Pearl Izumi just released a new version of the X-Alp Flow shoe and we have had the chance to try them for the last two months.
Sizing on the shoe is considerably different from other shoes that I have tried from Pearl Izumi, which have run narrow through most models. The X-Alp Flow have a wider toe box, giving them the feeling of at least 1/2 size larger. while the heal would consider the fit to be traditional, and hugs your foot into the shoe.
The uppers are formed from a seamless piece of water repellent material, that clean up quickly with a towel.
The Soles have a dual compound design with deeper treads on the fore foot & in the heel area, while the section under the ball of your foot has more of a flat pattern for increased traction. In use I found the compound to be a little more stiff than other shoes I have had, and I'm not sure if it is the combination of design or material, but I didn't always get the feeling that my foot was stuck to the pedals.
Within the laces there is a nice little feature of an elastic piece that you can pull on to help loosen the laces off easier. It's a feature that makes a lot of sense and is easy to use and I found myself looking for it on another pair of shoes.
The fit and finish of the X-Alp Flow are great and they are a very nice shoe, but the combination of a slightly wider fit & not feeling completely stuck to the pedals won't be pushing them to the top of my list for favourite shoes. But at $40 cheaper than 5.10 freeriders it catches the eye when shopping and are worthy of trying on.
Price: $100 usd.