When it comes to making great shoes, nobody can beat the Italians, so we were excited to test out the new DMT:E1 clipless enduro shoe. With sharp looks and great features we were impressed, but then we encountered a problem.
You may not have heard of DMT before, but the Italian brand produces some of the sexiest road shoes on the market. For 2016 the brand is turning their attention to the dirty world of MTB and have released a range of trail and enduro shoes. The DMT:E1 is their new enduro offering, targetted at the rider looking for a high-performance shoe to smash STRAVA times and go against the clock. The striking looks (a more subdued grey version is available) and well-cut uppers look both distinctive and purposeful and we approve of the grippy Vibram Megagrip sole unit.
However, after a long test period the DMT:E1 shoe left us frustrated. While the lower strap is made a little redundant by the construction of the shoe, the accurate single BOA closure and superbly shaped upper make the DMT:E1 one of the most comfortable shoes we have tested. The Vibram S188 sole unit is stiff enough for aggressive riding without compromising walking comfort for apres ride beers, and the reinforced toe box is perfect for those who get loose in rocky terrain. We like the venting which is just enough for all but the hottest days without letting in too much water on wet days. Even the 500g weight (per shoe in size 43), although not the lightest is fine for all day riding – so why the frustration? No sooner did we fit the cleats to these shoes that we encountered a problem, they simply do not work with all cleat types and positions.
We found that Mavic/Time and Crank Brothers cleats would not engage at all on the pedals due to the minimal clearance surrounding the deep cleat pocket. We also could not get the Shimano cleats to work unless we added a thick spacer underneath and ran them in the most forward of the two cleat mounts on the plate. This permitted a satisfactory cleat position under the ball of the foot, but meant that more aggressive riders could not run them in the more preferred rearward position. We experimented with spacers and even trimming the sole down with a knife which helped matters, but the need to cut into a £110 shoe is unforgivable.
The DMT:E1 has all the ingredients of an amazing trail shoe, comfortable, durable and well made they encourage aggressive riding with all-day comfort. However, incompatibility with some of the leading pedal cleats, and inability to use the complete adjustment range means that we cannot recommend them until this issue has been corrected. [Upon conversation with DMT they will be decreasing the depth of the cleat pocket in 2017]
For more information you can check out the DMT website.
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey