If you want to sprint like the Italian Super Star, Alessandro Petacchi, you need to do two things. First, get a pair of DMT Cycling Shoes. Second, and more difficult train for many hours over many miles for a long time, oh, and have a special sprinters ability!
My first impression of the DMT Flash cycling shoes was that there seemed to be a lot of plastic involved. OK, so the sole is Carbon, but the uppers have a very plastically feel to them on the outside. The material is man-made. There are no seams. Well not where you would normally get them with a leather upper or with a mesh insert.
The only seams are where the retaining straps. The tongue, the hardened plastic heel support and the padding around the top is stitched into place, so it is not in any way going to chafe your feet. That is my first impression, now for the in-depth stuff.
First the most important thing; the carbon sole, if you want a top pair cycling shoes these days they have to have a carbon sole, “Supra Light Hardened Carbon” they call it, the sole is made of carbon composite fibers with fixed thickness from the heel to the toe, this helps with strength and aerodynamics.
The uppers have been designed to be a seamless, sock fit, so no uncomfortable stitching or overlaps and pressure points on critical areas of the foot. That’s what DMT says about the intense research and years of studies they have carried out to come up with the state of the art materials used in the manufacture of these shoes and all there other shoes too.
The Flash shoes come with the usual LOOK three-hole fitting, plus the single bolt hole in the center for the memory part of the LOOK Keo shoe plates, so all normal there. I measured up my old shoes and fitted the new plates where I thought they should be. There are also two sets of marks on the soles for reference.
I must say here that the shoes came with two LOOK plate-shaped bits of sand-paper. They are put on the base of the plates to give them grip on the very shiny carbon sole. This also helped re-adjusting the plates later as when you loosened the three screws, the plate stayed where it was and allowed for very slight movement to get the thing just right.
OUT ON THE ROAD
Normally I can be messing about with the shoe plates for days, but on this occasion, I only stopped twice to adjust both plates and one extra stop to move the right one a millimeter, after that, all felt good, and I could concentrate on the feel of the DMT shoes on the ride.
The two Velcro straps are nothing special. The same as most other shoes on the market, but the top ratchet straps are something else.
The plastic heel cup comes all around the back of the foot to hold it comfortably tight; the top strap is an extension to one side of the heel cup and attached to the other side by the ratchet system. The plastic used is of two different densities, for strength and comfort for the upper foot.
The ratchet is also different from other makers as it uses a lever that you pull out to loosen the strap, not a fiddly button, its very secure and very safe.
OUT OF THE SADDLE CLIMBING AND SPRINTING
When you are doing either of these styles of riding you can feel any give in a cycling shoe. These DMT’s are solid and I mean SOLID. All the pressure going into the shoe was then going into the pedals, no flex, and all power.
Pulling up the foot didn’t move about in the shoe. Moreover, there was no uncomfortable pressure on the top of the foot. This test puts any shoe through its paces, and the Flash passed perfectly. I can see how Petacchi wins so many sprints with these shoes on his feet.
HARD RIDING ON THE FLAT
When you are riding into a headwind or riding flat out in big gear, you need to first put full strength into the shoe. Then out onto the road without any discomfort or movement of your foot in the shoe. Here I found I could tighten the top strap, but leave the two lower ones with a bit room, to let my feet breath, the top strap is that strong.
Yes, the padding around the ankle and on the tongue is just right for the comfort and security of your foot. The straps don’t cut in or constrict your foot movement, and everything is held in place without squeezing.
ANY BAD POINTS
I found two problems, and they are not big. If you have a narrow foot and need to tighten the top ratchet strap, in a long way, you find that the two plastic ends of the straps push against each other. One wants to ride over the other, which is fine is you are sat down at home but can be a bit tricky if you are adjusting the strap on the ride. If the plastic on the outside of the shoe came a bit higher, then there wouldn’t be this problem, as I say its not a big drawback.
The other could be heated. I rode on a day when the temperature was about 28C, my feet seemed warm but not uncomfortable. How they might feel at 38C, I will have to wait to find out. There are small perforations along the top of the uppers, and in the tongue, these may be enough, but I am sure mesh gives more ventilation.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
These DMT Flash cycling shoes feel good and look great. I’ve ridden many different makes of a cycling shoe, and I think these are the most comfortable so far. They are for sure the lightest at about 500 grams a pair. DMT Flashes ride well-giving support and security where you need it. They are not cheap, but worth every penny, cent or whatever. As to ventilation, we will have to wait and see.