Eurobike: Pearl Izumi updates its footwear for 2010

Re-energized range

Pearl Izumi has focused on refining the fit of its re-energised footwear line-up for 2010.

Sitting at the top of the road range again this year is the ultralight Octane, weighing in a claimed 470g for a pair of 43s. The new Octane SL retains the original's carbon fibre plate and buckle-less three-strap layout but the straps are now more offset to lay more naturally across the top of the foot and there's now a loop of carbon fibre (the 'PowerBand') wrapping around the back of the heel for additional support. 

The last volume has also been decreased – especially around the toe box – for a snugger fit and the vamp (that section of shoe ahead of the base of the tongue) has been shortened to better accommodate a wider range of foot widths. Also, cushy memory foam has been added to the tongue (last year's was essentially unpadded), the heel cup now sports dual-density foam for a tighter hold, and three different insoles will allow for a somewhat customised fit.

The new p.r.o. road ii shoe gets the same fit refinements as the octane sl plus an adjustable-length main strap.:

The new P.R.O. Road II shoe gets the same fit refinements as the Octane SL plus an adjustable-length main strap.

Riders who prefer a more conventional buckle-and-two-strap upper can instead look to the updated P.R.O. model. The main strap is now adjustable in length on both ends – via a novel hook-and-pin system on the inner side and a two-position buckle on the other – and a thick EVA pad cushions the top of the foot. 

Like on the Octane SL, the P.R.O. also gets a revised lower-volume fit, angled straps, dual-density heel cup, and the more supportive Power Band carbon heel counter. Claimed weight for a size 43 pair is 550g.

The same updates given the road-going p.r.o. shoe have also been added to the off-road version.:

The same updates given the road-going P.R.O. shoe have also been added to the off-road version.

Off-road riders get their own Octane SL and P.R.O. versions, too, with all of the same updates as the road-going models but with the requisite lugged outsole. 

The fully lugged outsole provides superior traction while the partial-length plate hidden beneath still affords efficient pedaling.:

The fully lugged outsole provides superior traction while the partial-length plate hidden beneath still affords efficient pedaling.

Riders seeking even more security when on foot, however, can instead opt for one of the X-Alp models, which essentially mate racing-oriented uppers to a hiking boot-like outsole for superior traction. A rigid, partial-length plate still affords efficient pedaling, too.

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James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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