Pearl Izumi’s Tour Road Shoe are compatible with two-bolt as well as three-bolt cleats – as are Bontrager’s Circuits and Northwave’s Core Plus – but unlike many other road cycling shoes they come with laces
Why laces? Well, these may have been largely superseded by Velcro or Boa and ATOP dials, or a mix of the above, but laces offer all the adjustability you need to get a tight, secure fit and they help to keep weight down too.
The Tours come with a spare set of black laces and there’s an elasticated tab on the tongue to tuck them into. Don’t forget to use it – flapping laces and fast-moving chains are a poor combination.
The Tour’s sole is made from nylon with a large carbon-reinforced plate for the cleat – and it proved to be a very effective combination. This gives the required stiffness where you want it with a little bit of flex elsewhere, hence the ‘Tour’ moniker.
They score eight on Pearl Izumi’s 14-point stiffness scale and that feels about right (I really do wish manufacturers would standardise their stiffness scales…).
If you’re racing, these probably aren’t the shoe for you, but for sportives, centuries and fitness riding the little bit of ‘give’ they offer nicely balances efficiency and comfort.
Both the two- and three-bolt fittings have fore-and-aft adjustability and there’s a decent heel bumper too.
There’s plenty of venting on both the soles and the heavily perforated, stitch-free uppers, which are also soft and comfortable (and very white).