Pearl Izumi invited a few lucky retailers out to Boulder, CO, to check out the Spring 2014 collection. We snapped a few shots to give you a heads up on what to look for from the most popular brand in the biz. Pearl Izumi’s designers showed off their creations in their “Experience Center,” which is essentially an office space filled with everything in the entire Pearl lineup. Seeing the walls covered with product made me appreciate the massive breadth and diversity of the collection. There really is a piece for every possible condition you may encounter on a ride. That’s just one of the reasons we love the brand and why they have been at the top of the industry for decades.
The most exciting and noteworthy products came from Pearl Izumi’s new stable of shoes. The designers completely overhauled their current lineup and have some truly revolutionary products that are unlike anything else out there. These shoes aren’t just different for the sake of being different. They are innovative in the sense that they improve on current accepted standards with new technology and features.
I’ll stop gushing now. But I was sincerely impressed with the new kicks and can’t wait to get a pair to test for myself.
The P.R.O. Leader shoe features a Boa dial on the tongue and a stealthy aesthetic. While it’s not the first shoe to employ a Boa dial, it’s the first one to place it on the tongue. It makes sense for several reasons. It’s more aerodynamic, doesn’t interfere with shoe covers and is less likely to get roughed up if you crash. I tried the shoe on and thought I might feel it against the top of my foot, but I didn’t notice it at all. The general fit was on the snug side. The P.R.O. leader shoe could be available as early as this fall and MSRP is $270. The Race Road Shoe also features a Boa dial but comes in at a more affordable $150.
On the mountain side, Pearl Izumi showed off their X Project collection. Pearl engineers set out to create a shoe stiff enough to be efficient while pedaling with enough flexibility to be comfortable off the bike. The fit felt awesome and my first inclination was that this would be the ideal cyclocross shoe. The tapered carbon sole is fully rigid where power transfer is most necessary, but flexible toward the front of the shoe to make them more comfortable for walking and running. There will be three different price points in the Men’s X Project collection, $160, $210 and $280, with REALLy bright colors featuring prominently throughout.
We filmed this video with head designer Tony Torrance at the Interbike Outdoor Demo last September:
On the apparel side, these two Elite LTD Jersey designs caught our eye with a distinct pro team look that’s not too over the top or busy looking.
The P.R.O. Leader kit stood out with a blue/screaming yellow color combo. The chamois in all the P.R.O. collection bibs and shorts was redesigned for 2014 to concentrate more padding under the sit bones.
Shimano displayed several new models of shoes with updated lasts including the heat-moldable R260 which replaces the R241 and should be available in October 2013.