For the Spring 2014 cycling season, Pearl Izumi has taken a fresh look at not only women's apparel (more on that to come) but also the construction of their cycling shoes. Using high tech fabrics, compounds, and closures, the new super lightweight shoes will help you set some PRs on your bike next year.
The new P.R.O. Leader cycling shoes ($270) weigh in at only 245 grams thanks to a seamless 0.9mm upper that acts like a second skin. Extremely breathable, the material conforms to your foot shape, helping to eliminate any possible hot spots.
A TPU spider web along the sides and top of the shoe secures your foot in place, ensuring you transfer maximum power to the pedals with each stroke. Turning to the popular Boa closure system, Pearl Izumi takes a unique approach by threading the cables through the padded tongue instead of pulling fabric from one side or the other, meaning a more comfortable and efficient ride.
The sole is made from Pearl Izumi’s Octane Grade unidirectional carbon fiber. The concave shape supports your foot while adding stiffness. This extra stiffness allows for a small 6.5mm stack height under the cleat with no reduction in efficiency. The customizable insole provides for both arch and forefoot canting options.
The more affordable version of this high tech cycling shoe is the Road Race III ($150). Pearl Izumi added an EVA foam and rubber heel bumper to give you a little extra stability and walking comfort when off the bike. The carbon fiber sole is replaced with a lightweight nylon and composite fiber plate that still offers stiffness with added durability.
Expect the new Pearl Izumi cycling shoes to hit shelves starting January 2014.