Having received a pair of the Lake MX331 Cross shoes for review and with Northwave’s Hammer cross shoes hopefully on their way to us, we thought we’d have a quick look at the new Pearl Izumi X-Project shoes, an offering that is also being touted as a cross shoe, albeit in the broader context of also being a shoe for those who spend time off the bike pushing as well as on it riding.
Pearl Izumi say, “For serious mountain bike junkies, cyclocross addicts and anyone who pushes the limits, the question isn’t whether you’re going to get off the bike and hoof it, the question is when.”
The X-Project shoes were designed in conjunction with four-time world mountain bike champ, Brian Lopes, and all-mountain and BMX champ, Ross Schnell. Pearl Izumi are promoting the X-Project as “not just a new high performance mountain bike shoe…” but “…a whole new category of mountain bike shoe… that hikes or runs a bike as well as it pedals one.”
They have tried to make a shoe which allows you to exert as much force through the pedal as with any racing, full-carbon soled shoe whilst offering even better flexibility than a plastic soled shoe when walking or running with the bike. To achieve this they have engineered flex into the toe and the mid-foot areas of the sole, so that the shoe bends naturally as you run or walk. Carbon above the cleat area keeps everything stiff while you pedal, however. It’s clever stuff but in direct opposition to the Lake MX331 Cross and it’s stiff full carbon sole.
Look out for a full review soon.
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