Leatt DBX 4.0 Clip has good build quality – the upper has excellent water resistance and is easy to keep clean and as such is a good choice for winter.
At 1,001g, the Leatt DBX 4.0 Clip boot is significantly heavier than the rival best mountain bike shoes, but Leatt claims it has a gravity focus, which goes some way to explain the extra weight. The high-cut ankle does offer greater protection in gnarly terrain, although it is bulky, and we noticed quite a bit of crank rub on our test shoes.
The shoe has a sort of zig-zag Cross-Strap allowing you to add tension and really lock things down and secure flapping laces, but the downside is it’s a real mission to get the shoe on because you have to loosen both strap and laces. This sole is quite thick too, so we didn’t feel as connected to the pedals as some, and the cleat recess is also pretty deep, so we had to double shim our Crankbrothers cleats for them to engage in the mechanism cleanly.
The in-house RideGrip rubber compound is on the softer side for a clipless shoe, so offered plenty of traction with our caged clipless test pedal. The tread also has a lot of open-spaced, deeper lugs on the front and back, to boost off-bike traction. There’s a good amount of flex around the toe when pushing up steep climbs, but feel-wise the sole is a little wooden. We couldn’t feel a lot of energy return when pressing hard on the pedal, and the extra weight was noticeable when spinning and accelerating. Not to mention it comes up half a size too small.
If you want a burly shoe with impressive mid-height ankle protection, the Leatt DBX 4.0 Clip has got your back, but the Bontrager Rally has better heel clearance, lighter weight and a better ride feel.