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.
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.
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.