Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek 3 mountain bike shoes £80

Trail footwear

BikeRadar score 2.5/5

The X-Alp Seek has its roots in Pearl Izumi’s running range, and it’s probably as close as you’ll get to riding in trainers. The difference between this and digging your old gym shoes out of the cupboard comes courtesy of a stiffer forefoot plate that’s perfect for better pedalling efficiency.

It’s noticeably light to wear but not skimpy, with a deeply lugged carbon rubber outsole that wraps up over the toe for protection, handling tougher terrain than its looks would have you think it could.

All that mesh does mean it’s not a shoe for wet conditions, although it’s been a relief to ride in something so cool in the recent warm weather. These benefits make the X-Alp fast and light when you need to run, bike or even just walk around town (remember the acceptable trainer looks).

But, after much wear, we’ve come to the conclusion that the advantage is mainly to be had off the bike. We could sacrifice some of that for a smidgen less flex and some more power.

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