Pearl Izumi's New Flat Pedal and Clipless Shoes - Interbike 2017

Sep 21, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Interbike 2017


Interbike 2017

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch

Flat pedals aren't just for downhillers, which means that the shoes to go with them don't always need to be big and overbuilt. Pearl Izumi's new X-Alp Launch shoes are aimed at trail and all-mountain riders, with a low profile, casual look that won't attract strange glances if you wear them into a coffee shop or local watering hole at the end of a ride.

The shoes use a dual compound Vibram sole, with stickier IdroGrip rubber underfoot to help them latch onto pedals, and a more durable MegaGrip rubber at the toe and heel. The uppers are bonded rather than being sewn, which eliminates potentially uncomfortable seams while also saving weight - claimed weight for a size 42 is 340 grams. There will be men's and women's versions, both priced at $150 USD.

Interbike 2017
The dual compound shoe is designed to provide traction while pedaling and hiking.
Interbike 2017
A reinforced toe box helps prevent smashed and stubbed toes.



Interbike 2017


X-Alp Launch SPD

Pearl Izumi also have a clipless pedal version of their X-Alp Launch on the way. The shoes have a composite shank that runs 3/4 the length of the shoe, which provides stiffness underfoot for pedaling while also making it easier to walk naturally when you're not on the bike. There's a smooth section of Vibram Megagrip rubber around the cleat area to help prevent any interference when clipping in and out, and the rest of the shoe is lugged for traction on slippery hike-a-bikes. Like the flat pedal version, there are both men's and women's options. MSRP: $160 USD.

Interbike 2017
Interbike 2017




Interbike 2017


X-Alp Elevate

Pearl Izumi bills the X-Alp Elevate as their do-anything shoe, whether that's a quick lap after work or a mega-adventure deep in the backcountry. The fit is adjusted via a Boa closure dial on the upper portion of the shoe, with a Velcro strap just behind the toes to further fine tune the fit. The Boa mechanism ratchets in 1mm increments, and is released with a simple upwards pull on the dial. MSRP: $180 USD.

Interbike 2017
The X-Alp Elevate uses a 3-layer bonded upper...
Interbike 2017
...With a heavily lugged Vibram Megagrip sole.







42 Comments

  • + 61
 Why, oh why can we not have a lace cover or boa style flat pedal shoe?
  • + 10
 I am right there with you. I think they want to maintain the skater vibe for whatever reason.
  • + 7
 @cgdibble: or the clown shoe vibe...disgusting
  • + 7
 5-10 did it and nobody bought the bloody thing. So they reversed the design and removed the BOA for the next iteration.
  • + 10
 Both 5.10 and shimano have lace cover models for flats
  • + 2
 A million times yes!
  • + 4
 I use lock laces on my 5.10' s. Eliminates all problems and cheap
  • + 4
 5.10 freerider elc? has the lace cover. awesome shoe. my favorite in their lineup currently
  • + 2
 It would be rad to have a low profile shoe with Boas or ratcheted system...something like my Sidi Dragon but with stealth rubber. How cool would that be!
  • + 1
 @adrennan: You mean the ones that look like they came out of a Skrillex music video? Hard pass.
  • + 1
 Because tying a shoelace works perfectly fine?
  • + 1
 @Dethphist: while 90% of the time true, i literally had my 5.10s laces caught in my crank 10 pedal strokes into the start of a stage. It was a really loose descent.
  • + 1
 @laxguy: meh. i will take performance over form if i have to. i was responding to the post that makes it sound like there are no options. and the colors are more subdued than pics show
  • + 3
 @Klainmeister: Your shoelaces come undone and get stuck 10% of the time? Did kindergarten teach you nothing?
  • + 1
 @onemind123: No, just saying that loose or undone knots isn't uncommon. Seems that since our sport is powered by our feet mm or cm from our drivetrain, having secure clothing would be prudent.
  • + 1
 @Klainmeister: When you tie your shoes, take the "loop" parts, and use them to make another loose knot. Not terribly difficult to untie, and your shoes will never come untied again. If the loose ends are the problem, stuff them between the laces and the tongue. It's really not rocket science.
  • + 2
 @Dethphist: simply too difficult. I expect an engineered solution.
  • + 0
 @Klainmeister: ignore this idiot - likely an ebiker, so laces aren't an issue for him.

I've always used shimano am45s for everything from DH to trail...a bit heavy but they're my fav
  • + 14
 It is hard to underestimate how few fucks I give for people glancing at my shoes.
  • + 3
 My pearle izumis were purchased BECAUSE they were bright green and had an odd lacing system.
  • + 1
 It's not always what OTHER people think.. it's that I can't stand to look at them and if they're on my feet all day... and god forbid I try to grab a bite to eat after the ride..
  • + 1
 You must have meant that it is hard to overestimate that, and easy to underestimate.
  • + 1
 @DavidGuerra: No, I meant exactly what I said, as I always do.
  • + 7
 Idrogrip? Is Vibram explicitly forbidding bike shoes from using their XS compounds which compete directly with Stealth? Why does this keep happening? An alternative to Stealth exists, use it.
  • + 1
 Yes utter nonsense ! I'm a climber and only use XS Grip2 or Edge. Using some CS Edge or Grip would be far superior and would fnally allow them to compete with 5.10. Also rubber quality is not as important than for climbing, any decent resin rubber would do as well as what 5.10 use.
  • + 4
 yes, Vibram forbids any cycling brand from using their XS compounds. They don't believe that it's durable enough.
  • + 6
 Bonded soles instead of stitched?

That'll be a no from me dawg.
  • + 4
 But soles are stitched at forefoot, and there's an articulation, and a warranty which covers design defects. If they're lighter and breathe better than Freerider Contact, why not give them a chance? Maybe their laces aren't excessively long and they have a more substantial footbed....
  • + 3
 Bonded uppers. Pearl uses a one piece upper construction that that has no seams.
  • + 2
 99% of all shoe soles are bonded on.
  • + 2
 how about shoes where you can replace the sole? Have a closet full of 5.10s in perfect condition with ripped up soles since climbing is tough on the rubber. Buying a new pair every 4 months is pricey.
  • + 1
 same here
  • + 1
 Dear Pearl Izumi, please add some ankle protection to the X-Alp Elevates. Signed, people who don't like bashing their ankles on their crank arms...
  • + 1
 BRING BACK CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY!
  • + 2
 Gross
  • + 2
 Aint no FiveTen
  • + 1
 why oh why...it is so complicate to make a good shoe???
  • - 1
 Vans makes the best flat pedal shoe in the universe.
  • + 1
 no the gravel is out of production
  • - 3
 Haha Bankruptcy in the near future!
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