Pearl Izumi is to introduce six models of cycle shoes: two for the road, the rest for MTB riding.
The soles on the new shoes feature a stiffening feature that Pearl Izumi is calling 'I-Beam'. By increasing the surface area of the main plate on the outsole, yet keeping it hollow internally, Pearl Izumi claims to have increased the rigidity and strength of the whole sole.
Also incorporated into this design is the tri composite outsole. The first layer, either a carbon or nylon plate, depending on the model, is placed under the second protective co-molded cover then the third layer of tread compound is added. The tread is a compound that Pearl Izumi says functions well in wet and unstable conditions where hard plastic fails. The tri composite outsole doesn't use rubber or glue eliminating the additional weight as well as the possibility of delaminating. Pearl Izumi claims to be the only company currently using this tri composite sole method.
The uppers feature a breathable nylon mesh. On the Vaper models, a seamless air mesh upper is used to eliminate potential pressure points. The three snag Velcro straps and the thin, pre-formed canopy closure allow for an enhanced fit on the top of the riders foot, says Pearl Izumi. Staggering the D Rings on the closure system is said to eliminate bunching and hot spots. Molded heel cups on some of the models prevent slippage.
The shoe models are the Vaper Road, Vortex Road, Vaper Mountain, Vortex Mountain, Vagabond and Bolder. The Vaper versions feature Pearl’s carbon fiber I –Beam sole and a seamless air mesh upper. These versions are designed to be light, fast, breathable and stable for high performance cycling. The mountain version comes with removable toe spikes. Both versions of the Vaper have a suggested retail price of $179.99. The Vortex versions both have a stiff nylon I-Beam sole and breathable mesh uppers with direct injected scuff guards for protection. As with the Vortex, the mountain model comes with toe spikes. The suggested retail on both versions is $109.99.
The Vagabond mountain shoe features the nylon I-Beam design and a suede and cordura upper. The suggested retail is $74.99. The final model is the Bolder. This mountain shoe has a rugged rubber outsole with special tread for superior traction. It has a dual density midsole allowing for the toe zone to be flexible while the forefoot is rigid. The suggested retail is $84.99.
Ads for the new line will break in US MTB magazines this Autumn. They claim that Pearl Izumi shoes are so comfortable they'll feel like your favourite bunny slippers...