean up quite easily when I got caught in a shower.
One “nit” to pick. DMT outsoles come with a 4th hole between the 3 holes you get for standard cleats on most shoes. This can be used with Look cleats to maintain your cleat position when replacing them.
If you don’t use Look cleats or if you do but don’t want to take advantage of this feature, you’ll want to remove the small, hard-to-access bolt in the outsole that the screw goes into. If not, you’ll hear it jiggling while you ride as I did until I took it to my shop and we went on an internet treasure hunt to figure it out.
Clearly, the DMT SH10 is not a 3-season race shoe in most climates.
However, if you ride in parts of the world where it’s warm much of the year, have narrow feet, don’t go on day-long rides, and aren’t pushing to get every last watt of efficiency out of your shoes, this shoe gives you a cool and good looking option.
You can order the DMT SH10 for US$335, EUR265 from Amazon or Bike24.