If you're looking for an upgrade from your worn, nylon-soled road shoes, but aren't crazy about paying pro-level prices when you're footing the bill yourself, consider the Pearl Izumi Women's Elite Road V5 Cycling Shoe. Aimed at self-sponsored cyclists who log serious miles, on their own or in races, the Elite Road V5 doesn't sacrifice on much compared to Pearl's top-end P. R. O. Leader Shoe, but it'll leave a little something left in your wallet for race fees and future upgrades this season. Brand new this year, the Elite Road V5 comes with a newer unibody construction, which eschews the traditional lasting board in favor of an integrated carbon sole. While this construction method allows the shoe to achieve an admirably low weight at 240g, its greater purpose is positioning your feet as close to the pedals so that the uncompromisingly stiff carbon fiber sole is able to whisk power to the pedals almost instantly. On top of the shoe, a Boa dial and hook-and-loop strap position the breathable bi-directional uppers as close to your foot as possible for a secure, second skin fit that leaves no room for slipping or pressure points on your all-day rides.