Pearl Izumi X Project  2013 Mountain Bike Review

Pearl Izumi X Project 2013

Reviews / Shoes

Pearl Izumi 161,104

At A Glance

The X Project 1.0

This is the top of the line shoe that utilises a full length tapered carbon fiber plate that has flex in the toe and heel areas yet gives good power transfer via the support in the mid foot region.

Buy Shoes on

The sole has hollow TPU lugs that have co moulded rubber tips, this process is difficult to achieve and the sole is manufactured in a specialist factory in Italy. There is an EVA foam insert in the heel to provide impact absorption when on foot.

The uppers feature a seamless construction polyurethane skin over a textile thermo plastic mesh and are fully bonded. Fastening is taken care of via 2 Velcro straps and 1 Pearl Izumi P.R.O. micro ratchet buckle strap which is placed at a 25 degree angle to ensure the strap follows the anatomic curve of the foot. There is a removable stud option should you require extra grip in wet conditions and there is a modular foot bed to tailor fit too.

The 1.0 is a unisex shoe formed on a male last, sizes will range from 38 – 47 with half sizes and then a 48 and 49.
The 1.0 has a weight of 320g and will cost £229.99 RRP.

X Project 2.0

The 2.0 features the same sole as the 1.0 but has a synthetic leather upper that would suit European climates better than the 1.0 and the ratchet is a standard affair rather than the bling P.R.O. system. The 2.0 comes with the modular foot bed.
The 2.0 has a weight of 325g and will cost £169.99 RRP.

X Project 3.0

The 3.0 has a fiberglass sole rather than carbon and the uppers are a combination of mesh and synthetic are have a simpler manufacturing process.

The 3.0 has both men and ladies options, ladies sizing will be 36 – 43 with half sizes, men’s sizing will be 39 – 47 with half sizes and then a 48 and 49.

The 3.0 has a weight of 330g and will cost £129.99 RRP.

On the Trail

First impressions were very good, I have a troublesome big toe that dislocates on a regular basis and race shoes are normally a no go for me but the X Project upper is supple enough to conform to your foot yet offers good security and support.

On the bike the X Project continued to impress, power transfer is right up there with the best of the rest and even full bore out of the saddle powering exposed no shortcomings.

So am I going to tell you that Pearl Izumi has come up with a great shoe on the strength of a days riding in the sun, no but first impressions were certainly good.

What I will say is that I have been riding the X Project for 2 months now in some of the worst weather that Mother Nature can throw at us and so far the shoe has been superb.

On the bike I have become quite addicted to the power transfer which is much better than my usual trail shoe and when I have to get off the bike to scramble up the wet clay and chalk that dominates my local area the grip has been by far the best I have ever experienced.

Another bonus I have found is that the X Project has a compact profile which makes getting overshoes on that bit easier, a definite plus with winter now in full force.

Overall I have found the X Project to be the most efficient, comfortable shoe that I have used to date both on and off the bike.

The X Project range will be hitting the stores early in the New Year.

Buy Shoes on

This review was in Issue 21 of IMB.

For more information visit Pearl Izumi


By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

Tried this? What did you think?