Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = Runnerclick score (8.0)/10

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 Review Facts

The Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 cycling shoe is packed with great technology, so although the price is a little on the high end, it is certainly worth it. It is well-designed, comfortable, and has a nice stiff sole. It is also incredibly efficient: the Carbon Power Plate and the small stack height allow you to focus all of your energy on moving forward and moving fast. As far as technology goes, this shoe’s biggest guns are its Power Plate outsole (which helps you reach max pedaling efficiency), and its Seamless Composite Upper (which does wonders for both comfort and breathability). The Izumi Elite Road V5 is not the most comfortable shoe you’ll ever wear, but its other features—such as the out-of-the-park breathability—should make up for this. The most important thing that all previous reviewers have mentioned is how every part of this shoe has a snug fit and leaves them feeling secure for all their road racing needs.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Seamless Composite Upper
  • Boa bi-directional closure system
  • Long-lasting and well worth the price
  • Lightweight and feels very secure 
  • Stiff sole
  • Ok for trails as well as road
Cons
  • The shoe is very narrow
  • Reduced stability
  • Not very comfortable
  • The style component is not very exciting
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

This shoe features an Elite 1:1 Power Plate outsole design. It has dense inboard and outboard ridges for strength and support; the concave interior provides a small stack height, helping the foot reach the pedal axle in order to attain maximum pedaling efficiency. When you wear this shoe, the outsole will allow you to pedal and ride more quickly than when wearing comparable shoes because of the Power Plate technology.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The sole has a 1:1 Carbon Power Plate. This stiff sole (actually the stiffest in Pearl’s line—its stiffness rating is a 13) gives you the maximum amount of power possible. It allows for a seamless power transfer and is very efficient, allowing you to focus all of your energy on moving forward. The Power Plate technology really makes the midsole, and the whole shoe stands out because it helps cyclists to be efficient and focused.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 has an advanced three-layer Seamless Composite Upper. Not only does the construction of this upper offer excellent breathability, it also adapts to your foot shape and reduces hot spots (Adaptive Fit system). The Boa system, providing bi-directional closure on the top of the shoe, is easy to use: simply twist the dial and the wire will pull the shoe in tightly. This system ensures that your foot will never be in danger of collapsing. There is also a Velcro strap above the toe box to make sure you’re good to go. The Boa lP1 dial is described as ultra-precise and micro-adjustable, meaning that you can adjust it to feel exactly the way you want it even down to the smallest modifications (1mm).
Weight
Weight

Weight

This shoe is fairly lightweight. The new unibody construction—which added an integrated carbon sole—helps the shoe achieve a low weight at 9.7 oz. The seamless design of the upper also helps reduce the weight of the shoe. This shoe might seem heavier because of the stiffness of the Carbon Power Plate, but the plate somehow achieves the feat of being stiff yet lightweight at the same time.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Because of the three-layer Seamless Composite Upper, the V5 has good breathability. The seven mesh vents located around the top of the toe and outside of the foot allow for constant ventilation. Even the sole of the shoe has some mesh vents to help keep air moving on those especially hot summer days. You’ll never again overheat on a hot ride. All of this is not to say the breathability aspect is perfect: neither the tongue or the toe box are especially ventilated and considering that these are two areas of the shoe that can trap the most heat, this could prove to be a problem. Another downside is that you don’t want multiple mesh vents and excellent ventilation when you’re riding on a cold day! However, in taking an overall look at the V5, its breathability is really its most prominent feature.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Previous reviewers have stated that the Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 is not the best shoe for someone with a wider foot, as this shoe is very narrow and unforgiving. It has also been reported that the tongue opening is very narrow. Because this shoe is so focused on giving you the best performance possible, it is somewhat lacking in the category of comfort. The only reason this shoe is sufficiently comfortable is because of the upper. The upper is created all in one piece, meaning that no seams will rub; and its seamless composite design also helps eliminate painful blisters and hot spots. However, as good as the upper is, the rest of the shoe is so uncomfortable that it won’t protect against blisters forever—so, despite its durability, the V5 might be best for shorter rides especially if you are worried about blisters.
Style
Style

