Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II Cycling Shoe Review

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Confession: I wasn’t sure about the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drift II shoes. They looked a bit too much like tennis shoes. A bit about me. I’m a mountain biker. I take spin classes in the winter but I don’t use my bike to commute. I’d say that I’m quintessentially a baggies and jersey girl. Not a lot of lycra in my drawer. I say this to paint you a picture. I like my shoes to look tough and mountain bike-y. Not like tennis shoes. But I’m glad that I gave them a chance.

The X-Alp Drift II shoes are SPD compatible and they are perfect for whatever you need; mountain biking, bike commuting and spin class. They are also compatible with Crank Brothers. I honestly thought that I would try these out for a bit and then go back to my old Pearl Izumi bike shoes but after six weeks, I guess they’ve found a home in my bag. They are lightweight and comfortable. So comfortable that I wore them all day to run my errands (for research purposes).  I’d say that if you bike commute or you forget to throw extra shoes in the gym bag, you’re psyched because these are meant to be comfortable on and off the bike.

The shoes are stiff enough to crank on your pedals. I was afraid they’d be too soft but I was wrong. The stiffness also contributes to the stability factor. The outsoles are wide and rugged. I wore them in Fruita, Colorado where you encounter a lot of rock. And carrying your bike on steep rocks can kind of suck. I found these shoes to be super stable for carrying my bike on potentially slippery steep rocks. The main material is mesh which allows them to breathe well and be lightweight. These only come in one color; shadow grey/martini. Which for us lay people, means purple and grey.

One of my concerns was the fact that these shoes have the single pull lace system. That worked pretty well for me but I wish there was at least one Velcro fastener at the top. I think it would make them feel spot on for tightness. The sizing was true to size and the back of the heel area is fully padded and cozy so as to absorb shock.

Overall, these are great shoes. Proud to wear them with my baggies.

MSRP: $110.00 For more information on the X-Alp Drift II Cycling Shoe and other Pi products, visit or

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  • I ride my mountain bike alot. I also ride as much as possible with CheriF (author of review). Last time we rode she showed up in these cute X-Alp Drifts. I liked them because they had a fun color on them (the pink is nice, a dark hot pink) and looked more like a light hiking trail runner shoe! My current mt biking shoes are down right ugly, functional but black and grey - really!!?? And they look more like a bowling shoe!! For a girl who likes to dress up and get pedicures that was really bugging me. So when CheriF shows up in these cute shoes I ask how are they? She says great! The next day I go to REI and pick up a pair. Love them. Rode in them this morning - I wear a 7.5 and got the 39s. My other shoes are officially retired. Yea!!

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