Super stiff soles, a good fit and heat mouldable insoles make DMT's Top Gear shoes brilliant for racing and fast trail riding. Their heel fit is good thanks to a top strap that combines with the heel cup to ensure they don't shift about on your feet.
The Top Gears are Italian shoe manufacturer DMT’s top-end mountain bike shoes. They're not subtle in looks; the shiny black and silver finish isn't to everyone’s tastes, and drew a few raised eyebrows on most rides. Their go-faster looks grew on this tester over time though.
Under their controversial looks is an exceptionally stiff shoe, easily one of the stiffest we've ever tested. The DMT Top Gears felt stiffer all round than other top-end shoes, certainly in this price range. Powerful riders, racers and fast trail riders who want the best power transfer will get on with them.
A race is always a good place to really test kit and in my first outing the shoes impressed hugely. Off the start line and out of dead corners, when you need to really hammer the pedals, their huge stiffness was appreciated. There's no flex at all.
This race highlighted how good the fit is too. The heel cup does a good job of clasping the foot firmly in place, even during the hardest pedalling there's virtually no detectable heel lift. Two Velcro straps and a ratchet buckle clamp the upper around your foot. I found I needed to apply a fair amount of pressure to the straps to ensure the shoes stayed firmly in place, but they weren't uncomfortable with it. The padded tongue helped here, spreading the pressure across the top of the foot well.
Inside, the insole has a large central ridge that initially felt uncomfortable and a bit odd, but by the end of the first ride felt fine. The soles can be moulded by heating them up in the oven and this is worth doing to get a really good fit. The inclusion of the custom mouldable sole goes some way to help offset the high cost of the shoes.
The tread attached to the underside of the carbon fibre sole is replaceable. That’s a nice touch given the high cost of the shoes and should extend their life considerably. The tread is aggressive with two studs up front that helped when pushing the bike up ridiculously steep slippery banks, and they clear easily.
Our only gripe really is the large amount of mesh interrupting the micro-fibre upper around the shoe. That means in the current chilly weather it can get cold inside. Most top-end races shoes are designed for warmer climes though so it's unfair to level too much criticism at DMT in this regard.
Incredibly stiff shoes for laying down the power with a custom mouldable sole ensuring they're comfortable with it.
Heat mouldable sole
Great ankle and foot position control
Did we mention the stiffnes?
At the high end of the price range
More information: DMT Top Gear shoes
UK supplier: Paligap