Year after year Leatt has shown the dirt bike and mountain bike industry that they’re not done yet! What started as a neck brace company is now covering riders of pedal and petrol-powered bikes from head to toe. For the last couple years, Leatt has been adding entirely new products to their lineup and 2020 was the year of footwear. Leatt didn’t tip toe into the foot game either, they dove in with four different models, two flat pedal shoes as well as 2 clipless options, and moto boots which we’re also testing. In our first Leatt shoe review, we’re going to be taking a look at the DBX 3.0 Flats.
The Sole on the Leatt DBX 3.0 Flat shoes feature an optimized grip pattern molded from Leatt’s RideGrip Compound. The RideGrip Compound is designed to offer maximum tear, puncture, and abrasion resistance. The toe and heel area also feature siping with mud flow channels for traction while walking up or down the trail.
Leatt uses an anti-compression midsole made from active carbon material providing moisture wicking, quick drying, anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties. Sandwiched between the FlatGrip Sole and midsole is a medium-hard Control Flex shank that is said to help balance support, comfort and power transfer.
The Leatt DBX 3.0 Flat shoe upper is made from a synthetic leather with a synthetic suede toe box. Just under the perforations for ventilation is a waterproof, yet breathable membrane. Keeping the Leatt 3.0 shoes snug around your feet are compression webbed laces. The lining of the upper also uses the same Active Carbon material that is found in the midsole. In addition to the laces keeping your foot in place, Leatt adds what they call Heel Grip, an anti-heel lift with achilleas tendon relief and grip panel. An increased level of protection comes in the form of added height on the inner ankle portion of the quarter, a molded heel stabilization and a rigid, reinforced toe cap.
Leatt offers the DBX 3.0 Flat in two colors – Forest Green or Granite. The DBX 3.0 is available from size US 6 to US 12 and retail for $99.99.
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the DBX 3.0 shoes was just how much bigger they looked than many of the other shoes on the market. The toe box is much wider than most of the flat pedal shoes I have been riding in as of late (Bontrager and Sombrio). Outside of that, the shoes have a sturdy and yet aesthetically pleasing, simplistic appearance.
Leatt’s DBX 3.0 Flat shoes have a snug and true-to-size fit around my size 12 foot. To get the shoes on my feet, I had to loosen the laces up at least three eyelets back to be able to open the shoe and tongue up enough to slide my foot in, which is a bit of a pain. After a quick phone call to Leatt giving them our first impressions, I was advised to change the way the shoes were laced. I was skeptical about how much it would affect it but, I made the change and the DBX 3.0’s are much easier to get on now. The webbing lace closure tightens up extremely well and I have yet to have the shoes come untied on the trail. Even though the toe box is wide, I never noticed any negative side effects like my foot sliding around inside or hitting my shoes on trail-side obstacles.
On the pedals, the medium-hard shank paired with Leatt’s RideGrip compound outsole provided excellent traction on a variety of pedal designs. There are some signs of crank arm rubbage on the right shoe, but I can’t say I ever noticed it while riding. The DBX 3.0 is a fairly warm shoe no matter how fast I’m moving on the trail, one of the downsides of having a waterproof membrane. That said, the membrane is VERY good at preventing water from seeping into the shoes. I managed to accidently step in a creek and thought for sure I was on my way to trench foot riding in wet shoes the rest of the day. To my surprise, no water got in and I was able to finish out my long ride with the only moisture inside the shoe being my own sweat.
In hike-a-bike sections of trail, the DBX 3.0 Flats do surprisingly well given their unorthodox outsole tread pattern. After a couple months of riding, the outsole still looks as good as new with no noticeable pedal pin chunking or wear.
Leatt knocked it out of the park when it comes to their DBX 3.0 Flat shoe. They checked off almost all the boxes necessary to make a great shoe. The DBX 3.0 offers excellent pedal grip, specifically with concave pedals thanks to their medium-hard flex control shank. The 3.0 shoes offer a bit more protection than the recently reviewed Sombrio Senders and Bontrager Flatlines.
These Leatt shoes aren’t ideal for everyone however. The waterproof membrane, while great for wetter locales and winter riding, won’t be ideal for riders in hot, humid and dry environments and should check out Leatt’s other offerings.
Also, the lack of a size US 13 (and bigger) could also prove to be a problem, we noticed quite a few comments on Instagram from our sharing of the press release asking where the larger shoe sizes were. It would also be nice to see an all-black version of the DBX 3.0 Flat.
At $99.99, the Leatt DBX 3.0 Flat is offers a whole lot of bang for the buck. We’d put the Ride Concepts Powerline shoe as the DBX 3 as the nearest competition in terms of style, design and protection, and that shoe retails for $150, the Ride Concepts are definitely not as hot though.
Sizes: US 6 – US 12