The new Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch and Pop Flow flat pedal shoes bring a lot of tech to the unclipped crowd, including gummy Goodyear outsoles. Featuring three versions, two sitting at the high end with the grippier rubber, they blend a lot of materials to give you a multi-season shoe that should last multiple seasons. Here’s the scoop, straight from their team, in this Remote Otter video…
All versions should hit stores and online in mid-August 2020. Here’s the tech details for each model:
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch
These replace the current Launch flats, and bring in the same level of technology usually reserved for shoes with cleat mounts underneath. They’re hiding a 3/4 length nylon shank to create a stiffer pedaling platform (which should help reduce foot fatigue on long rides and descents). Above that is an EVA foam-cushioned midsole.
A reinforced toe box gets a little extra material to prevent scuffs, too. The entire upper is seamless, perforated, and made of a quick drying recycled Cordura material. Retail will be $150.
Both the standard version and the mid-top (below) share the Goodyear outsole, which gets a “Pin-Loc” chevron tread pattern toe to tail. They say it grabs onto the pins on your pedals no matter where your feet are situated, and that’s it’s both grippy and durable.
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Mid WRX
Adding both height and water repellence is the Mid WRX model. Using a similar but taller molded heel cup with external impact protection, it adds a Velcro ankle strap to provide more protection and stability. It uses a water-resistant Cordura with WRX treatment to shed water. Retail is $175.
Both versions use a BOA L6C dial to keep your foot snugly in place, then offer quick, wide open releases for easy ons and offs.
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Pop Flow
Helping you get most of the features but save a little coin is the Pop Flow model. It comes in men’s (black) and women’s (purple) specific versions. Features, um, dial back a bit with a BOA L6 closure and their standard rubber outsole. It uses a one-piece midsole/outsole that’s less stiff, but cushions well.
The outsole is black and keeps the Pin-Loc chevron design. Retail for the X-Alp Pop Flow is $125. Like the others, it’s designed specifically for flat pedal use, there is no SPD-compatible version of these models with these features. If you’re looking for clipless-ready shoes, check out their X-Alp Elevate mountain bike shoes, which get more aggressive tread for all conditions, including hike-a-bikes.