Your new hardtail's lost a few more grams, you've been suffering on the trainer for months, and this year's kit just arrived. The only thing not ready for XC race season are your kicks. This year's podium ambitions necessitate a serious upgrade, so toss your old shoes and upgrade to Pearl Izumi's X-Project P. R. O. Limited Edition Men's Cycling Shoes instead. Boasting significant upgrades this year, this top-tier race shoe is adept at power transfer, but won't leave you hanging on a hike-a-bike stretch of trail either. Pearl completely overhauled the X-Project's carbon composite sole this year, fine-tuning it to find the elusive balance between stiffness and flexibility that a shoe for the dirt requires. If you have a steady XC race calendar but a trail riding habit on your off days, this adaptable sole is the key to making the X-Project work for either ride. Of course, the carbon-tipped TPU lugs help out, as does the precise, wrap-like fit and highly customizable arch system. Now all that's left to do is to get to the start line.