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
- Breathable seamless uppers keep pressure points at bay
- Carbon-injected composite shank maintains power transfer
- Carbon rubber lugs provide traction for hikes
- BOA dial and hook-and-loop strap ensure a custom fit
View more Men's Mountain Bike Shoes
Reviews & Community
Nice design but too much volume
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs large
- Size Bought: 49 (size 14)
This shoe is nicely designed with great quality of materials, but the size 49 I ordered has way too much volume inside the shoe and I couldn't get the Boa tight enough. I tried thicker insoles, but still no luck. I'm not sure if the smaller sizes have this same issue, but it's something to consider especially if your foot is on the narrow side.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
I got these for generally rougher riding than my XC shoes. I got them mostly for the sole which is as expected - it gives me confidence and firm grip when I have to put a foot down on something very techy. I don't worry about my foot sliding out and the rest of me hitting the ground. I run SPDs and like the deeply recessed cleat fitment. I think they would be good for flats w/o cleats too. They are really great for hiking the bike while still being pretty stiff for pedaling. The ankle can roll/flex quite a bit, but I think this is a good thing for the type of riding I use them for. The BOA is not the most snug feeling and the toe box is a little tight on my piggy toes but not a major problem
Pearl is where it's at!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 45
After being loyal to the Giro Terradurro for a couple years, I wanted to give another shoe a try. After trying on 5-8 different clipless shoes, these were the winner.
I was a bit skeptic trying out a MTB BOA shoe, but after talking to our rep about different shoes for my style of riding - she knew I was going to love these. She was so right!.
Lightweight (about half the weight of the terradurro), breathable, stylish and overall a great fit. The sole of this shoe has enough grip to be perfect for when you are in a hike-a-bike section or wanting to give that jump line another shot. Another cool feature about this shoe is the toe - protection and coverage just in case you knick a rock in a tight and technical portion of the trail. The BOA actual gives you 1mm of adjustability vs. 3mm of the standard buckle - so finding that "fit" is pretty easy. My only suggestion for an update on these shoes would be to make the actual BOA line or the padding on top of the tongue a bit thicker. Maybe it takes some breaking in, but I noticed some points of pressure near the top of my foot after a really long ride
Overall, for a pair of enduro/all mountain clipless shoes that are light, breathable, durable and AFFORDABLE these are the winner.
Hit me up if you have any questions on sizing or wondering if these are the shoes for you. I'll get you dialed in for a killer MTB season!
Amazing Shoe for Bikepacking!!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 47
Here's a "Full Video Review" I did on the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek II, I got them Specifically for my 250 mile "Thru-Ride" of the Arizona Trail this year. I Absolutely Love & Highly Recommend them. The X-Alp Launch II is great for someone looking for a super walkable(Hike a Bike), yet high performance cycling shoe.... Check it out!