PEARL IZUMI X-ALP LAUNCH SPD MOUNTAIN BIKE SHOE
The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch wrap you up with a bonded, seamless upper to keep your foot hugged into place, so you can book it up the trail, on bike or on foot, for next level exploration. The X-Alp Launch clipless mountain bike shoes combine the best of both worlds, with a stiff enough sole, thanks to a nylon composite shank, and serious grip that locks into the trail when you’re off the bike. It’s built with an EVA midsole that cushions blows from sharp rocks, and a Vibram Megagrip outsole that holds true to the dirt under foot. The lugs are designed with open an chevron shaped pattern, directionally placed to give you braking power in the heel, and propelling power in the toe while maintaining surefooted grip. Even the pedal zone features Vibram Megagrip with siping to keep mud away, so engaging is quick and snappy when you clip in.
Our Impression: Some of the best looking clipless mountain bike shoes we’ve had, but sadly some major issues keep them off our must have list. The single BOA closure system makes it hard for riders with thinner to medium-sized feet to secure the shoe from top to bottom. We found that we had to overtighten the BOA at the top but still had a looser feel down near the toes. Also the tongue regularly slid to the outside of the shoe which resulted in some comfort issues and lots of debris getting into the shoe. If you’ve got a thicker foot, you may love these shoes as the comfort, Vibram sole and breathability are all very impressive. We really like these shoes and just wish there was an additional closure system near the bottom to get us a bit more snugness. Hopefully next year’s version will have an update. Until then, we suggest trying them on or ensuring you keep the receipt for a return should you find them too loose around the toe.
Upper Material: Recycled Cordura
Closure System: BOA Fit System
Midsole: EVA Foam
Sole: Vibram MegaGrip
Outsole: Vibram ECOSTEP
Cleat Compatibility: 2-Bolt
Recommended Use: Trail
Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime