Italian shoe specialist DMT is the pioneer of knitted uppers. The innovative design has been licensed by some of the world’s biggest sports brands for use in footwear such as football boots and running shoes.
DMT brought knitted uppers to its premium cycling models back in 2018 and it has now launched a dedicated gravel bike shoe priced at less than £200.
DMT GK1 gravel shoes details and performance
At 753.6g a pair (size 45, UK 10) the GK1s are much heavier than the best road shoes due to their more robust build. They’re designed for epic days out and multi-day adventures.
Sizing runs from 37 to 46 with no half sizes, and they come in all black or black and ochre, as well as this maroon and black colourway.
The superior comfort these shoes offer comes from the upper’s slightly stretchy, open-weave material, which gives a breathable, sock-like fit and conforms to your foot better than any PU material I’ve tried.
It has the suppleness of real leather without the bulk. However, open-weave obviously isn’t perfect when the rain falls.
On the plus side, the shoes dry quickly. For added durability, a bonded rubberised coating runs across the toe and down the flanks, covering the heel area completely.
The shoe is tensioned using laces that attach to 10 cords on each side. These then wrap around the sides of your foot and anchor to the outsole. The fit of the upper is so good that I’m convinced these would work well without laces.
There’s no lace retainer, but it’s no problem to tuck the bow behind the lacing.
The natural rubber-compound sole is made by Michelin and provides full cover to the foot plate, plus lots of grip for off-road conditions. The block tread pattern is chunky, with 10mm-deep blocks on the forefoot rising to 15mm deep on the heel.
The sole is stiff enough without being ‘race-shoe’ stiff.
DMT GK1 gravel shoes bottom line
The DMT GK1 shoes are superb gravel companions because the soles absorb vibrations much better than an unforgiving carbon footplate.
This, combined with the supple but supportive upper, means the GK1s have fast become some of my favourite gravel shoes for long rides in warm, dry conditions.
Their lack of water resistance and the fact you ideally need a shoehorn to get them on because of the tongue-free design are minor niggles in an exceptional shoe that’s a great choice for summer riding.