Leatt are now a complete head-to-toe brand, following the launch of their all-new MTB shoe range. The DBX line-up includes the 2.0 flat pedal shoes for trail riding, the 3.0 Performance flats, 4.0 Performance Clipless shoe and finally, the DBX 5.0 Performance all-weather clipless shoe. We took the 2.0 Flats for a spin at the Bike Connection Winter event in Massa Marittima, Italy. The trails were dry, fast and loose, so we’ve brought the Leatt MTB Shoe home to Scotland for a different sort of testing in the slop. Stay tuned for a review of the 2.0 and 3.0 Performance flats coming shortly. Here we have the tech details on the full range.
Leatt MTB Shoe Range
The above Leatt MTB Shoes comprise almost the complete range. There is still more to come from Leatt but we must keep our lips sealed. For now, Leatt are offering two price points for their flat pedal model, and two price points for their clipless model. The shoes have been developed and tested extensively from the deserts of Moab to the Glaciers of the Alps. Here’s a quick shreddit of David Cachon modelling the flats in Barcelona.
Leatt MTB Flats
Let’s get straight to the business end; the sole. For those who ride flats, the quality of the sole is everything. With no physical clip connection to the pedal, the grippiness of the sole’s rubber, and how it interacts with the pins are critical. FiveTen have long been the gold standard for flat pedal shoes. 510 soles rely on the soft, sticky compliance of the rubber to mold to the shape of the pedal pins. It works tremendously well, of course, but at the cost of durability. Leatt have taken a different tack in developing their soles…
Leatt asked their pro riders,”What are the grippiest flats for riding?” This may come as a surprise to you but their answer was Vans. So Leatt went ahead and modelled the sole of their new DBX flats on the sole of Vans BMX Shoes, kind of. And it makes sense, right? The hexagonal indents in the rubber should interact with a larger surface area of the pins, and not just the top of the pins, but also the threaded sides. The result of Leatt’s testing is the Waffle Grip, said to interlock with pedal pins to form a mechanical lock offering superb grip and bike control.
All Leatt DBX models feature the RIDEGRIP sole compound; a highly durable NBR rubber blend, said to be abrasion and puncture resistant; tougher than what you’d find on the sole of FiveTens. The Leatt soles also feature “Mud Channels” at the toe and heel regions, meant to encourage trailcrud to fall off the sole, preventing “sole float” on the pedals and while walking. The footbed of the shoe is made stiff by the presence of a carbon insert.
Leatt have created their own “compression” laces, featured on the whole range, save for the 5.0. They are designed to resist coming undone; the fabric is anti-stretch and waterproof, meaning the laces shouldn’t expand in wet conditions, and should retain tension. The shoe lining has antibacterial properties, thus should resist odour. The shoe is also said to be quick drying.
Leatt 2.0 Flat Pedal MTB Shoe
The 2.0 is Leatt’s casual riding shoe. It’s got a bit of a sneaker look about it with the suede finish. Designed for comfort and ventilation, it features a medium stiff sole said to allow for good control on the pedals but also comfort when walking around in them. The upper is composed of a synthetic leather with a synthetic suede toe box.
All Leatt shoes feature an internal stiffening plate called the Shank, which serves to control the flex of the shoe. The Shank of the 2.0 shoe is the softest in the range, designed for comfort while riding non-aggressive trails. The toe and heel regions feature added protection from trail projectiles. The heel also has an anti-heel lift grip design to prevent your foot from slipping out of the shoe when things get gnarly.
The DBX 2.0 Leatt MTB shoe retails at $89.99/€89.99/£79.99 and is available in black, ink and steel colorways.
3.0 Performance Flats
The 3.0 Performance flats are a little more business like than the 2.0. In addition to the toe and heel reinforcement, the 3.0 offers inside ankle protection with a padded tongue and a raised inner padded side wall. The upper is composed of a synthetic leather with a synthetic suede toe box. Beneath the ventilation holes in the toe box is a 10K/10K waterproof breathable membrane, making the 3.0 the more durable all-weather option.
With a stiffer sole than the 2.0, this shoe is designed for the rigors of enduro and downhill mountain biking, as opposed to casual trail riding. The Shank controlling the shoe’s flex is of the medium/hard type designed to give the rider good feedback on ride feel.
The Leatt DBX 3.0 Performance flat pedal MTB shoe retails for $99.99/€109.00/£94.99 and is available in Granite and Forest colorways.
Leatt Clipless MTB Shoes
The Leatt DBX 4.0 and 5.0 shoes are both of the clipless genre. They feature the same Waffle Grip as the flats, with the RIDEGRIP compound and Mud Channels at the heel and toe regions, but they feature a cleat box. A defining feature of Leatt’s clipless shoe offering is the deep recess of the cleat box, said to enhance to the shoe-to-pedal contact area around the SPD mechanism. The deep recess doesn’t work well for every clip pedal on the market, however. Leatt provide additional spacers for use with low profile pedals such as some Crankbrothers models.
The metal cleat shims sit in a 25mm long cleat channel, making the Leatt clipless shoes super adjustable and compatible with a wide range of pedal types. The channels have a stiff base sat on a carbon inner sole, ensuring good translation of pedalling power into the drivetrain.
4.0 Clipless MTB Shoe
The 4.0 uppers are composed of a synthetic leather with a synthetic suede box, with a waterproof and breathable membrane on the inside. The Control Flex Shank is of the semi-rigid type, said to offer a great ride feel. Protection is added at the toe and heel regions, as well as at the ankle with the inner side raised. Molded cross-tension straps also ensure a stiff connection between the rider’s foot and the shoe’s sole, for added pedalling efficiency.
The Leatt DBX 4.0 Clipless MTB shoe will set you back $119.99/€119.99/£99.99 and are available in black and ink colorways only.
5.0 All-Weather Clipless MTB Shoe
The DBX 5.0 Clipless Leatt MTB shoe is top of the range. This is Leatt’s performance clipless shoe, designed to let you train hard on your hardtail, race enduro, and get loose on your DH bike. In addition to all the features seen on the 4.0, the 5.0 features a water resistant outer shell on top of a 3 layer waterproof and breathable inner membrane.
In place of compression laces is a “speed lace” compression system, the toggle of which can be stowed neatly under the pocket of the tongue.
The 5.0 Leatt MTB shoe has a molded stabilizing heel and rigid reinforced toe area. The Control Flex Shank is semi-rigid, daid to deliver a great ride feel, and an anti-compression midsole delivers added comfort. The 5.0 will set you back $129.99/€129.00/£109.99 and is available in black only.
DBX Shoe availability
The 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 Leatt MTB Shoes are all available in US sizes 6-12, UK 5.5-11.5, and EU 38.5-47. All are available direct from Leatt now.