Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A different shoe for a different kind of ride


Not only am I extremely fortunate to have Tony Torrance as a great friend, I'm also pretty lucky that he's the cycling shoe designer at Pearl Izumi :) Over the past few years, he has brought the cycling footwear department to a whole new level and so many of us Boulderites have had the opportunity to use and race in his innovative products. From road to mountain biking to triathlon, I've tested several of Pearl's various shoes and have a lot of very positive things to say.

With the immersion of the ''all-mountain'' category of mountain biking came very specific products designed for the laid back, yet semi-extreme rider. From apparel and packs to bikes and shoes, companies are coming out with products that have the perfect blend of style, comfort and functionality. When I'm out on my 6 inch travel bike exploring and riding unpredictable terrain, there's usually some fair amount of hiking involved. Most mountain bikers are demanding the same lightweight and stiff shoe that road cyclist use and that is without a doubt not conducive to hiking around with a big bike in the woods.

With that being said, Pearl Izumi recently came out with the X-Alp which is a cross between a comfortable running shoe and a stiff, yet 'cool' looking cycling shoe. Bryce has been using a pair of prototype shoes for the past several months and truly loves them. Tony just dropped off some production shoes for both of us last night and I cannot wait to test them out. Pearl Izumi calls it the 'go to' shoe for those epic rides that involve any hiking...ahhhh, is it summer yet??!?!

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