dhb M1.0 Mountain Bike Shoe Review

DHB’s M1.0 shoes are easy to like before you discover their sub £50 price point. But the features and quality are more than you have any right to expect from the very bottom end of the market.

Great value at just under 50 quid, the dhb M1.0 shoes are also comfortable and very functional.

Sure, the uppers are a little bit plasticcy, but other than that, they look good and have a few splashes of reflective material that just might make that motorist spot you on a dark night. I’ve been sporting the white ones during testing for this review, but if I were buying them I’d opt for the black – not just because I prefer how they look, but because they’ll stay cleaner looking too.

Despite the uppers being patently synthetic, they are flexible and seem tough enough. The nose has a tough reinforced panel to deflect the knocks, and they do a good job of it.

Decent toe protection.

The weather is getting colder and there was one of the year’s first frosts as I set out on Sunday morning, yet despite a sizeable mesh section on the uppers, these shoes are acceptably warm. If your rides include lots of puddles, those panels mean that your feet will get wet, and you’ve little chance of proofing them. Combine these with with a pair of SealSkinz socks though, they’ll prove serviceable on all but the coldest winter rides.

DHB insists that the glass-reinforced soles offer the right balance between stiffness for power transfer and flexibility for walking. And that may be true, but the aggressive front tread and stud pattern means that it’s a bit of work to get from heel to forefoot, akin to walking uphill even on the flat. But those same treads come into their own when you’re ascending muddy bankings, providing ample traction when you need to get out of the saddle and hoof it. During testing, I took them through some truly horrendous mudbaths, and they gripped admirably. As well as any shoes I have worn, and better than most.

The glass fibre-reinforced sole comes with cleat plates installed, so you just need to bolt on your cleats and you’re ready to go.

My perpetual concern when wearing heavily treaded shoes is how they’ll engage and release with my pedals. These did both just fine on both my Crank Brothers Egg Beaters and Candy pedals. The M1.0s are definitely intended for cleats. Unlike some other shoes where you need to punch out a section of the sole, and fit your own attachment plates, the DHBs come with the plate pre-fitted, so attaching your cleats and being ready to ride is a moment’s work.

Fastening is handled by three simple Velcro straps, one more than most budget shoes provide. These combine fast and convenient closure with good fit adjustment, though they are attached to the shoe with simple wire loops, but they seem quite sturdy. Fit itself is generally quite wide. I have very very broad feet, and often have to go up a size or two to get into shoes, especially firmer ones such as cycling shoes or snowboard boots. But I could go down a (European) size or two from my usual Specialized shoes, in these quite comfortably. Despite this, the shoes held my feet well, and heel lift was not apparent even when cranking hard. The comments about size refer to width only, the shoes are true to length for their size.

Three straps provide a firm closure and plenty of adjustment.

I’ve been looking for new shoes since I began to develop hotspots under the ball of my left foot after 20 miles or so of riding. These have eliminated the problem and in them I can ride hard for half a day with no discomfort. Your mileage (and your feet) may vary, but the M1.0′s offer the power transfer, comfort and adjustability to deal with whatever you throw at them.

A good sole, decent design and great traction combine with a wide fit to make these shoes favourites of mine at the budget end of the market. There’s little to touch them on price in the cleated MTB shoe market, and only the slightly plasticcy finish on the uppers, and the basic wire eyelets that the closure straps loop through hint at their budget nature.

A reflective patch in the heel helps with on-road visibility. 

Though I like a bargain, I’d struggle to buy these because I don’t like the looks, but aesthetics are an incredibly subjective thing, and you may love them, or simply be able to live with them. If you can from a features and value perspective they are unlikely to disappoint.

Verdict

The DHB M1.0 is placed in a fiercely competitive market, but it offers features and quality that belie its price as pretty much the cheapest cleated MTB shoe money can buy.

Pros

Rugged
Good traction in mud
Well ventilated

Cons

Plasticcy uppers
Little water resistance

More info: dhb M1.0 Mountain Bike Cycling Shoe

Price: £49.99

What Wiggle says about the dhb M1.0 Mountain Bike Cycling Shoe

The colour options.

Get off road with the very sturdy mountain bike shoe from dhb. The M1.0 features a Simple 3-strap closure and a rubber outsole with internal glass reinforced Nylon structure for excellent traction and great power delivery.

Glass reinforced Nylon polymer sole with rubber traction grip
Synthetic Upper
Quad core air mesh inserts
All-round ventilation holes
Internal thermo plastic heel counter
360 degree reflective detailing
2-hole cleat ready
Cleats – 2 Bolt SPD Type
Forefoot Studs
Sole Material: Glass Reinforced Nylon, Rubber overmoulded tread
Use: Off road

The design of the sole on this shoe has been engineered to strike a balance between the right level of stiffness for power transfer when on the bike, and ‘comfort’ when running or walking with the bike. The inner Glass reinforced Nylon core structure is topped with a high durability, high traction rubber compound with aggressive tread design to provide excellent grip on rocks, mud and road.

The sole is bonded to the synthetic upper which features the same quad core inner structure as the dhb road shoe. This mesh structure has excellent 3D mapping properties to achieve a form fit to the foot but provides almost zero stretch – which keeps input energy loss on the upstroke to an absolute minimum. The exterior upper is a durable Synthetic skin, which will absorb the knocks and grazes of general use. The reinforcement panel on the toe tip is double stitched for extra durability.

The simple 3-strap configuration allows the wearer to control the fitting across the full length of the shoe. By tightening the strap positions the wearer can achieve the correct balance between close fit (best power transfer) and comfort.

Mesh inserts across the upper on the instep and outer side of the upper allow air to circulate through the shoe helping to keep you temperature regulated as you generate heat.

At the ankle end of the shoe there is an internal thermo plastic heel counter, which is sandwiched between the cushioning layers of the shoe. This added support and stiffness allows the rider better control when engaging and disengaging from their clip-in pedal system.

Contrast red inner lining, and embossed printing provides a clean aesthetic, complimented with reflective detailing along the length of the shoe in-step and outside to enhance the rider’s safety in low-level light conditions.

The shoe is pre-drilled ready to use with MTB-style, 2-hole cleat-pedal systems (SPD, Crank Bros, Time MTB)

  1. BikeDibley

    I totally support this review. I know I work for dhb’s exclusive retailer, but I genuinely think these shoes are great. Better than my £170 Lake carbon models.

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