We get all levels of riders coming into our Boulder, Colorado showroom to try on shoes including many Boulder-based local and international pro cyclist and triathletes. They tell us the shoes they like, the shoes they have to ride for sponsorship obligations and the shoes they really desire. And when we noticed Tejay van Garderen using the 2014 PRO Leader II shoes it perked our attention.
The PRO Leader II shoes are a cutting edge shoe with some obvious benefits and some not so obvious. We like that the PRO Leader II is super light (well below 500 grams a pair) and very streamlined and aerodynamic with no bulky buckles on the side and just a small strap on the front to secure the forefoot.
A Second Skin upper is a thin, yet strong material that comfortably conforms to the foot. There is mesh for breathability and a TCU web upper for solid support and power transfer especially on the upstroke. A BOA closure system ingeniously located on the tongue provides extremely even closure pressure nicely wrapping the foot. Just turn the dial to tighten and pull up on the dial and then lift up on the tongue to loosen/remove the shoe.
Pearl employs a super stiff Octane grade unidirectional carbon sole with a low 7mm stack height. There is a textured area to prevent cleat slippage and about 7mm of extra cleat adjustment to accomodate a variety of fits. Direct vents on the bottom of the sole add some airflow. Pearl includes a 1:1 interface insole with transverse arch support with dual density EVA foam.
While this shoe is primarily a road shoe, it might get a bit of a following in the tri market too thanks to its streamlined, aero shape and effective closure that makes removing the PRO Leader II very fast.
I have a few pairs of Sidi's which I like very much but these are my favorite shoes.
Pros: Comfy, Easy on
excellent shoe. super light, no pressure points. It truly feels like slipper! Much better than my s-works shoes
Pros: light, fast, comfortable.
Cons: none yet
I have very temperamental. Just completed a long ride and these shoes really do feel like a slipper. The most interesting part of the shape is the way your heel stays put even when the main boa dial is barley torqued. My old pair of Specialized s-works required the top boa to be ratcheted down, and I could still feel some give on the upstroke. I've tried both Sidi wires and Specialized s-works, but neither come close to comfort and support. If you were blessed with flat temperamental feet like myself, these are worth a try.
Pros: slim, light, slipper like.
Cons: non yet