DMT FK1 shoe review – knitted flat pedal shoes

DMT’s FK1s are aimed at all riding from casual cruising to enduro, but do these knitted kicks have what it takes when out on the trail?

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

BikePerfect Verdict

Lightweight and comfortable but the lack of foot protection or dampening in the sole means the aren’t suitable for gnarlier trail riding.

Pros

  • +

    Feel very lightweight

  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Decent pedal grip

Cons

  • -

    Flexible soles

  • -

    No toe or heel protection

  • -

    Easily saturated

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While DMT’s shoe range is mostly made up of clipless shoes, they do have a few flat pedal shoes for mountain biking. Like the rest of the DMT range, the FK1s feature a knitted upper which has an unusual one-piece tongue-less design. 

Rather than focusing on being the best MTB flat pedal shoes for one discipline, DMT says that the FK1s are aimed at a broad range of riding styles from cruising around town all the way to riding enduro. We have been hitting the trails to see how they cope. 

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe

The uppers use DMT's 3D knitted material (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

The obvious talking point of the FK1s is the upper, which is what caught our attention when we first saw these earlier in the year at Core Bike 2022. They are made from DMT’s propriety 3D knit technology which is said to flex and conform to offer a better fit. Using a knitted structure also gives the Italian shoe manufacturer more control over the material thicknesses of the upper. The toe and heel feature a thin abrasion-resistant coating to help keep wear at bay.

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe

The uppers use a one peice design rather than a conventional tongue (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

The upper also uses a one-piece design, which means no tongue although there are still laces to offer a little bit of adjustment. That means there are no seams or stitching to potentially cause points of irritation. The heel section is quite tall and features silicon dots on the inside to help hold the foot in place.

The sole is made from Michelin rubber and uses an OCX compound which is claimed to increase grip as well as performance in the wet. The pattern features variably spaced grooves to create gaps for flat pedal pins to grip into.

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe

Tread has lots of ridges for the pins to dig in (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Performance

The FK1s have a very casual trainer feel to them which had me feeling skeptical about how they would perform on the bike. The low weight, gentle fit, and soft sole mean they feel quite nice to ride on gentle flowy trails. The Michelin rubber gives a decent amount of grip and the thin sole delivers good pedal feedback if that's the ride feel you like.

Ramp up the intensity a bit and you will be wishing you had something more robust. Not only is the upper very thin but there is no toe box protection so you need to be very careful of rocks and other trailside toe stubbers. 

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe

There is no protection which leaves your toes vulnerable (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

The knitted material isn’t as ventilated as you would expect, but this plays well in more temperate climates as well as helping the shoes hold off rain or puddles longer than you would expect. Once they are wet though they properly fill with water and stay saturated.

Getting the shoes on is considerably easier than DMT’s GK1 gravel shoes that I previously tested. The fit isn’t super narrow either and I found them comfortable when wearing them all day. Despite the limited tightening afforded by the one-piece knitted upper, my feet didn’t slide or roll around inside which gives plenty of support to push the back end of the bike around when needed.

DMT FK1 flat pedal shoe

Tall heel sections comfortably grip the foot (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

The unique knitted one-piece upper is very comfortable, however, the lightweight build and softer sole means the FK1’s are far more suited to pump track, dirt jump, or flow trail sessioning, rather than gnarlier enduro mountain biking that DMT also pitches them towards.

Tech specs: DMT FK1 flat pedal shoes

  • Price: $TBC / £149.99
  • Weight: 716g (per pair, size EU43)
  • Sizes: EU 35 to 46
  • Half sizes: No
  • Colors: Black, Green
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg