Verdict from 3 experts and 93 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow is incredibly comfortable, according to the majority of its users.
  • This MTB shoe's casual design looks stylish and can be worn out to bars and errands, say most of the consumers.
  • Several cyclists mention the X-Alp Flow's adequate grip ideal for commuting and light mountain riding.
  • It feels light compared to other mountain bike shoes, some wearers observe.
  • A couple of riders find this model's power transfer to be satisfactory.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A lot of MTB cyclists warn that this Pearl Izumi shoe's grip isn't meant for aggressive mountain biking.
  • Several commenters gripe about its lack of protection on the sides.
  • A user claims the upper material is hard to clean.

Bottom line

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow is a flat MTB shoe designed for light mountain cycling and urban commuting. It received praise in the durability, comfort and looks departments.

While it doesn't provide optimal grip or protection, it remains a practical kit for casual cyclists. If you're a cyclist with moderate technical needs and prefer flat-pedal footwear, the X-Alp Flow should be in your purchase radar.

Tip: see the best mountain cycling shoes.

Good to know

Who is it for? The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow suits more of the casual riders who do not need a bulky and super technical shoe.

What is it for? This MTB shoe would work well in the following casual and light rides to mid-level cycling activities:

  • Urban commute
  • Bike packing trips
  • Casual travel riding

Durable grip. The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow features dual-density zonal outsoles compounds. The toe and heel areas employ open, chevron-shaped lugs for optimal off-bike traction. The cleat area utilizes a seemingly smooth pattern, but when looked upon closely, it features thin slits for pedal pin engagement.

Vibration and impact dampening. The shoe's EVA midsoles provide shock absorption to keep the foot comfortable throughout the day.

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow is a flat mountain bike shoe that works well with the following flat MTB pedals: Crank Brothers Stamp 7 Large LE, Burgtec Penthouse Mk4 Composite and Nukeproof Horizon Pro.

As mentioned in the section above, the cleat area features a special rubber lug pattern for pedal pin engagement.

Lightweight comfort. This model's upper is crafted from synthetic materials. It is designed with minimal seams to prevent hot spots and pressure points.

Lockdown. The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow utilizes the traditional lace-up closure for its retention system. It offers a precise fit sans pressure points.

Elastic lace loops are also provided to tuck in laces and keep them from getting caught in the drivetrain.

A newer version of this shoes is set to launch in 2021.

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow's older sibling is the X-Alp Launch. These two shoes share a lot of similarities and a few differences. To find out more, continue reading.


Both shoes employ the following features:

  • Lace-up closures
  • EVA midsoles
  • A dual-density zonal sole design
  • Toe cap protection


  • The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch features completely seamless uppers, whereas the X-Alp Flow has minimal seams
  • The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow employs a lace loop lock
  • The X-Alp Launch uses Vibram technology for its outsoles


How Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 13% mountain cycling shoes
All mountain cycling shoes
Bottom 21% Pearl Izumi cycling shoes
All Pearl Izumi cycling shoes
Bottom 13% water-resistant cycling shoes
All water-resistant cycling shoes


The current trend of Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow.
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