For 2008 Pearl Izumi announced an exciting renewal of its aging cycling shoe line. Since In the year since that Interbike show Pearl Izumi has gotten lauds for its shoe rejuvenation and Pearl hopes to continue its reemergence in 2009.
The Octane SL is the crown jewel of the lineup weighing in at a scant 199 grams per shoe. The sole is a unidirectional carbon plate with a very thin stack height bringing your connection to the pedal closer and stiff.
A new synthetic upper hides a thermoplastic heel cup which provides better heel hold than external mechanisms or textiles.
There is also a generous vent in the toe of the sole directing a cooling airflow to keep your foot dry and comfortable. Having a hole allows better wear by avoiding the use of unnecessary stitching. That same vent could make the shoe cold on wintery days, but Pearl Izumi is also known for making great toe booties as well.
Response from racers has been encouraging. Since Pearl Izumi made an agreement with Team Garmin several Slipstream riders have preferred racing with the Octane SL ever since the Tour de France.
The Octane is styled in black and white minimalism but packed with features for the performance-minded racer. Three Velcro straps can be adjusted while riding tightening snuggly across a thin flexible tongue forgoing the need for padding.
While you might expect to find it on sale at your local bike shop for close to $299, you might find them online for much less.