The X-Project Pro holds the top step in the Pearl Izumi mountain bike shoe range. The winner of our Editors' Choice award in our last review, the Pearl Izumi X-Project PRO returns with some minor updates over the previous model. The relatively lightweight carbon soled shoe is somewhat harder to categorize than other shoes in our test selection, and Pearl Izumi claims it is "perfect for all mountain bikers and cyclocross riders." We find it hard to disagree, assuming you are willing to cough up the cash for the most expensive shoe in our test selection.
The X-Project Pro is packed with features that many riders will love, from the grippy rubber outsole and Boa closures to the stiff and efficient carbon sole that flexes through the toe for improved off-the-bike walkability. While the X-Project Pro does offer impressive performance and features, it still made the podium but gave up the top step to a newcomer in the Outdoor Gear Lab mountain bike shoe test, the Giro Empire VR90. This is not to say the X-Project Pro isn't a fantastic pair because it is, and many riders will be pleased with its outstanding performance and versatility.