Borrowing from its top tier mountain shoe, Pearl Izumi created the X Project 2. 0 Women's Shoe to offer a slightly more wallet friendly option for the self sponsored rider, which features the same carbon sole as its pricier sibling and requiring few sacrifices for its more palatable price. Aimed at riders who need light, responsive shoes with a tread that won't leave them struggling through run ups and barrier hopping, the X Project 2. 0 makes a worthwhile 'cross or XC investment. Pearl Izumi starts with a synthetic upper that achieves its streamlined, contoured fit with the use of heat bonded seaming rather than traditional stitched seams. This translates to a breathable and flexible upper that's far less likely to create hot spots or pressure points. The bi directional closure system gathers equally from each side, further contributing to the shoes' tailored fit and allowing you to dial in the precise fit that will work for you without ending up with numb feet halfway through a race. Within the shoe, Pearl Izumi's 1:1 Insole System provides arch support specified to the left and right foot, while an EVA foam heel borrowed from softer, springier running shoe technology helps absorb impact when you're forced off the bike to run through a challenging, rock laced section of trail. Underneath the shoe, the power transfer you count on in a race is delivered via a full length tapered carbon fiber plate, which manages to dutifully deliver watts to the pedals while remaining forgiving enough for you to hike or run with. The rugged outsole, built with durable rubber tips on hollow TPU lugs, adds significant traction but very little weight to the shoe all together.