Waterproof shoes for flat pedals aren’t especially common so it’s refreshing to see a brand step up to the plate. Leatt has done a cracking job with the 4.0 HydraDri Flat Pedal shoe, blending a grippy outsole with an effective waterproof membrane - although the zip can just become a bit of a struggle when muddy.
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Leatt 7.0 HydraDry flat pedal shoe - Technical details
Leatt touts the 7.0 HydraDri Flat Pedal shoe as an all-weather bootie. It comes equipped with 10K/10K waterproof protection and an elements-resistant outer shell to keep the crud out.
Even though the brand describes the shoe as one for all-weather use, Leatt has put a lot of effort into its design to help it excel when the conditions are particularly nasty. The shoe gets the WaffleGrip Pro pattern that we’ve seen on Leatt’s existing shoes but, for this model, it’s been inverted in the pedal contact area to increase the shoe’s contact patch on the pedal.
While we’re on the subject of the tread pattern, it comes cut with mudflow channels at the heel and toe to boost grip when off of the bike. The 7.0 HydraDri gets its own rubber compound, too. Dubbed RideGrip Pro, this compound is softer than other offerings to up pedal connectivity and foster better grip.
The upper is abrasion resistant and it gets specially placed TPU reinforcement stretching from the toe, around the shoe and at the heel. Retention comes compliments of a speed lace system, replete with a zip-and-nap popper at the top, which fastens the outer cover.
Leatt 7.0 HydraDri flat pedal shoe - Performance
Leatt’s efforts to make this shoe easy to put on are incredibly appreciated. Underneath the weather-resistant collar is a pull tab at the heel and there's a second tab on the speed lace which makes pulling on the shoe and tightening the lace super simple. Then, any excess lace can be stowed in a handy mesh pouch located at the top of the tongue and the cover is closed with a taped zip.
It’s a comfy shoe, too, and it’s been shaped a little larger to make space for thick socks. However, even with thinner socks, the shoe has remained stable - there's just a little more breathing room around the toe box. However, if you’re dead-set on thin, summer-style socks or just prefer a snug fit, Leatt recommends that you size down by half a size.
The pedal grip that the 7.0 HydraDri offers is nothing short of respectable, even in terribly wet and slippery winter conditions. While the grip isn’t quite as tenacious as Five Ten’s Stealth rubber, the RideGrip PRO compound provides an easier opportunity to shift foot positions on the pedal. For reference, this shoe has been tested using the Wolf Tooth Waveform pedals and Hope F22s.
I’ll admit that hike-a-bike sessions in these shoes have been few and far between but, in those pride-sucking walks down steep features, the shoe has provided useful traction.
It’s clear that Leatt has created a wet-weather shoe that grips, so half of the job has been done but thanks to that HydraDri membrane its wet-weather protection is class-leading. I’ve taken these shoes through some horrifically wet situations and left them caked in mud and still come out the other end with dry feet. However, the cuff of the trouser it’s paired with will heavily dictate its waterproofing prowess. If the cuff is too tight, water will seep in. Just make sure you wear a trouser that goes over the cuff and you’ll be golden.
Leatt’s all-weather description of the 7.0 HydraDri is stretched, to say the least. It ticks all of the boxes required to certify a solid wet-weather shoe but a lack of overall venting can make it a little toasty in warmer climates. That said, throughout the changeable conditions I’ve ridden the shoe in, hot feet have never been a concern and it’s been a go-to for a good chunk of the winter, regardless of whether or not it’s been raining.
Leatt 7.0 HydraDri flat pedal shoe - Verdict
As touched on earlier in the review, the market isn’t exactly bursting with waterproof shoes for flat pedals, so the 7.0 HydraDri is leading the charge among the limited options on the market. There’s Five Ten’s Trailcross GORE-TEX, the latter of which handles weather protection.
The Trailcross will set you back £160 ( £30 less than the HydraDri) but is not quite as comfortable. Spending extra on the HydraDri also gets you the speed lace system. The grip isn’t quite as solid as the Trailcross’ but its waterproofing is much more effective. If you’re looking to ride in the wet regularly, the Leatt 7.0 HydraDri is a better buy if you’re happy to shell out the extra £30.
Vaude offers the AM Moad Mid winter STX with a steep £220 asking price.
Not only does Leatt’s 7.0 HydraDri flat pedal shoe fill a surprisingly large gap in the cycling shoe market, but it does so while offering a seriously effective product. It thoroughly lives up to its waterproof claims, keeping feet perfectly dry through some of the worst conditions while offering top-notch traction.