By Gillian Scobie
There’s nothing like a light pair of cycling shoes on your feet to make you feel you’re flying down the road. That’s what I felt like when I first put on Pearl Izumi’s Select RD III road shoes. It probably helped that I had been wearing a pair of heavy touring bike shoes. It still feels a little weird walking around in the RDs, with the cleat sticking out like that. No fast moves! My old shoes were very walkable but bulky, which reduced their effectiveness when I cycled. Pearl Izumi states that the EVA foam and rubber heel bumper give walking comfort. Perhaps without those you’d just fall over the moment you got off your bike. I haven’t, so it must work.
The shoes are very comfortable. They fit perfectly. And I also like the three Velcro straps. Very fast put on and, the straps make more sense ergonomically—your foot is strapped in at three different places and stays tight. Aesthetically, this is a beautiful shoe. It’s light, it’s white, my favourite colour, with some swirling grey accent lines around the different sections of the shoe.
The size I originally ordered was a 42, the same size as my old shoes, which were also Pearl Izumi. But they were too small. Amazingly, they had a 43 which fit fine. And they also have half sizes. So it might be best to size up when you’re ordering.
The multi-release cleats on my old shoes easily transferred to the RDs but the shoes also have a three-bolt system to allow for any cleat you’d like.
To keep your feet cool there are five mesh panels (Pearl Izumi’s direct-vent technology) around the front of the shoe and the sides, and two vents underneath the shoe on the sole. The weather hasn’t been too hot around here so far this season so the shoes haven’t had a real heat test, but so far my feet have stayed cool and comfortable.
These shoes feel much more like an extension of my foot because I can hardly feel them and I think that’s the point. The stiffness in the sole of the shoe and the built-in longitudinal arch support, efficiently add to the power of my pedal stroke. And I haven’t experienced any hot spots the several times I’ve been riding in the RDs.
One thing about wearing white shoes is—you can see any speck of dirt. Luckily, it’s easy to clean off. I got some dirt and grease on that pristine white and took it off in no time with some dish soap and a soft cloth. And I intend to keep them looking that way.
Pearl Izumi’s SELECT RD III road shoes offer great value at a very good price: $100…for Americans. That would be $125 Canadian right now. They come in black and white.
Avid runner and cyclist Gillian flies around Lanark County any human-powered way she can.