Pearl Izumi's system is grounded in the simple to understand, yet insanely complex to engineer concept that there is no 'almost' in creating products that enhance athletic performance. The X-Alp Launch shoe goes beyond the cut of the gear or construction of a shoe to become a part of you, are more comfortable and perform better.
XC, Commuter, Road rider...had many shoes thru my time..Gaerne, Carnac, Shimano, Answer, Nike...thought I would give these a go...will never wear anything else...forget to change shoes when arrive at work after commute cos they feel like a running shoe...I work at a bike shop who do not stock them..when customers ask about shoes..my boss quickly takes over cos he knows he is about to lose a sale..some say.."not stiff enough"..I reply..you a pro or got a spot in the Olympic team?..seriously...don't get caught up in the Hype of looking the part all the time..better to feel the part.
XC rider. This is a great shoe for those seeking a more street shoe feel. Comfortable on or off the bike. Good traction off the bike if you have to scramble. It's not super stiff (maybe a negative point for some), has a good outsole and is meshy and breathble in the summer heat. May be a good first clipless shoe to start with. Pretty sturdy and durable, I'm going into my fourth season and mine are doing fine. They have even been run over by cars a few times (always leaving stuff on the roof...).