Style

The colors—black and red, white and black, silver and pink, and red and white—are matte, so if you’re worried about standing out in a bad way, don’t be. On the other hand, if you’re the type of athlete who prefers something fun and flashy, you will likely be disappointed with the Izumi Elite Road V5 as there are no neon colors. The minimalist design of these shoes means they are meant to be worn by someone who does not mind the minimal design. The shoe is streamlined and compact, and the Boa system on the upper makes for a slightly different look, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Because the V5 is so lightweight and breathable, you may think that as a result, it’s not very durable—but you would be wrong. The V5 is very well-made and has a lot of miles in it. Every material used is durable and tough, so not only will the shoe last for a long time, but it will also hold up to scuffs and scrapes. The Boa dial technology on the upper is also durable, even if you are constantly adjusting it to get it to where you want it. So if you’re all about those long training rides to build your endurance, you’re in luck—this shoe won’t let you down. Just watch out for blisters.
Protection
Protection

Protection

In a crash, the Izumi V5 might not offer you much protection. The Boa dial is durable, but the rest of the upper material is not particularly durable and might rip or tear. Otherwise, the seamless composite design will protect you from blisters, and the rest of the shoe is solid, well-made, and durable—just not necessarily the upper.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The responsiveness of the Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 is average. It has a minimalistic design and is stiff yet still flexible, allowing for good responsiveness.
Support
Support

Support

Although the Izumi V5 has a built-in Longitudinal Arch Support, and a structured foam insole that is meant to provide even more arch support while simultaneously helping evade overpronation on the downstroke, many reviewers have actually reported that this shoe does not have good arch support. The upper provides good support, however, as it has an extra layer of material that adds a little more structure. The heel fit also helps provide a secure feeling. When you consider your purchase, bear in mind previous conflicting reviews and make your decision based on what seems best for you.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 is meant for road cycling. It is a mid-race road range shoe, however, it would work fine for trails as well. The pedaling efficiency, breathability, and custom fit of this shoe all work together to propel you as fast as possible no matter what type of terrain you are racing on.
Price
Price

Price

Some reviewers have felt that paying full price for this shoe cannot be justified, and it’s true that this shoe’s price is certainly on the higher end when compared to similar shoes. However, when you consider all of the technology that the shoe includes—not to mention how durable and long-lasting it is—the price will likely be worth it. A couple of years’ worth of good races and rides down the road, and you will be glad you bought the Izumi V5.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 has a traction tread that really helps in this area. The shoe is solid as far as its traction is concerned, so you don’t have to be worried about your foot slipping off of the pedal; the V5 will keep you safe and firm.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This shoe is rigid and stiff in all the right places, yet still has some flexibility, just as any good cycling shoe should. Except for especially aggressive hill sprints, the Elite Road V5 reacts immediately to sudden bursts of energy or a continued effort with no apparent flex. Pedal away in these shoes—the outsole ridges provide supplementary rigidity. If you’re envisioning yourself racing to the finish line, you won’t be wrong—not if your dream is dependent on the flexibility of the V5.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Some reviewers have reported wanting a stiffer heel cup; modifying the heel cup of this shoe by stiffening it a little more, they say, would help add the necessary stability. Overall, however, the V5 feels very secure. This is most likely due to the Seamless Composite Upper, which allows the shoe to conform to your unique foot shape. Extra EVA foam helps as well. Besides the heel cup, the stability and security of the V5 are absolutely up to par.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The stack height of the Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 is 7mm. In addition to the Power Plate outsole design, this also helps with pedaling efficiency—the small stack height means the foot is as close to the pedal as possible, so you can drive the power through the pedals and experience virtually no flex.
Key features
Key features

Key features

• Excellent pedaling efficiency because of both the small stack height and the Elite 1:1 Power Plate outsole design
• Price is a good value for all of the technology
• Upper technology includes bi-directional Boa closure, meaning that your foot will never be in danger of collapsing
• Seamless Composite Upper providing breathability and conforms to your specific foot shape
• Matte colors and minimalist design are nice if you prefer a quieter style
• Very durable—will hold up for many long rides
• Stiff sole allows for a seamless and efficient power transfer
• Even with the stiff sole, the shoe is still flexible and responsive
Bottom line
Bottom line

Bottom line

The custom fit of the Pearl Izumi Elite Road V5 means that it will always feel secure on your foot. The Power Plate outsole design lets you have maximum pedaling efficiency, while the stiff sole helps you have a seamless power transfer. Meanwhile, the Seamless Composite Upper reduces blisters and the Boa closure system is quick and easy to adjust. Don’t forget about the lightweight and good breathability. This shoe is durable and the price is fair, although the style is pretty boring—and although your comfort may suffer, your performance in road races never will. If you want a shoe that is high-performance and efficient, stiff and light, and easy to adjust—and if you’re okay with both a minimalist design and minimal comfort—this is the right cycling shoe for you. Overall, the V5 is an aerodynamic and well-made shoe that will be your go-to road racing shoe for years to come.