There’s no mistaking Pearl Izumi’s new bright orange Octane T1 shoes which top their range. They feature a feathery one-piece man- made Clarino upper, which is not only soft and comfortable but robust too. This has super thin mesh panels that allow for superb airflow and are supported by an internal skeleton.
The foot is held secure with two straps and unlike many these aren’t reversed to avoid the chainset, but Pearl have offset these and kept the straps short, so there are no issues with them getting caught in the chainset. To be honest these straps were more intuitive and quicker to get in and out of, especially with the large heel tab to help guide feet in. The soles use a lightweight uni-directional carbon fibre that not only offer great support and power transfer but are super light.
With the lightweight uppers our test size UK 9 (Euro 43) samples tipped the scales at 220g. There are large vents up front that allow water out and air to flow through so feet dry quickly and remain comfortable. What make these shoes feel good too is the low stack height (7mm) combined with the stiff sole because you can feel every watt is being transferred to the pedals. The rear of the soles also feature neat replaceable bumpers that make walking/running in them easier in transition. The Octanes are a great pair of tri shoes but you pay a premium for this.