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Discussion: Good MTB shoes for AR

in: Adventure Racing; General

Jun 22, 2020 8:20 PM # 
On a recommendation here on AP many years ago (I think it was Bash that suggested it) I bought my first pair of Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduro MTB shoes. They have been great for riding where hike a bike is common (ie. Wilderness Traverse in Parry Sound area). It appears this shoe has been discontinued so I'm looking for suggestions for a good MTB shoe that is also good for AR where you can be pushing your bike for decent amount of time.
Jun 23, 2020 1:09 PM # 
Discontinued - bummer! I have been using my beloved, comfy pair of X-Alps for 10 years and not sure how much life they have left. Interested in what others have to say.
Jun 23, 2020 2:16 PM # 
I have the 2018 Specialized Comp MTB shoe. It has one BOA closure and 2 velcro. I switched the insole to a Superfeet Trailblazer insole and they are good to go! Nice rubber sole for walking, wide shoe for multi-day events.
Jun 23, 2020 2:54 PM # 
Cool, and +1 for Superfeet.
Jun 23, 2020 3:05 PM # 
Not sure if it's just a fit issue for me, but I've been using Specialized Comp MTB shoes for MTB for years (and recently added Superfeet insoles), and when I do any sort of walking in them, I get a fair amount of vertical motion between my heel and the back of the shoe. I haven't done any significant hike-a-bikes with them, but I've always thought that would be a blister area for me if I did. I love the Spesh Comps, I just wish the BOA closure was a bit further back so I could lock my heel in better.
Jun 24, 2020 2:23 AM # 
I've been using the Seek for a few years, but it looks like that has been discontinued as well. They have a few different styles of X-Alp; I wonder if they are any good for AR.
Jun 24, 2020 5:02 AM # 
There are some Pearl Izumi models that might meet your needs. The X-Alp Elevate model looks pretty good.
Jun 24, 2020 12:15 PM # 
I’ve had good luck with Specialized Comp Mountain as well. They walk well for me.

It’s probably worth noting that Specialized fits my foot better than most brands. I’ve owned 5 pairs, 3 still in service.
Jun 24, 2020 6:06 PM # 
Other than walking comfort, what I love about my old X-Alps is the super open meshy upper - they drain like a sieve. The Canyon model from Bash's link is the only X-Alp that looks to have retained this feature, if you're okay with laces. The clean, encapsulated-in-leather look seems to predominate. I have some of those too, for non-AR riding, but they remain waterlogged indefinitely once submerged,
Jun 25, 2020 12:25 AM # 
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not keen on laces but the X-Alp elevate or canyon might do the trick. I do already have a pair of the specialized comp MTB shoes so I'll order the Superfeet Trailblazer insoles and see if that does the trick.
Jul 2, 2020 11:28 AM # 
I used a model similar to the Elevate for WT and Rockstar when we did them, Hammer. I like them, but they’re not exactly the same model.

The Allroad or Divide look more similar to the original x-alps.
Jul 3, 2020 4:20 PM # 
Mine were the X-Alp Launch, and they are my favourite of all I’ve had.

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