Pearl Izumi PRO Leader v4 Cycling Shoe - Men's
It's easy to channel your inner King of the Mountains when donning a pair of Pearl Izumi's PRO Leader v4 Cycling Shoes. Bantamweight construction comes courtesy of a lightweight upper and super-stiff carbon sole, both of which contribute to climbing out of the saddle and chasing virtual points on the road to retain your KOM leader's jers—ahem—segment. Contact points are very personal and important for proper power transfer, and the Pearl Izumi PRO v4 is the brand's new leader for maximum comfort and utmost efficiency.
Pearl Izumi fashions the PRO Leader v4 with an Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper with zero stitching to offer exceptional breathability and reduce hot spots by adapting to your unique foot shape. This 1:1 Zero Distraction Upper Fit mitigates foot discomfort by avoiding the soft tissue running along the top of the foot. The synthetic material won't stretch so durability and fit will remain the same as the day you take them out of the box.
The Leader v4 utilizes asymmetric closures, and Pearl Izumi places dual IP-1 Boa reels slightly off-center to further protect those sensitive areas on top of the foot. The Boa IP1 dials allow 1mm micro-adjustability and pop up for full release. The 1:1 Integrated Carbon Power Plate delivers feather-light efficiency with a stiffness rating of 13 out of 13. Thanks to the unique uni-body construction—which eliminates a traditional lasting board—Pearl Izumi is able to preserve a super low 5mm stack height for a more powerful and fluid pedal stroke. The 1:1 Insole System rounds out the highlights by allowing independent left and right arch and forefoot varus canting adjustability for optimal pedaling mechanics.
- Pro-level cycling shoe reduces discomfort while riding
- Power Plate carbon sole is Pearl Izumi's stiffest yet
- Seamless Composite Upper breathes and doesn't stretch
- Asymmetric closures provide glove-like fit
- Dual Boa reels allow for a customized adjustability
- Allows for customized arch support and varus canting
- Low 5mm stack height maximizes pedaling efficiency
Bad pair of shoes. The exception.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: EU 47
I bought this model to replace a lower model of worn-out Pearl Izumi shoes after >5 years and >25K miles. I bought the same size, EU 47, which felt right standing and trying the shoes on. I found blood-stained Bandaids inside both shoes. That should have been a clue something was wrong with the shoes. I assumed the shoes were tried on and returned by another customer, but I decided to try them. They were terrible and hurt both feet in different places including abrading the skin on both feet. The right shoe cut into the skin inside the right ankle despite loosening the Boa closure to no tension. The left shoe cut into the top of my foot due to way the tongue was sewn to the boot—the root of the tongue projected down onto the top of my foot. I wanted the shoes to work, so I tried them a second time with heavier socks and experienced a similar result. [Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. — not really said by Einstein, but definitely applies here.] I contacted Competitive Cyclist and Nate Simpson couldn't have been more helpful with my return and following-up to ensure satisfaction! I was afraid to try another pair of this model, so I ordered a similar style of Pearl Izumi shoes to my previous pair and I'm quite pleased. No issues with the replacement model with >100 miles on them. I think this pair of shoes is the exception—due to poor workmanship.
Shiny carbon sole!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 48 Euro
These shoes are very nice and comfortable. I think they run pretty much true-to-size, not like the narrower fit for Shimano shoes in case you are concerned since Shimano owns Pearl Izumi.
The BOAs work great and the tongue has a small cutout to lessen the pressure against the top of the foot. The footbed is a step up from other OE footbeds, with two size arch supports. The heel cup is secure without being overly restrictive.
The one caveat for this shoe are the top loops that secure the BOA cables. They will fray over time as you tighten the cables. I have the Pearl Izumi MTB shoes with the same fastening system and the loops frayed on those shoes. One solution is to apply superglue (carefully) on the loops to strengthen the fabric.
Finally, the carbon soles — Wow! They emit a kaleidoscope of colors!
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