Pearl Izumi All-Road V4 - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
We found the Pearl Izumi All-Road v4 to be a solid all-around trail shoe in a very affordable package. It's a great choice for a newer rider looking to get into clipless pedals who hasn't settled into a specific niche of trail riding. This shoe is light, comfortable, and performs well in most casual riding situations in a no-frills and budget-friendly package.
We tested this shoe with both no platform pedals (Shimano M530s) and small platform pedals (Shimano M540s), and we found that soles made positive contact with small platform pedals, which some riders may not like, but we don't think these shoes would be very compatible with full platform clipless pedals.
We were impressed at the stiff power transfer in the All-Road v4's nylon composite plate. The shoes flex just enough to facilitate walking and we didn't notice any loss of energy in our pedal strokes.
Although not quite as stiff as other shoes tested, we feel the All-Road v4 provides plenty of support for most recreational riders. However, cross country racers will find the sole to soft and aggressive riders will most likely want a shoe with a bit more protection in terms of both shock absorption and foot protection.
Comfort and Breathability
Our testers found the All-Road v4 to be both comfortable and breathable. With minimalistic reinforcement, they do not offer much protection for the riders foot. The uppers conform to your feet after the first few rides and we found the arch support to be adequate, although some riders may choose to use their own footbeds. The synthetic uppers also breathed surprisingly well thanks to strategically placed mesh panels that increased airflow around the toe box.
These shoes feature a wide velcro strap over the midfoot closest to the ankle, which we found too short to fasten securely, causing us to have to refasten it every time we stopped. Not only was this annoying, but it made it hard to keep a tight, secure fit. Luckily, the shoes are fairly snug out of the box, so they stayed in place even without the velcro strap.
Traction and Walkability
The All-Road v4 are comfortable to walk in thanks to a slight bit of flex behind the toe box, making it easier to push through long hiking sections. The shoe features a fully lugged rubber outsole, which provided solid traction in most hike-a-bike situations from dusty trails to rocky sections. However, we found the shoes lugs to lack bite in the sloppiest, muddiest portions of the trail though and they tended to pick up debris when the trails were wet.
After miles of testing on a variety of trails, these shoes show very little signs of wear. The rubber uppers are scuff proof and look almost like they did when they were fresh out of the box. The uppers have several small mesh panels, which are prone to snagging. Still, their integrity was uncompromised.
While we didn't have any issues during our two month testing period, we question the durability of the velcro closures. We found that we had to fasten them and refasten them several times each ride making them prone to wear and tear.
The rubber outsoles are very durable, showing no signs of wear and they fully cover and protect the nylon composite midsole.
The All-Road v4 is one of the lightest shoes we tested. Pearl Izumi's claimed weight is 311g per shoe for a size 40. Our test pair was on par with that weight, coming in at 292g per shoe for our size 38. We appreciated the lightweight, minimalist feel of this shoe, and we feel that no durability or support was lost to weight savings.
The All-Road v4 was the least expensive shoe we tested and they maintain a high level of durability, power, and comfort. While this is a no-frills shoe, we feel that it competently suits the needs of most recreational riders. The versatility of quality of this shoe earned it high marks.
The All-Road v4 is a great all-around shoe at an unbeatable price. We'd recommend this shoe to newer riders looking to get into clipless riding. It is comfortable and offers solid support in a durable and affordable package. However, we feel more experienced and aggressive riders are likely to want a shoe that is stiffer with more protection and features.
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