Best Pearl Izumi Shoes Reviewed & Rated
While popular with cycling enthusiasts, Pearl Izumi shoes have expanded over the years to help cover different aspects of fitness and life. We're certain you'll find a Pearl Izumi shoe here that will become your next new favorite, so have a look, and pick a pair perfect for you!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This amazing brand has crafted each of their Pearl Izumi shoes for ultimate comfort, using top quality materials, the latest technologies and a solid construction to bring you the best Pearl Izumi shoe to support your passion. When assessing each product for comfort, we considered the top three parts of the shoe that create a comfortable wearing experience. By paying attention to the materials and construction method of the outsole, midsole and insole, we can guide you to the best product for your unique situation!
The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant. Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks. A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on our product evaluations, as they are not only comfortable, but also support other criteria, such as “support” and “durability”.
The midsole is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the shoe, nestling the foot in comfort. Whereas running shoes tend to have thick midsoles, flats and thinner shoes not designed for high-impact activities often have thinner midsoles. The reason for this is simple: you need more shock absorption and vibration dampening during high-intensity movements or activities to maintain comfort and prevent foot injury then you otherwise would with a regular shoe, flat or sandal. Midsoles are often made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a synthetic plastic also used to make insertable orthotics. A firmer type of EVA for the midsole will make the shoe heavier, but more durable; whereas a softer type of EVA, like those found in running shoes, improve shock absorption, but wear much quickly. Podiatrists tend to prefer firmer midsoles for those suffering with orthopedic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
The insole is the proverbial foundation of the entire Pearl Izumi shoe. The sock liner lays on top of the insole, which is then fused to the midsole, and finally the outsole. A firm insole will give good structure to a shoe and increase its stability and durability, but it will also increase the weight of the overall product and be less comfortable. A softer insole might be more comfortable, but that comes at the expense of stability and durability. We tried to balance these weights when evaluating our products, but each reader and wearer is different, so be aware of this trade-off.
The final word on comfort is that the higher the score the product receives, the more comfortable it is; however, it might also mean the Pearl Izumi shoe experiences one of the trade-offs discussed earlier. Check out our other criteria before making your final decision!
While style is often a matter of personal taste, we've checked thousands of online reviews to see what people are saying about each of the Pearl Izumi shoes on our list. Some things, such as sleek design, seamless construction and overall weight and shape of the shoe, were common likes or dislikes among buyers of each product.
To evaluate style, we considered everything from the design, color, shape, weight, lines and overall construction of the Pearl Izumi shoe in question. While no one wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe, they also don’t want a comfortable shoe to be ugly on the eyes. We’ve selected all of those on our top 10 Pearl Izumi shoes to be not only stylish, but also comfortable, true-to-size, supportive and durable.
The higher the score on the “style” metric, the more fashionable we and the community of buyers we surveyed deemed the product to be.
The company is an innovator in the sportswear industry, pioneering technologies that boost comfort, augment athletic performance, reduce bodily injuries and help you stay dry and cool when doing the hardest run or cycling session of your life. To evaluate the "features" criterion, we looked at the following:
The brand's proprietary composite fiber plate lends support and structure to their Pearl Izumi shoes, without adding unneeded weight that can hold runners, hikers and walkers down.
EVA foam cushioning is the gold standard for keeping a foot comfortable, supported, dry and healthy when operating at max capacity. A higher amount of EVA foam will lead to increased comfort and cushioning, and helps the wearer feel good after hours of wear!
Carbon Rubber Outsole
Offering superb traction and grip for concrete, dirt and rocky terrain, the carbon rubber outsole allows the wearer to perform at peak capacity without slipping, high impact or awkward movements that can lead to foot injury. The grooves found in this sole also help you stay upright when running over uneven terrain.
The seamless, mesh uppers commonly found in Pearl Izumi shoes mean you can stay dry and fresh throughout the day or throughout your run. The seamless construction also adds to the durability and comfort of the overall shoe, making wearing it a pleasant experience.
Pearl Izumi shoes on this list that feature these technologies tend to score higher on the feature criterion, and may lend the wearer increased comfort, performance or foot health.
Finding a perfectly-fitting pair of shoes can be like finding the holy grail; there are so many brands, styles, models and makes of shoes that it seems like it’s next to impossible, especially when you are shopping online! Fear not, as we’ve ranked each product on our list of Pearl Izumi shoes for their fit and trueness-to-size to help guide you in finding the perfect match for you.
To come up with a score for fit of a shoe, we considered several factors, like the ones mentioned above, in addition to real customer reviews, to help boil down everything into one simple score. For example, Nike tends to make shoes that are true-to-size, meaning that you can buy a pair of 11s one year, and another pair of 11s next year in a different model, and they will usually still fit (unless your feet grown or shrank). A brand like Nike will most likely have a high score when it comes to fit, but the other variables in play, such as make, model and purpose, will also affect the overall score.
