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I demo'd some new pearl izumi mtb shoes. really blew my mind how comfortable they were. coming from a product designer I saw a lot of borrowed technologies from neighboring markets. lots of heat sealed fabrics, even over mesh materials, similar to the Nike hyperfuse products. THey are also co molding rubber cleats to a hard plastic sole. The plastic sole has a flex point forward of the ball of your foot, so the toe flexes when its off the bike. These shoes were super comfortable on and off the bike, the flex toe didn't pop your heal out the back with every step. They also placed EVA under your heal so if you hit hard with your heal it absorbs some impact. Typically you don't mold the whole sole for a shoe. since you need so many different sizes. this is why they are so expensive. starting at 280 for the green and black, with a 5 layer carbon plate between the outsole and insole, heat molded upper(seamless w/mesh material), and a new buckle system that was really nice. for 210 you get the black and orange cut and sew upper(very similar to existing shoes) with their typical buckle, and two velro straps. For 160 you get a watered down version but with the same sole technology.
2 years ago on Cyclocross Racers May Appreciate Running and Racing with Pearl Izumi Flex-Sole X-Project
280 for the green, 210 for the middle of the pack and I think 160 for the low end.
Really comfortable shoe!