Our verdict


The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch is footwear perfect for mountain bike riders who prefer the freedom of flat MTB shoes. Due to its breathability and stylish looks, it is recommended for summer days and casual rides where the wearer plans to go straight to town after a ride.


  • Lightweight
  • Well-made
  • Durable
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Adequate stiffness
  • Excellent grip
  • Breathable


  • Not grippy sole
  • Not water-resistant
  • Lack of lace tuck
  • Lack of ankle protection

Who should buy the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch

This Pearl Izumi bike shoe is for mountain bike riders who are used to the spontaneous release of their foot from the pedal. It is a solid option if you:

  • Need a shoe that has adequately stiff soles, grippy toe and heel areas of the outsole, and a reinforced toe cap contributing to efficient mountain cycling.
  • Need a shoe that performs well on the bike and grips on rocks and surfaces every time the need for pushing the bike arises.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Logo

Shock absorption features

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch features a midsole section made from EVA. This part dampens impact, keeping the foot comfortable during long, rocky rides. In partnership with Vibram, this shoe was designed with two zones of differing traction levels.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Outsole 1.0

Both zones are crafted from the durable Vibram MegaGrip, but with different designs for various uses:

  • The pedal area, or the mid-section of the outsole, features a smooth, siped rubber outsole design.
  • In the toe and heel areas, open lugs shaped in a chevron pattern provide traction for off-bike use when pushing the bike is needed.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch's cleat system

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch employs a flat outsole. The pedals that are compatible with this shoe are Crank Brothers Stamp 7, One Up Components Aluminum Pedals, and ACROS A-FLAT MD.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Outsole 2.0

Lightweight and protected

This pair’s upper features a seamless bonded upper that provides a lightweight and comfortable performance. It is durable and breathable as well. Reinforced toecaps yield protection against rock strikes, impacts, and bumps. It guards the toes against the elements in the rugged trails.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Upper

The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch employs the traditional lace-up closure. It offers a precise and lockdown fit without a pressure point or added weight.