South African mountain bike and moto apparel brand, Leatt, is expanding its vast apparel line to include two pairs of flat pedal shoes and two clipless options. With their multiple helmet offerings, goggles, full body armor coverage, and head to toe riding kit, they now have you covered from the dirt up.
The new shoe range includes two pairs of flat pedal kicks with distinct levels of stiffness and protection, and two clipless options with their own unique features. Mountain bike shoes need to provide protection, comfort, predictable pedal interaction, and durability, and Leatt claims to have considered all of these key aspects while designing the new range. Additionally, all four pairs include the quick-drying and anti bacterial material qualities that we have come to expect from well made athletic footwear.
MTB 2.0 Flat
The simplest and most affordable of the four new shoes is the MTB 2.0 Flat. The synthetic suede upper is tightened with specially designed compression laces that reportedly won’t come loose or stretch while riding. The toe box and heel are covered in a stealth protection layer to keep the material looking good throughout the season.
The MTB 2.0 Flat uses a flexy sole design to increase pedal feel and make the shoes comfortable to walk in. Through extensive research with riders, Leatt found that folks want a more durable shoe than what’s currently on the market. Their Ride Grip Compound is said to offer just that. In place of the traditional method, wherein pedal pins dig into a soft sole compound to provide a solid pedal connection, Leatt opted for a tread pattern that allows the pins to enter the tread, preventing the shoe from slipping or moving on the pedal. This insertion approach is said to maintain a confidence inspiring pedal connection that doesn’t require the fast wearing gummy rubber that other brands use.
The 2.0 Flat comes in grey, black or blue and retail for $89.99, €89.99, and £79.99.
MTB 3.0 Flat
The MTB 3.0 Flat shoes include all of the features of the 2.0, though they have a stiffer shank and added heal protection inside the ankle. The shoe’s sole has channels at the heel and toe that are designed to evacuate mud, keeping the sole of the shoe better connected to your pedal on sloppy rides.
The synthetic suede toebox and remaining synthetic leather upper are lined with a waterproof membrane to keep the puddles on the outside.
The 3.0 Flat are available in green/black or grey/black and retail for $99.99, €109.00, and £94.99.
MTB 4.0 Clip
Moving on up the Leatt footwear scale, the MTB 4.0 Flat shoes include all of the features of the flat shoes above, with an added 25mm-long cleat channel and an on-the-fly adjustment strap. The synthetic upper is vented for warmer riding and lined with a waterproof membrane to extend the season.
The cleat channel is longer than any other on the market, with standard positions toward the toe and far more midfoot adjustability for improved foot placement on steeper trails. The cleat channel is also deeper to provide added contact between the pedal and the sole instead of only touching at the cleat. Each pair comes with a set of cleat shims to adjust the overall depth for different pedal shapes.
The 4.0 Clip shoes come in solid black or blue/black and retail for $119.99, €119.99, and £99.9.
MTB 5.0 Clip
The MTB 5.0 Clip is Leatt’s stiff and racy offering. It loses the ankle protection of the 4.0 model, gains some stiffness, and swaps the compression laces for a concealed speed lace system to cinch them up wicked quick. Leatt claims that the 5.0 is their ultimate all-around shoe, stiff enough for XC and burly enough for gravity riding.
The upper is lined with a 3-layer waterproof membrane that has a 10k/10k waterproof and breathability rating. I wore the 5.0 during a full rain-soaked day of shuttling in Finale Ligure and was happy to have warm feet while washing my bike at the end of it all. On the first descent, I landed in a stream crossing just right, soaking the ankle of my right foot, and of course, letting in some water through the opening. Despite being damp my foot remained reasonably warm throughout the following runs. The shoe’s quick-drying anti-stank material was mostly dry when I woke up the next morning.
The uber long cleat channel leaves plenty of room to experiment with different foot placement, and with ever steepening seat tube angles it’s nice to be able to move your lower contact point forward and relieve some knee strain. I will write up a full review of the 5.0 kicks in the coming months.
The 5.0 Clip shoes come in black only and retail for $129.99, €129.00, and £109.99.
On a final note, if your feet are typically on the upper cusp of shoe sizes you will want to get these a half-size larger than your usual fit. A size 43 often fits fairly snug on my foot, and I had to go up to a size 43.5.
The new shoes are available online and through your local Leatt dealer.