I demo'd some new pearl izumi mtb shoes. really blew my mind how comfortable they were. coming from a product designer I saw a lot of borrowed technologies from neighboring markets. lots of heat sealed fabrics, even over mesh materials, similar to the Nike hyperfuse products. THey are also co molding rubber cleats to a hard plastic sole. The plastic sole has a flex point forward of the ball of your foot, so the toe flexes when its off the bike. These shoes were super comfortable on and off the bike, the flex toe didn't pop your heal out the back with every step. They also placed EVA under your heal so if you hit hard with your heal it absorbs some impact. Typically you don't mold the whole sole for a shoe. since you need so many different sizes. this is why they are so expensive. starting at 280 for the green and black, with a 5 layer carbon plate between the outsole and insole, heat molded upper(seamless w/mesh material), and a new buckle system that was really nice. for 210 you get the black and orange cut and sew upper(very similar to existing shoes) with their typical buckle, and two velro straps. For 160 you get a watered down version but with the same sole technology.
Cyclocross Racers May Appreciate Running and Racing with Pearl Izumi Flex-Sole X-Project
Here at Outdoor Demo at Interbike, we’re looking for the latest and greatest in cyclocross racing technology, and as far as shoes go, Pearl Izumi might have hit on a new innovation that will change how cyclocrossers approach the running sections of races. Their new shoes, the Pearl Izumi flex-sole X-Project, is designed with running in mind, with an eye toward riding performance as well. A carbon and rubber sole in some seriously flashy new colors was created to make running while riding comfortable without losing the stiffness that makes for a powerful pedaling motion.
We talked at length with the man behind the shoe, and went over not only the tech, but the logic behind all of his decisions. Turns out, while it’s a mountain shoe, it definitely has cyclocross on the brain.
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