Consider that a running shoe, with its thicker midsole and synthetic sole, might fit differently than a flat shoe, with its thinner midsole and hypothetical leather sole. Each of these shoes, even if they are both from Nike, may have similar scores for trueness-to-size, but a size 11 in one might not be the same as an 11 in the other. What’s a reader to do in this case? You must also consider the purpose and type of shoe it is. Knowing what kind of shoe you are buying, and for what purpose, will help you make a better decision. A running shoe might run smaller than a flat because it has thicker materials, so read customer reviews as well to arrive at the best decision for fit, in addition to just our overall score.
At the end of the day, however, a higher score for the “fit” criterion will tend to mean that the Pearl Izumi shoe experiences a better trueness-to-size than a competing product; just don’t forget all the underlying factors that are baked into arriving at that single score! Finally, if you are looking for tips on how to identify your shoe size, check out this guide by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society.
To assess each of the Pearl Izumi shoes on our list for durability, we not only read through thousands of customer reviews on our recommended products, but we also looked for some of the hallmarks of quality construction. From brand name reputation to their initial smell out of the box, there are a few ways of identifying a well-built, made-to-last product.
A product is a promise made, but a brand is a promise kept. A brand like Pearl Izumi is often a signal of quality and consistency in construction and durability from product to product. Although there are always exceptions to this rule, quite often brands that perform continue to perform.
A shoe made for running and high-impact sports will not likely last as long as a good pair of general activity shoes and that’s okay. Being aware of the Pearl Izumi shoe’s purpose is critical for you as a reader and for us as a reviewer. Although shoes that will last longer score higher on this criterion, you might also see high scores to shoes with a more limited durability, if that product was specifically designed for certain purposes that involve high-impact and high-stress motions. We take into account the type of Pearl Izumi shoes you are trying to purchase when assigning scores to shoes in this criterion.
Certain materials last longer than others, even if that comes at the expense of a higher score in the “comfort” criterion. Materials that are synthetic, thicker and firmer tend to score higher on durability.
A zipper that doesn’t zip or snaps? Poor threading technique? A smelly, chemical residue on the shoe when you open the box? All these details were looked for an evaluated when assigning a score for durability.
The final word on durability is that a higher score on this metric means the product will last longer than its competitors, given similar shoe purpose, type, age and usage. Again, it never hurts to read some customer reviews before hitting the “buy” button.
Our Top 10 Picks
1. X-Alp Launch II
This Pearl Izumi shoe is mountain cycling specific, but definitely made to withstand whatever the trail throws at you. A superior lugged sole helps to make walking around in these Pearl Izumi shoes easy, so you won’t be sliding around if you have to get off the bike and walk. They’re SPD cleat compatible, so they can also be used indoors for spinning classes too. With a couple color options, this durable pair can blend into your kit, or stand out in brighter colors for visibility on the road.
The brand has developed a unique sole to the X-Alp Launch II, which has a carbon rubber that makes it sticky on the pedals, light on the feet, and durable against the wear and tear mountain cyclists encounter. This Pearl Izumi shoe has SPD cleats, compatible with most indoor cycling bikes, and a micro-adjustable BOA closure, along with a Velcro toe strap. This helps with the utmost comfort in the fit of the shoe, making sure you have the best performance possible.
This Pearl Izumi shoe is low cut around the ankle, padded for extra comfort, but also allowing room for maneuvering on the trail. Carbon fiber composite shank helps provide an excellent base for power transfer from your pedal stroke to translate into movement. EVA midsole helps add some support and cushion so you can go harder for longer. An excellent choice for your next pair of Pearl Izumi shoes!
2. Select RD IV
The Select RD IV Cycling Shoe is one of the best-built Pearl Izumi shoes on today’s list, competing with some of the best shoes from this brand, and the industry. Here, cyclists are getting incredible value, including two different shoe colors, impressive supportive and comfortability features, and some performance enhancing features.
Say goodbye to hot spots with this specific cycling Pearl Izumi shoe. As most bicyclists will agree, there are some shoes that cause your feet to get hot, sweaty, and itchy. In efforts to alleviate these problems, this company made their show with a unique closure system that boasts ventilation and anatomical support.
When riding a bike, it’s important to make sure that you are in control of your movements the entire time. The last thing you want is to slip and fall because your shoes were not stable. With that being said, this company designed these Pearl Izumi shoes with both an EVA foam for the midsole and outsole, both of which contribute to stability and comfortability. Additionally, they utilized their “direct-vent technology”, which will prevent any buildup of moisture on the interior of the shoe and any sudden slipping.
