Review: Pearl Izumi Expedition Shoe

When it comes to mountain biking, the debate of clips vs. flats may never be settled. Especially here in southwest Montana, it seems like most folks swear by flats. But really, the only good argument for flats is that it’s easy to bail off the bike when you need to. Not a problem, though, if you never plan on falling. But in all seriousness, clipless shoes have a lot of advantages. They transfer energy more efficiently, they secure your foot to the peddles on downhills or rough terrain, and they give you power on the upstroke and the downstroke. For a do-it-all shoe for Bozeman town trails, look no further than the Pearl Izumi Expedition Shoes. A super-stiff composite sole makes the shoe rigid, which is great for long approaches on paved or dirt roads—like riding to the Leverich trailhead from your house. Once on singletrack, though, the shoes excel equally as well. Only issue is, the shoes don’t perform off-the-bike very well. They do have TPU lugs, so a couple steps are no problem to navigate a tricky section of trail, but if you need to hike more than 100 yards or so, the shoes are less than ideal (in that case, consider Pearl Izumi’s X-Alp Summit Shoes—my go-to for big trail rides). Other nice features are the Boa lacing system, which makes getting the shoes on and off a breeze, and reinforced toe bumper in case you take a rock strike to the foot. Overall, the shoes are a versatile, efficient option for multi-surface riding near Bozeman. $160;