I should mention that I’m not a triathlete or an avid cyclist, I’m just married to one. These Pearl Izumi Women’s Attack Road shoes are my first pair of cycling shoes and get most of their use in a spinning class, not on the road. I selected these shoes based on their overall style, their price, the design, and Pearl Izumi’s reputation. When looking for a pair of shoes, I wanted something reasonable feminine without being too girly; a respectable pair of shoes but not overtly masculine.
I have to admit, the design was one of the big reasons I picked these shoes. I really like the crisp look of the orange and gray and I like the ratchet. Makes the shoes look pretty tough. But, I’m not sure if the ratchet is a good choice. It makes tightening the shoes very easy, but it requires two hands to release the tension. The two Velcro straps, on the other hand, are adjustable either way with just one hand.
Fit and Comfort:
When I ordered these shoes, the website mentioned that they fit a bit small and to order one size up. Buying one size up ensured that the shoes fit length wise, but the shoes were a little too wide. I added my SuperFeet Insoles though and this helped me fill the shoe out a bit.
The first time I wore these shoes, I overtightened them a bit. Now that I’m used to the ratchet, I haven’t had a problem. When overtightened, the Velcro and ratchet cut into my foot quite a bit. Once I sorted out the tightening situation, the shoes are pretty comfortable. The sole is very solid and doesn’t flex at all. The inside of the shoe contains quite a bit of vinyl, spanning from the heel to the ratchet and covering the tongue of the shoe. In a spinning class, this isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re riding for hours on end, you might want a bit more breathability.
The vinyl inside the shoe is reasonably thick and the stitching between the vinyl and the rest of the shoe is sturdy. The sole is very stiff and securely attached to the rest of the shoe. In fact, all the stitching is even and strong. The ratchet system is made of plastic and is probably the weakest part of the shoe. However, the plastic seems to be pretty strong and feels heavy and well formed.
Overall, this shoe meets my needs. I generally only wear them in my spinning class or on short (10-15 mile) rides. If you’re a more serious cyclist, I’d thing about the vinyl inner shoe as it might cause some sweat issues. If you’re a triathlete, I can’t recommend this shoe. The ratchet system is great for spinning class or for a cyclist, but will be a problem in your transition. That said, for the price, these shoes are great for a spinner or cyclist.
You can head over to Amazon if you’d like to pick up a pair of Pearl iZUMi Women’s Attack Road II Cycling Shoe.