Interbike 2012: Pearl Izumi X Project Mountain Shoes

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Pearl Izumi is impressing the jaded masses at the Outdoor Demo and Interbike with the launch of their X Project line of shoes (not to be confused with X-Factor – those ones would have more sparkly bits). It also helped that Pearl Izumi was fitting people with demo shoes for runs out at the Outdoor Demo yesterday.


We'll be off to try these next month in the company of Mr Brian Lopes.


The core of these shoes is the complex sole. A tapered, unidirectional carbon fibre plate is embedded in the molded sole. What does this do? It allows the sole of the shoe to stay rigid and efficiently transfer power when you need it—when you’re pedaling. Yet, it also lets the sole of the shoe actually flex at the toes when you step off the bike.



In a selection of fruity colours


Other features of these shoes include shock-absorbing foam in the heel to reduce fatiguing foot impact when you first hop off the bike. The rubber tips on the soles aren’t just glued on. They’re molded into the sole, so they’re not likely to easily rip off.


pearl izumi x project
You can see the carbon plate at the cleat and in the heel, and the co-molded rubber tips.





Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (2)

    Any of those not mega vented? Sort of 3 season in a day on the hills UK specific?

    They’re Pearl Izumis – so they’ll mostly be made of vents 🙂
    I’ve been trying to educate them in the world of cold and wet, but they won’t listen… Jon’s test riding some in a week or so, so we’ll see.

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