We review these top of the range triathlon shoes from Pearl Izumi.
Pearl Izumi Tri Fly Octane
Designed with input from two-time Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom, the Tri Fly Octane is the top model in Pearl Izumi’s triathlon-specific bike shoe line up. The first obvious thing about the shoes is their astonishing lightness – our size 44s weighed only 206g each – which is really noticeable compared to heftier pairs, giving a sprightly feel that’s especially helpful in keeping the legs spinning on climbs. This is also aided by the ‘One 2 One Power Plate Octane Grade Uni-directional Carbon’ sole, which basically means it’s ultra stiff to provide superb power transfer. The sole also has a pair of vent/drainage holes below the toes to help keep the underside of the foot dry while the one-piece upper with generous mesh and gaps between the straps keeps the top of the foot cool too. The fit is snug, so check sizing, but it’s a very comfortable shoe with or without socks and the heel cup grips firmly without causing pressure. The main strap is wide and held secure without any hot spots, the soft back also aiding comfort, while its large notch held the shoes open very wide, making the Octanes really easy to get into and out of. The strap also closes on the outside of the shoe, meaning there’s no need to trim it down to avoid it flicking the cranks like some other tri-specific pairs. The lower strap is a set-and-forget type so once it’s set to grip your foot, you won’t have to bother with it again. Transition is also helped along by a huge heel loop which, despite its size, didn’t irritate while riding. Suitable for any three-bolt cleat system, it’s one of the top triathlon shoes available, but the light weight comes at a big price.
Featherweight and comfy tri shoes with a fantastic sole, but pricey.
This review was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
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