After first employing a Boa dial on its shoes in 2007, Pearl Izumi soon abandoned the closure in favour of Velcro and ratchets. For 2014, however, the Ba is back on the 245g Pro Leader. The new road shoe was announced at Eurobike 2013 and will be available in January 2014.
Drawing on seamless technology from its running shoes, Pearl Izumi uses a thin fabric throughout the upper, with only a single main seam at the heel. “This shoe is all about light and fast,” said Pearl Izumi global marketing director Geoff Schaeffer. “Tejay van Garderen rode this shoe at the Tour de France, then won on it at the USA Pro Challenge.”
The single, top-mounted Boa dial is easy to access
With the Boa dial mounted on the padded tongue and the wiring running through only the top sides of the uppers, the Pro Leader has a svelte look. Plus, Schaeffer said, riders like van Garderen like it because there are no buckles or ratchets on the outside of the shoe that could be damaged in a crash.
A TPU film is used on the sides of the uppers, for strength. With the flexible, thin sides, the Pro Leader has a decidedly different feel to the current shoes offered by Pearl Izumi's parent company, Shimano.