For the price point of this Pearl Izumi shoe, consumers might not find a better, higher-quality bicycle shoe than this product. The biggest competition to this product is the number 1 product on today’s list. With that being said, if you are looking for a uniquely designed cycling shoe that offers some of the best benefits, at a cheaper price tag, this is for you.
3. EM Trail N3
Nimble, stable and comfortable; the hallmarks of a quality running shoe. The EM Trail N3 does not disappoint those passionate about pushing the limits of their running ability, and features a rubber sole for traction; a breathable, seamless upper construction; and a foam cushion for ultimate comfort. Biomechnically engineered to support proper form and gait, you can't pass on these Pearl Izumi shoes.
With a dynamic offset at 4mm at initial contact with the ground, to a 7.5mm offset at mid-stance, the EM Trail N3 has been engineered to support a proper running gait and prevent foot injury while augmenting performance. Further, the E:MOTION midsole is tuned to support correct pronation of the foot, also preventing possible foot injury.
When it comes to comfort in the heel region, this Pearl Izumi shoe is probably one of the best shoes on the market. This manufacturer infused energy foam into the crash pad so that, when an individual is disembarking from their cycling experience, they are in control and comfortable at the same time.
This Pearl Izumi shoe might run you a c-note or two, but for the features, comfort and style you get, it might be a worthwhile investment. Although expensive, if you stick to using it for only running, and you don't wear it as a general use shoe, you should get a good cost-per-wear from the product, as it will endure season after season.
4. X-Alp Summit
This mountain cycling pair from Pearl Izumi shoes it another solid and rugged option for those who like to tackle the dirt and gravel of the trails. Made for comfort and longer periods of wear, it has a seamless upper so you won’t feel any uncomfortable irritations or rubbing from seams. And, like many of Pearl Izumi shoes, it has been packed full of the brand’s design technology to give you the best possible performance while keeping the price reasonable.
Composite upper helps make this Pearl Izumi shoe a bit lighter, but also more durable that some others on the market. It’s also SPD compatible, so you can take this pair off the trails and into the gym should you need an indoor session on the spin bike. Power transfer is had with a ¾ shank of Nylon composite, helping to give a rigid base to the X-Alp Summit to push and pull for the most effective pedal stroke.
EVA midsole helps provide comfort during wear, and a Vibram outsole, outfitted with lugged pattern sole helps provide traction off the bike, maintaining superior grip on the trail when you have to hop off your ride. Buckle closure helps to get you a snug fit and helps ward off hot spots, and dual Velcro straps finish off the perfect fit on your feet. It’s another great option of Pearl Izumi shoes to take on the mountain!
5. Tri-Fly V
If there is one Pearl Izumi shoe that may be able to steal the throne – it’s the Tri-Fly V Cycling Shoe. This item is designed with some of the most unique, patented innovations and technology in the entire company line-up. We are very excited to share with you this specific Pearl Izumi shoe, so let’s explore a few product highlights.
When it comes to comfort and support – this Pearl Izumi shoe rises to the occasion. With a unique tri-closure feature, individuals will find themselves running or cycling with no hot spots or frequent sweating. Additionally, the way that the closure is designed, users could technically wear these without socks, giving users a more minimal experience.
Have you ever took your bike for a ride in the sun and found yourself sweating from your feet? This will happen when the shoes do not have proper ventilation. In efforts to combat this, this manufacturer took numerous lengths in their ventilation technology. From a unique full-mesh upper and lightweight and ventilated materials - these make cycling, running, or walking that much easier.
When it comes to the cost of this Pearl Izumi shoe, we can say that this product is slightly more expensive than the rest of the items on today’s list of top Pearl Izumi shoes. However, it’s evident that, when you consider the unique technology and innovations that we discussed above, it’s worth it! There is a reason why so many cyclists and runners enjoy this brand, perhaps it’s your turn to find out!
6. Race Road V5
The Race Road V5 is another great pair of Pearl Izumi shoes offered by this amazing company. Known for their unique design style, these offer specific consumers an opportunity to empower their riding experience. Made from both lightweight and durable materials, an individual can find themselves riding their bike better than ever before, thanks to these high-quality Pearl Izumi shoes.
One aspect of these Pearl Izumi shoes that really makes a difference is something known as direct-vent technology. Now, this is a new innovation for this brand and will help say goodbye to sweat and moisture. In fact, it’s meant to help maximize the breathability of the entire shoe – making each experience that much easier and comfortable.
It’s critical to ensure that, no matter the type of shoe you purchase, it boasts anatomic support. Now, this specific Pearl Izumi shoe has different plates that help create stiffness in the shoe, while also providing the individual with the support needed to comfortable enjoy riding.
