Leatt’s DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal Shoe combines a casual look with serious performance that any non-clipped rider will appreciate. It's comfy and reasonably priced too – the only negative is the casually bendy sole hinders efficiency on the pedals.
The DBX 2.0 Flat uses a synthetic leather upper and a synthetic suede toe box, with Leatt’s specially-concocted RideGrip rubber compound at the sole.
As for protection, the toe and heel boxes are reinforced, and the heel is shaped to hug the top of the ankle so it doesn’t slip as you’re riding (or crashing...).
The DBX 2.0 also get Leatt’s compression laces that are designed to stay snugly lashed down, and at that they succeed. However, if the actual knot isn’t quite tight enough – or secured in the elastic lace loop – they do tend to unravel.
The midsole's waffle-like tread is very reminiscent of that on a certain other brand’s range of shoes (the one rhyming with… cans). At first look this design absolutely makes sense, and turns out to in practice too – at least for the most part.
At either end, the deep mud channels reduce clogging and create a bit more grip off the bike – noticeably so in comparison to uniform tread patterns.
Possibly due to a mix of the DBX 2.0’s medium/stiff sole and that well-designed tread, it’s a really nice shoe to walk in. I’ve probably walked in these shoes as often as I’ve ridden in them, and they're pleasant and predictably grippy.
One quick note: while the UK distributor (and some major shopping sites) call these the DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal Shoes, Leatt itself calls them the Shoe 2.0 Flat. They're the same thing, though.
That waffle tread pattern takes a little getting used to. It takes some wiggling to mesh the pins nicely into your treads, but once you’re in, you’re in.
The DBX 2.0 creates a very locked-in feel. Unless you hit something particularly jarring, that waffle pattern results in an impressive and consistent level of grip, especially on noticeably concave pedals.
That’s great if you’re in a comfy position before dropping into a track. If your foot isn’t quite in that sweet spot on the pedal, though, the design makes it hard to shuffle and readjust your position.
Further boosting pedal grip is that medium-soft shank, which is only out-flexed by the one on the DBX 1.0 Flat. It allows the shoe to conform to the pedal pretty easily.
On very flat pedals such as Shimano Saints, the outright grip isn’t quite so impressive, but the locked in/position adjustable balance shifts so it's easier to readjust your foot.
For a shoe lacking any purposeful weatherproofing, it’s impressively comfortable year-round. Granted, it soaks during heavy downpours or when blasting through deep stream crossings, but it shrugs off general spray and wetness.
The DBX is good in warm weather too – or at least, not too bad. It's definitely on the warmer side of things as it’s quite heavily padded and there’s little in the way of perforation, but what venting there is keeps air circulating.
For £80, the Leatt DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal Shoe offers impressive comfort, performance and grip – especially if you like that locked-in feel. Leatt's own DBX 3.0 Flat offers more protection with its raised ankle and supposedly better efficiency with its medium-stiff sole, though, and is only £15 more at £95.
However, this DBX 2.0 trumps Shimano's identically-priced GR5. The Leatt offers more grip, better weather protection and gets that neat lace tidy, unlike Shimano’s offering.
The Leatt DBX 2.0 Flat Pedal Shoe is great if you like to chop and change from flats to clips. It provides a very usable level of grip and that ‘locked in’ feel, while not costing an awful lot. It's also super comfy and surprisingly weather resistant – just not terribly efficient while on the power.
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