Seasons of companionship.
Having a shoe that works with you as you transition over from riding with flat pedals to clipless can make life a lot easier. Rather than having to abandon your favorite broken-in flat shoes and get used to a stiff pair of clipless-compatible ones while you also try to navigate being attached to your pedals, we'd recommend starting with the Pearl Izumi Men's X-Alp Launch II Mountain Bike Shoe. Functioning clipless or with flats, the mid-range X-Alp Launch II comes with a price that's palatable to beginners or veteran weekend warriors alike, as well as a construction that will adapt with you as you improve your skills.
The shoe's bonded, seamless uppers establish a flexible fit, able to adapt to a wide range of foot shapes without compromising the durability of traditional seaming. We're a fan of Pearl's decision to combine a single BOA dial with a hook-and-loop strap; it gives you the opportunity to customize the fit of the shoe around your instep and toes separately, so you're less likely to develop pressure points and hot spots when you're busy muscling through a tough climb.
Underneath your foot, a light, cushioned EVA midsole helps your feet stay comfortable all day when you're hopping on and off your bike to grab lunch or snap a picture of the scenery. Within the midsole, a carbon-reinforced composite shank maintains snappy power transfer when you need it, and carbon rubber lugs along the outsole provide traction for those few times (ahem) when you need to jump off your bike and walk an impossibly steep hill or gnarly rock garden.
- Ride all day in comfort in this versatile everyday shoe
- Compatible with flats and clipless mountain bike pedals
- Breathable seamless uppers keep pressure points at bay
- Carbon-injected composite shank maintains power transfer
- Carbon rubber lugs provide plentiful traction for hikes
- BOA dial and hook-and-loop strap for a custom fit