So, when we first evaluated these Pearl Izumi shoes for our list, we were first taken aback by the higher price point. Reason being, this brand has built a reputation for designing quality shoes for affordable prices. With that being said, after then assessing what the return on investment was for these shoes – it was evident that the price point was reasonable. These shoes are for the serious cyclists that are looking for quality – not cheap, one-time biking shoes.
7. X-ALP Seek VII
The next product that we are going to share with you is the X-ALP Seek VII Cycling Shoe. Now, this specific one is much different than other Pearl Izumi shoes we will share with you today. These are designed with some incredibly comforting features and offer a unique lacing system, unlike much of the brand’s other shoes. Should you be looking for a superior shoe – this is it!
This manufacturer knew that they needed to design this Pearl Izumi shoe to be different in efforts to offer consumers, such as yourself, the best possible product. With that being said, this specific shoe was designed to be low-cut as this has been said to help provide a faster and lighter experience when cycling.
The part of this Pearl Izumi shoe that really captured our attention was the sole technology and innovation. This manufacturer utilized something known as “EVA X-Alp” technology, which has been said to help with on-bike and off-bike comfortability, stability, and control. In this, they also utilized carbon rubber for the bottom of the shoe to offer an even stronger argument for being the best cycling shoe.
When it comes to the cost of this specific Pearl Izumi shoe, we can say that consumers will appreciate the relative price tag for what the brand offers. In this, with three different color options, a supportive EVA padding, and a high-quality outsole, this shoe can really last for many years. So, it’s evident that this product is a great deal around the board.
8. EM Road N3
When you hear the words “GO!” at a race, you need a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes specially designed to keep runners on the road longer with more comfortability and durability than any other shoe. Let’s explore some of their features.
What makes this Pearl Izumi shoe so durable and viable for running is the way the outsole was designed. On the bottom of the actual shoe, the company used blown-rubber, which is known to be very durable. Additionally, they used an abrasion-resistant guard, which can be found on the outskirts of the tip of the shoe. This is meant to help prevent any scratches, tears, or anything of the such.
Out of the many different shoes that this brand offers, this is the only one that is offered in more than two different colors; here, you get four different stylish choices! In our opinion, this is a great feature of the Pearl Izumi shoe because it empowers consumers with the ability to choose what type of shoe matches their personality and desires.
As far as costs are concerned, most consumers can agree that this specific Pearl Izumi shoe is quite reasonable. It is not the most expensive shoe on today’s list – and it’s not the cheapest. With that being said, what it is, for sure, is valuable. With four different color options, great foam support, a strong outsole, and a unique midsole padding, runners will find this shoe a great addition to their running gear set.
9. X-Road Fuel V5
If there is one Pearl Izumi shoe that is on the rise today, it’s the X-Road Fuel V5. Consumers have been flocking to see what this specific shoe is all about, thanks to some pretty cool technology and innovations that only this brand offers. With that being said, let’s take a look at what makes this Pearl Izumi shoe so special.
Have you ever ridden a bike before and found the shoe laces getting in the way, all the time? Well, check this out! This brand sought to alleviate this problem with something known as a lace garage. It’s actually incredibly cool as it’s a location built-into the Pearl Izumi shoe to store shoelaces so they don’t move around.
Let’s talk about traction and durability for a moment. These specific Pearl Izumi shoes boast both, thanks to its unique rubber outsole, which happens to be lugged. Additionally, thanks to the beveled heel, users will find themselves in control of their cycling movement on the bike and walk off the bike. So, if you want a pair of shoes to join you for many journeys, this is it.
When looking at the cost of this pair of Pearl Izumi shoes in comparison to other products offered by this brand – we noticed that the prices were quite relative. Now, in efforts to stand out, this product features some unique value, not found in other shoes from this company. With two different color choices, a high-quality design, and, our favorite feature, a lace garage, you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
10. All-Road III
If you are looking for the best of the best from this brand, you need to look at the All-Road III Cycling Shoe. Now, this is not just a standard Pearl Izumi shoe for cycling. This product is loaded with value and a quality design that will have you wanting to purchase more from this brand. Let’s explore two product highlights.
If you are a veteran of this brand, you know that they are known for their comfortable upper designs. Here, this Pearl Izumi shoe is designed with the standard adjustable straps, all which are hook-and-loop for maximum durability and comfort for the user. So, if you are looking for all-day comfort and stability, this shoe is for you.
When it comes to this brand, you can anticipate some of the most precise and quality designs. This Pearl Izumi shoe is a testament to the company’s excellent quality, which can be seen from the fabric and synthetic materials, rubber outsole, and even a collar with padded materials.
As far as cost and value are considered – this product is easily one of the best deals on today’s list. Not only is it one of the most cost-friendly choices from this brand, it happens to have the most value for consumers. This is the type of Pearl Izumi shoe that will join an individual on numerous bike rides, hikes, and nature walks without any fault or wear and tear.