Leatt’s new entry to the best mountain bike shoes wars is a slick looking, cool riding design with a powerful pedalling stiffness, sticky grip and rock protection for hotter drier rides. It’s hard to get a consistent tightness though and the mesh build and shallow tread aren’t great in wetter, colder conditions.
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Design and specifications
Leatt has gone with a sleek, low volume upper design for the 6.0 Clip and the gum rubber sole and tread blocks are low profile too. The extended cleat slider box allows more adjustment than normal but still sits relatively forward on the shoe. A ‘Semi Rigid Control Flex’ shank provides the power transfer. The RideGrip rubber sole wraps up round the toe to create a kick protection rand. A tapering EVA cushioning wedge starts behind the extended cleat slider box and also extends up around the heel for protection.
Most of the upper is a mesh with TPU rubber coating around the lower edge, including some double reinforced panels around toe and heel. The heel also gets a plastic plate held in place by three webbing straps. The cuff is well padded and slightly higher on the inboard side and the whole rear of the heel uses super grippy ‘snakeskin’ material. The upper also gets an Active Carbon liner to reduce the chance of stench. Closure/fit is controlled by an ATOP quick-release dial pulling plastic cord through three long webbing tunnels either side of the well-padded tongue.
There’s a wide range of sizes and black and desert colorways for those who don’t like the goth purple of the ones here.
With a plastic pull tab on the ATOP dial making it extra easy to undo the cross cords and a pull tab on the back panel, the 6.0 Clip V22 is really easy to pull on. Cranking up the dial cinches the upper part of the fit down fast as well and you can feel the grip from the snakeskin material if you try and pull your heel up and out.
The low profile sole and tread puts you right down onto the pedal/floor. The stickiness of the RideGrip rubber sole is also clear if you try and twist your foot on the pedal or a flat, dry surface too. The relatively low tread also makes it easy to locate and lock into clipless pedals and Leatt includes spacers to make sure there’s no interference.
Even if they’re not spaced out, the shallow tread leaves the cleats more likely to clack and clatter when walking. Also while they’re very surefooted in the dry, and toe flex means they’re OK to walk in, there’s less bite in really muddy conditions. On the bike the shank is noticeably stiffer than most trail shoes and up with the pedallers' favorite Specialized 2FO Cliplite when it comes to an almost XC feel. That also means no hot spot over the cleat even if you’re cranking hard on a non platform pedal. However, while the cleat slot is longer than an XC shoe, it doesn't extend far back enough for proper DH style placement.
The sticky rubber and low ride height still keep communication and connection feel (often an issue with stiffer trail shoes) decent too and they don’t hurt feet on long rocky descents or big drops. The amount of rand protection reduces rock garden stress too.
The mostly mesh upper keeps them really cool and breezy on hot days and so far the Active Carbon liner has kept the aroma acceptable even after long rides. It doesn’t have to be very windy or wet for your feet to get uncomfortable though and they’re definitely summer shoes in terms of UK/northern hemisphere use.
The biggest moan comes from the quick release ATOP dial driven fit though. While the shoes are well shaped in terms of a comfortable, well-sized fit for everyone who tried them the dial always tightens the upper ‘laces’ more than the forefoot. That leaves the toes baggy and loose unless you progressively ratchet them up as you ride. Finding the sweet spot tension is also made a lot harder by the fact the dial only works in one direction so you can’t slightly slacken the fit, you have to release the tension entirely. That meant whenever I was testing them directly (as in one shoe on one foot, the other on the other) against a double dial, forefoot strap or even laced shoe the Leatts would always loosen and start slopping around first. Despite what Leatt says, at a kilo for a pair without cleats they’re not light either.
There’s a lot to like about the new Leatt 6.0 Clip V22 trail shoes. Especially if you ride on rough, rocky, hot conditions and want a low profile shoe with a stiff, almost XC sole, but Enduro protection and sticky compound sole. The quick release single dial gains in terms of fast fit and removal come at the expense of consistent tightness though. And although a more relaxed fit won’t be an issue to everyone, it’s irritating on a stiff-soled shoe that would otherwise be a great recommendation for trail riders who like to attack climbs and go hard on power plays. All the upper mesh and shallow tread means they’re definitely best suited to warmer/drier weather too.
Tech Specs: Leatt 6.0 Clip V22 shoe
- Price: $150 £130
- Sizes: US 6 to 12, UK 5.5 to 11.5, Euro 38.5 - 47
- Weight: 1010g (size 44 without cleats)