leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review

Review: Leatt DBX 3.0 Flat Pedal Shoes

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Leatt DBX 3.0 shoe review. Leatt entered the highly competitive shoe market in 2020, so how does the DBX 3.0 stack up?

Leatt finally achieved its goal of offering a complete rider outfit at the beginning of 2020 with the release of the brand’s first shoes. Leatt can now sell you a helmet, shorts, jersey and matching shoes, but to sway riders away from more established shoes on the market these new flats have to be pretty special.

The Leatt range consists of a couple of shoes in both SPD and flat options, but the Leatt DBX 3.0 sits at the top of the flat shoe tree and promises to offer high-end performance, fit and features. In fact, it says right on the box that the DBX 3.0 offer “Unmatched Comfort. Ultimate Control” a bold claim for sure, but not dissimilar from the claims made by Five Ten, Ride Concept, Giro and others.

leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review
Leatt DBX 3.0 Flat Shoe.

Costing £95, the Leatt DBX 3.0 has similar pricing as rival shoes and the materials used and features included in the design are spot-on for a flat pedal shoe of this calibre.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Design

Leatt has used a synthetic leather upper, with a synthetic suede toe box that features ventilation on the DBX 3.0. The mid-height inner ankle design adds support and protection, while a moulded heel design and reinforced toe area ensure plenty of armour to shrug off rocks, roots and other trail nasties.

Internally, Leatt has fitted the DBX 3.0 with a waterproof and breathable inner liner, and like the mid-sole, the liner is fast drying, anti-bacterial and uses and anti-odour material.

Leatt has specced the DBX 3.0 with a medium stiffness control flex shank, this makes the shoe stiffer than other flat pedal shoes in the range and ensures a stiff, but not too stiff, pedal platform.

Leatt says they’ve designed the FlatGrip Sole with a tread pattern to grip the pedal, while the heel and toe areas have a different tread that suit walking and aids grip off the bike. Mudflow channels are one of those features and one that I’ve not been able to put to the test due to the glorious weather we’ve been enjoying.

The sole is made of a compound that Leatt has designed for themselves called RideGrip. This rubber compound claims to offer great pedalling grip, control and will also resist abrasion and tearing.

Elastic on the tongue keeps it in place and stops dirt and stones from getting in, there’s a simple elastic lace tidy built-in, and a pair of laces keep Leatt’s latest on your feel.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Review

The size 43 which I tested fitted very well, and once laced up there is no movement or slipping of the shoe. In other shoes I sometimes, lazily, pull the shoe off without undoing the laces and can sometimes slip them back on again, but not with the DBX 3.0. The fit is snug and comfortable, and with the heel area being designed to support it’s very difficult to get them off unless you undo the laces. Sounds obvious I know, but it’s not always the case.

leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review
If you like them super snug the toe box might do this.

I found on my shoes that the foot box is quite roomy. I like a tightish fit and I’ve found that getting the laces to how I like them has actually nipped the box area up a little. If you have wider feet or don’t like as tight a fit around your toes as I do then you probably won’t experience the same.

The waterproof membrane is a great addition, but this, as well as the limited ventilation upfront, does make the DBX 3.0 quite a warm shoe. Not an issue in cooler conditions, but in our current sunny climate, my feet have been getting rather hot. Still, even after some very hot and sweaty rides, the anti-odour material is doing its job.

Leatt’s RideGrip compound isn’t the stickiest material on the planet, and riders coming from something like a Five Ten with Stealth rubber are going to notice this, but the design of the sole can make up for that depending on your pedal. I’ve found that the NukeProof Horizon pedal to be a great fit for the Leatt sole, with plenty of pins sitting nicely in the tread design to keep your feet in place.

leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review
A few knocks and scrapes but my feet are nice and safe.

As for the durability of the shoes, well the sole is starting to show some wear and there are a few rips and scrapes here and there, but my local trails are extremely fast and rocky in sections so it’s hardly surprising to see, and most importantly the shoe has kept my feet safe and free from injury.

leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review
The sole is showing signs of wear after 6 weeks of heavy use.

To give you an idea of longevity this is what my test shoes look like after almost 6 weeks of riding, some weeks I have been out every day, while others just a few times a week. I feel that a similar pair of Five Ten, Giro or Ride Concept would have similar levels of wear after the same sort of use.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Overall

leatt dbx 3.0 shoe review
Lot’s of protection and good traction with the right pedals.

Leatt has made a feature-packed, and comfortable shoe, the fit is very good and once on they offer great security and fit. Due to the slightly harder compound, the DBX 3.0 doesn’t offer the same level of traction and grip for every pedal and you might have to experiment to get the best balance for you. For me, this meant using the DBX 3.0 with a NukeProof Horizon pedal.

I would personally prefer the compound to be stickier and perhaps a summer version of the shoe with more ventilation to be offered, but as they stand the DBX 3.0 is a great entry for Leatt in the flat shoe world.

Review Info

Brand: Leatt
Product: DBX 3.0
From: Hotlines
Price: £95
Tested: by Andi Sykes for 6 weeks
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Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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Comments (6)

    As someone that has a deep personal hate towards 5:10s is nice to see so many brands now coming out with alternative.

    When reviewing footwear, could you please remove the insole and take a phone of that looking down on it? I’m looking for some cycling shoes that are the same shape as an actual human foot.

    Onzadag couldn’t agree more, we need some foot shaped flat pedal shoes, im sick of cramming my toes into stupid shaped shoes!

    When buying any shoes, I take the liner out and stand on it. If my toes spill over the edge, I’ll look for something different.

    Wondering if I might have to switch to Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Evo and use them with a proper natural footwear running shoe instead.

    But is it genuinely waterproof, is the big question?

    (and what sort of absolute madman makes a shoe with both vents in the toes and a waterproof lining? It’s like putting a sunroof in an umbrella)

    For those looking for foot shaped, altra shoes were a game changer for me trail running, and for the last six months been riding in their Grafton approach shoe: https://www.altrarunning.eu/uk/grafton-1794.html

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