PEZ-Test: DMT Flash Shoes
There was an advertising campaign a few years back that attributed a certain athlete’s impressive performance to the tag line “It must be the shoes”. Not being too inclined at ball sports, it took until now – trying out the new DMT Flash Carbon cycling shoes, for me to understand what those original ads meant.
Outta the box these babies promise a lot – you can feel how light they are – they’ve got a couple new design features to improve both fit and function, and they look darn cool. Let’s spec these babies out:
”Ex-Squeeze me? – Did you say Stiffer and Lighter?” Only 243 grams of shoe per foot – that’s light.
First impressions count for a lot and here’s where personal taste can rear its ugly head, but I’ll commend the DMT boys for making an attractive shoe, both in design and color scheme. They come in white or silver – one slightly “flashier” than the other – you decide which. Color aside, the lines are sleek and contoured – rather befitting the name.
Now – enough with the subjectivity – let’s get real…
Wider Toes in the Flash mean more room, and more comfort.
Gary and Rob – the guys at Upland Sports Group responsible for bringing DMT (and some other cool Italian brands) to America, tell us the DMT Flash has a carbon sole, SLHC (Super Light Hardened Carbon) – 30% stiffer, 30% lighter than their previous carbon sole, made from A.C.T. (aeronautic carbon technology) – aerospace grade, uni-directional carbon fiber; and includes Look Memory Adjustment feature. That’s all fancy jargon for “really stiff, really light”.
At 243 grams per shoe (for the size 41’s) they are definitely among the lighter shoes around.
SOCCER Meets CYCLING
Taking a page from the construction of their soccer boot, the DMT crew designed and made a one piece upper – no seams, no joints, no junk. From front to back and side to side, your upper foot is wrapped in one piece of material that is bonded to the sole in one place – at the sole. The intention here is to reduce places where your foot might rub the wrong way inside the shoe.
The most noteable diff for regular DMT customers will be the increased room in the toebox. Compared to the RSX, the diameter measured around the center of the shoe is 2.5 mm more – doesn’t sound like much, but this should nicely suit our North American preference for a wider shoe.
The uppers are made from one piece of synthetic “LighTech” material – perforated to allow for lots of breath-ability – no seams or stitches to rub or bind your feet.
The micro-metric buckle system, dubbed the 2X Density Control Strap along with two Velcro straps (whose strips match perfectly – no overhang!) offer plenty of adjustment to fit just about any foot shape. Combined with a flexible tongue, you can find the exact tightness you need. You get both a snug fit and the needed flexibility for comfort during performance.
The one piece upper is a super-smooth on the inside, wrapping the foot from front to back, with no seams and very fine stitching. The buckle and 2 straps offer plenty of adjustment, and the high heel cup helps hold you down.
If you’re like me and use an extra insole, or any other orthotic assistance, this fit system is designed to accommodate a variety of “special needs”. I had a few other riders slide into them without the arch support insole I needed, and the number one word out of their mouths was “comfortable”. The number two words were “how much you want for them?” Sorry fellas.
The Shape of Things To Come: DMT is one of the first to add a screw to accommodate the new Memory plate of the Look Keo cleats.
Second in line for importance in a cycling shoe is the sole. And the catch word is “stiffness”. Sometimes there’s a tradeoff for weight, as stiffness usually equates to more material ergo more weight, and sometimes a sole that is too stiff, or even too flexy can result in hot or numb spots during the ride (this often depends on how your foot “fits” against the sole).
The light weight was the most noticeable feature here – the shoes are like a couple of feathers on the feet. Honestly, I felt like I was spinning easier which made sense as I was moving less dead weight through my pedal stroke.
Also available in flashy silver.
Even for a shoe this light, the DMT Flash Carbon shoes are definitely a “No Flex Zone”. Be warned. I detected no noticeable flex whether climbing hard or sprinting. I can’t wait for the first race of the year in 3 weeks to give these guys a try under fire.
But without question, the thing I liked best was the fit – these shoes felt great on my feet.
Perhaps the only thing that’ll prevent these from flying off the shelves is the price – at $350US they’re not for everyone. Sure there are other shoes that’ll do what these do, and since everyone’s feet are different, chances are you’ll find another shoe that works as well.
But if you’re looking for a super light, rigid shoe, that has some well-designed built-in comfort and just happens to have a super sleek look (gotta admit the Petacchi “cool-factor” doesn’t hurt), these are worth a look.
We may not be able to ride like the pros, but at least we can look like ‘em …
Get more info at the Upland Sports Group Website: www.UPLANDSG.com
Where To Get ‘Em:
Get yourself some online at GLORY CYCLES