Hands On with the Asymmetric, Limited Edition Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O Leader II
Tejay van Garderen may have had a rough start to the season, but looking forward to July the American is set to lead Team BMC. As extra motivation for this year’s Tour de France for Tejay van Garderen, Pearl Izumi introduced an extremely limited edition of their P.R.O. Leader II road shoes. Only a hundred will be made, with a retail price set at $300 USD.

What gives them the Tejay touch? Details plus actual weight after the break…

Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (7) Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (1)

Anything black and red on the limited edition shoes is a mirror image of the opposite foot resulting in a unique asymmetric design. The left shoe has a black heel and red toe, while the right has a red heel and black toe. The flip flop pattern carries all the way down to the graphic on the soles, the heel pads, even the insoles. It wouldn’t be a signature shoe without a signature, so Tejay’s autograph can be found on the left velcro strap.

The soles feature “Samurai warriors”, which celebrate Tejay’s “Zen Warrior” mentality. The unique graphics cover Pearl’s Octane 1:1 Power Plate unidirectional carbon sole. Like most of their high end shoes, the P.R.O Leader IIs are compatible with 3-bolt road cleats only.

Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (3)

Using a single centrally located Boa for each shoe on the tongue, the design moves the dial to keep it out of harms way during a crash. The exclusive Boa IP-1 reel also offers the ability to tighten or loosen the shoe by turning the dials in either direction. To remove the shoe, you still pull up on the dial as normal. This micro-adjustment is an improvement over many Boa equipped shoes as it allows you to let just enough out if you have over tightened the shoe.

In addition to the Boa, the P.R.O Leader IIs have a velcro strap near the toe that helps cinch down the uppers to achieve PI’s “Second Skin” fit. The .9mm uppers claim to be the thinnest on the market and use their Power Web construction to keep things from stretching.

Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (5) Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (4)

Inside you’ll find a light weight custom insole with nice arch and mid sole support.

Pearl Izumi Tejay van Garderen P.R.O. Leader II limited edition shoes (6)

This pair of P.R.O Leader IIs in size 42 measured 239g per shoe, which is right at or under the claimed weight. Fit on these is pretty true to size, especially if you have a recent pair of Pearl Izumi’s mountain bike shoes. The P.R.O Leader IIs fit excatly like our X-Projects.

Available in the following sizes: 39, 40, 40.5, 41, 42, 43, 43.5, 44, 44.5, 45, 45.5, 46, 47, 48, 49, the shoes go on sale today but don’t expect them to last. Woman can use unisex sizing, but expect the shoes to fit a little wider than a lady specific model

Learn more here


  1. Since a few years, teams don’t accept shoe sponsorships and all riders are sponosored individually. This is the third year already that Tejay is riding the PI’s. Gilbert is riding Vittoria, Greg Van Avermaet is riding S-Works…

  2. Fun fact: The shoes use asymmetrical coloring because Tejay van Garderen doesn’t know his left from his right.

  3. “As extra motivation for this years Tour de France for Tejay van Garderen”

    Nothing motivates a pro at the Tour like a pair of shoes.

  4. It took me damn near 23 years to learn my left from right. No one on elementary school was successful teaching me. Not until I started strength and cycling coaching, did I finally “know” the difference without thinking about it.

    Maybe understand some folks learn differently? Or does that not matter as he’s riding way way way off the front from you ? 🙂

  5. Since when have Samurai worn Conical Asian hats?! Just wondering, because this is a picture of a person dressed to work in rice fields. Samurai don’t dress like this at all.

  6. Actually @Tom, some teams do take shoe sponsors (Trek, Cannondale). It’s up to management.

    I like these, too bad they are Pearl.

  7. Pearl shoes are getting better, but until they make a wide version there is little point I shops stocking them. Sidi, shimano, lake and even Mavic are selling truckloads of wide shoes to Americans with wide, fat feet.

  8. Such a missed opportunity Pearl, I got wide feet you see.

    @Dear PI – Perhaps it’s influenced Samurai Showdown than being historically correct 🙂
    Which you’d think they’d at least get correct seeing that it’s a Japanese company.

  9. The graphic is not a samurai, wearing a robe and that hat,
    looks like it’s a temple warrior (僧兵) or monk.
    More fit than a samurai to the “Zen Warrior” theme.

  10. Americans are generally bigger (fatter) than the rest of the world.
    These would look good as they ride around on their electric scooters

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