Pearl Izumi X Project 1.0 Men's Shoes $279.95
Flexible and efficient.
We all know how easy it is to jump on the bandwagon when certain trends emerge, and within the realm of cycling shoes, this is certainly true for many riders on the hunt for the next best thing. While the stiffer-is-better approach has long been the mantra of many a manufacturer, Pearl Izumi decided to take a step back and reassess what truly makes a sound mountain shoe platform in relation to stiffness and material makeup. Enter the X Project 1.0 Shoes, which rely on a flexible composition and lightweight, versatile design to strike the ultimate balance between efficiency and comfort.
Seeing as the outsole is the foundation of the new X Project 1.0 shoes, let's take a look at exactly what Pearl Izumi had up its sleeves when creating the new trail-specific kicks. Running the length of the sole is a tuned carbon plate that tapers in both stiffness and shape. Flaring out from a narrow strip at the heel, this plate gets both thicker and wider near the cleat zone, before getting narrow and thin again at the toe. According to Pearl Izumi, this carbon plate measures 4mm at its thickest section, but it's not a solid carbon construction. Layers of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) were sandwiched between the carbon in a way that enabled Izumi's engineers to tune the overall flex and shave weight were necessary.
The sole itself is made in three main steps. The first involves injection-molding the carbon plate with TPU. This plate is then moved to the molds where rubber traction tips are inserted at the base. The final step involves injecting the malleable, gripp'y, and translucent outer-layer of TPU into the mold. After this final molding step, an EVA foam heel bumper — similar in both appearance and purpose of what's found in a running shoe — is mated to the sole. This component is added to absorb shock when hopping off the bike and while walking in the shoes. After all, the objective of the X Project was to create a high-end shoe that was as efficient as possible while on the bike, yet still comfortable and traction-friendly while off of it.
After the molding process, this plate and sole composition gets bonded to the X Project shoes' uppers. Pearl Izumi designed its P.R.O. Buckle closure system using two hook-and-loop lower straps and a ratcheting top strap, which, as system, allows you to dial in the perfect lower foot volume and heel retention. Pearl Izumi's proven Direct-Vent technology was also incorporated throughout the X Project's uppers, providing effective cooling and breathability.
The Pearl Izumi X Project 1.0 Shoes are available in whole and half sizes from 38.0 to 49.0 and in the colors Black/black and Safety Orange/electric blue. Please note that these shoes are intended for use with two-hole mountain bike cleats.
Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
live up to the hype. stiff, light, walkable.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
3 point anchor system on the shoe is a horrible design and PI knows it. The plastic is extremely brittle and was improperly spec'd. Any pedal strike or contact with your crank arm will destroy the cheap plastic mounts. Don't waste your money on these shoes. It only took two ride for mine to break. At this price point there are a lot of better products on the market.
Dang cool shoe!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
These shoes are pretty great. They feel a bit funny because I haven't completely broken them in yet but I can tell that after a few more rides they will be much more comfortable. The upper material feels and looks really solid. The ratchet is super ergonomic and the ratchet mechanism feels very high-end. They strangely flex just enough when walking around but are super stiff when on the pedals. I was a little worried when I first got them that I was going to destroy the carbon sole with my egg beaters but so far after 4 or 5 rides the carbon still looks basically new. Maybe after I walk through some gravel things will look differently but so far they still look basically pristine. I tend to really care about the appearance of my equipment. I want something to first and foremost function really well but if I have an equal option I will always go with the one that visually appeals to me even if it cost a little extra. With these shoes I was a little concerned about the "Jurassic Park" styling but honestly it's kinda cool. I feel like it's just enough color to add some accent but most of the time all you notice is the green.
I also have the new P.R.O. II road shoes and am equally satisfied. The only fit complaint that I have is that they tend to rub the Achilles of my feet a little bit to the point that it's uncomfortable. Both shoes affect me this way so maybe I just have weird feet. All in all, a great product. They are a bit pricey though.