First Impressions: Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Shoes

If you ride off-road and use clipless pedals, Pearl Izumi probably has a shoe for you. Boasting no less than a dozen SPD-compatible models, the Colorado-based company offers kicks to suit everyone from XC racers to Enduro wannabes. And now, with the introduction of the new X-Alp Launch model, flat pedal riders can get in on the action.

Judging by the Launch’s slim profile and understated appearance, you might mistake the X-Alp for another urban or recreational shoe. While the Launch certainly ticks those boxes, Pearl Izumi designed the X-Alp to handle the abuse of all-mountain riding. From the dual-density Vibram® sole to the seamless upper, the Launch delivers the comfort and support you need for all-day riding. gravel bike gravel grinder pearl izumi x alp launch
The X-Alp Launch shown in the black/shadow grey colorway.

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Under Test: WTB Koda Saddle

With its generous open channel, short nose, and slightly swooped profile, WTB’s Koda saddle is designed for all-day comfort. Developed with extensive feedback from female test riders, the Koda has become popular with the guys, too. Can this do-it-all saddle perform equally well for pavement, gravel, and dirt?

Stay tuned…