“Wannabe” is the term I’ve accepted for wearing skateboard shoes since my youth despite never successfully landing an ollie. Skaters look cool, and their gear grabs my aesthetic nerve more than some of the stuff that’s made for trails. When the folks at Leatt decided to make some kicks, they glanced around to notice that all of their friends were wearing Vans out on the trail and decided to use a similar sole to grip the pedal pins. Their affordable Shoe 1.0 Flat V22 has a long name for a shorter price of $89.99 (at Wiggle and Moosejaw), and it’s notably skate-inspired.
Unlike the other shoes we’ve tested from Leatt, this pair isn’t covered in toe and heel protection to save the 26 bones that make up your body’s platform. Instead, the upper is a chill ass bunch of suede and canvas that says “let’s climb trees and skip stones” as much as it does “let’s shred.”
This won’t be the ideal set of sneakers for racing gravity, but you could pair them with a number plate if you like. The soles are on the thinner side and melt a bit around the pedal body. With the right pedal fit, they feel great on smoother trails. My feet have had to adjust somewhat with harsher terrain, as there’s less support and shock absorption in the soles.
That “pedal melt” sensation makes for positive pin contact, keeping your feet planted on the platforms. Flat pedals and shoes stick together in a few ways: soft soles that the pins dig into, a tread pattern that the pins lock into, or a combination of the two. The Leatt method leans toward the locking side of things, keeping the sole material a little firmer to last another season. These shoes allow my feet to remain in place better than some of the racier flats I’ve tested, removing the sensation that I need to reposition my foot while descending. The trade-off of less impact damping is something I’m getting used to, but I might grab a different pair of shoes for a long day with multiple slopes.
The 1.0 Flat tread is better for walking around town or the DJ park than hike-a-bike. They will grip the soil on dry trails, but these are by no means a backcountry hiking option.
I have long and narrow feet, like hand-carved sailboats, and the laces on this pair get tight enough to hold my heels in place even if I’m trudging uphill. Length on the other hand is a little off base, and I would prefer a half size larger than my usual 43. These flats are available in half sizes between 38.5 and 47, so most of us should be able to find a fit.
I would recommend this pair to anyone who prefers the chill vibe and isn’t looking to ride the roughest terrain at a fast clip. For rockier stuff, Leatt has a host of thicker-soled kicks.
- Good looking all day
- Positive pedal conection
Pros and cons of the Leatt Shoe 1.0 Flat V22.
- Less protection than some
- No lace capture
- Only two color options