The DBX 4.0 Clip is Leatt's entry to the world of trail and enduro shoes. It's superbly comfortable, very protective and gives great pedaling efficiency, but it's also chunky, heavy and hot.
Using synthetic leather, the DBX 4.0 Clip is built ruggedly. It deals with water pretty well too, thanks to a weather-resistant tongue and water-resistant upper. The inside is lined with a moisture-wicking, quick-dry material that uses active carbon to reduce odors, and there are anti-lift panels to grip your heels.
They offer loads of protection with a rigidly-reinforced toe box and a moulded heel. The inside of the ankle is raised too, making light work of surprise crank strikes. While the protection is a big plus, it does makes for a bulky shoe – I found I rubbed my cranks a lot more than usual.
Running through the sole is a medium to stiff shank, which reduces flex and transfers your efforts to the pedal super-efficiently. I actually find the high pedaling efficiency negates the extra weight, and it never really feels like a heavy shoe once on the bike.
The sole is Leatt's RideGrip compound, which provides a more than adequate level of grip, especially when paired with the deep cleat recesses. If you find the grip a little too much, there are spacers supplied to tweak the height and contact pressure.
Off the bike, the soles are impressively grippy. While they're not particularly aggressively-treaded, I've yet to take a tumble in these shoes, even when hulking my bike and myself up some properly steep slopes. And even with the armoured toe box, the DBX 4.0 Clip is perfectly comfortable to walk in on any ground. They’re as close to skate shoes as I’ve worn so far.
My favourite thing about this shoe is the range of adjustment. There’s 25mm of it, letting me adjust to the two-bolt cleat to almost perfectly match my regular flat pedal stance. Almost... I ride with my heels towards the bike, with my left foot more so, and there’s not quite enough twist in the channel to accommodate that. Yet they still ride very comfortably.
When it gets warm, the padding and protection that makes the shoe so comfortable works against it a bit. While the weather-resistant upper is breathable, it can get toasty quickly, if never too sweaty thanks to that wicking liner. More surprising is how quickly they dry after wet rides – useful.
If you don’t mind an extra bit of bulk and weight, the Leatt DBX 4.0 Clip does an excellent job of keeping your feet comfortable, secure and well-protected. And given the excellent amount of cleat adjustment, the quick drying, the grippy sole and the efficient pedalling, the highish price actually represents good value for money.
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