Pearl Izumi's X Project MTB Shoes 1

<b>Pearl Izumi recently showed off their new off-road shoe, dubbed X Project. Three models range from $280 (1.0) down to $160 (3.0) and feature some new technology that maximizes performance and comfort both on and off the bike.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>It's all about the structure and materials on the X Project. There is a full-length carbon fiber plate in the bottom of the shoe. It's not a traditional carbon plate, however. Pearl has "tuned" the plate...</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Consider the carbon plate to work like a leaf spring that provides maximum rigidity while riding. The feathered extremities of the plate design flex and conform to rocks and off-road contours when you find yourself off the bike.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Mike Thompson shows off the top-end X Project 1.0 ($280). He worked with project leader Tony Torrence (who wasn't present) and Geoff Schaeffer, to develop the shoe.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Brian Lopes was involved with testing and development, too. He actually won his World Cup XC Eliminator race on a pair of the prototype shoes, proving the shoes did not lose any power with the Tuned Carbon bottom.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Our test shoes. We took out the 320-gram X Project 1.0 shoes for some rides to see how they faired and we were impressed.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Guided through some steep and scruffy Laguna trails by Brian Lopes, we were obviously taken on some trails that required walking, whether up or down...</b> -Ian Collins

<b>...and we appreciated the design on the trail. The EVA foam heel insert means significant heel cushion while the high-tech soles with co-molded rubber tips on hollow TPU lugs gave use excellent grip off the bike.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>The materials on the outside of the shoe combined with internals of the Tuned Carbon plate gave us confidence walking up or down obstacles. Forget that "ice skating" feeling when you're off the bike and on rocks.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>Pearls P.R.O. buckle system worked well and was comfortable.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>The only problem we ran across on our test shoes was minor. Where the top strap anchors on the inboard side of the shoe there are three slotted adjustments. Most riders will use the middle position. The plastic tabs on the tightest position broke off from rubbing on the cranks. There is so much adjustment on the strap itself that this isn't really a huge issue.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>The potential for customization out of the box with the X Project shoes is impressive. The 1:1 Insole inserts allow you to create the perfect footbed.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>If you have high arches, use the thicker arch inserts. If you're a flat foot, you can take them out. There are multiple insert options to customize the fit. Your long rides just became that much easier on your feet!</b> -Ian Collins

<b>The three different models have different construction. Our 1.0 model (shown) is the lightest and most breathable. The 2.0 features a burlier toe area and may be better suited for aggressive all-mountain riding.</b> -Ian Collins

<b>The Pearl Izumi X Project shoes will come in whole and half sizes and are slated to hit the market in March of 2013, so get your feet ready! -Ian Collins

Pearl Izumi recently showed off their new off-road shoe, dubbed X Project. As part of the debut, Pearl Izumi had Brian Lopes lead us on some rowdy Laguna trails to see just how well these high-tech shoes work, both on and off the bike.
Create New Tag
1 comment
  • One Ghost

    11/6/2012 4:37 PM

    hopefully they come in a size 50!

Hello Vital MTB Visitor,

We’re conducting a survey and would appreciate your input. Your answers will help Vital and the MTB industry better understand what riders like you want. Survey results will be used to recognize top brands. Make your voice heard!

Five lucky people will be selected at random to win a Vital MTB t-shirt.

Thanks in advance,

The Vital MTB Crew

Take Survey