The Pearl Izumi Race Road IV is designed for those searching for Pearl Izumi's well regarded performance on a budget but does that mean sacrificing quality?
In fact, much of the makeup of the Race Road IV's come from or at the very least give a nod to cycling shoes higher up the price range.
The sole comprises of a composite power plate which feels like it provides an ideal amount of flex for anything from a recreational to serious rider. The carbon fibre forefoot works in harmony with the power plate to maximise power transfer to the pedals, and of course, being carbon fibre it doesn't add too much weight to the shoe.
The upper feels supple but supportive and we had no problem with the heel cup or area around the ankle in terms of rubbing. There's also no noticeable heel slip thanks in part to the excellent construction of the upper but also to the bi-directional BOA closure system which gathers equally from both sides and works gloriously well providing what feels like a custom fit.
Ventilation under the arch and toebox as well as a series of vents designed into the upper kept our feet cool in balmy weather when paired with a good quality pair of cycling socks.
The Race Road IVs are compatible with SPD-SL or SPD pedal systems which should give them a broad appeal and there's 3mm of adjustment in the 3-bolt cleat fixing points allowing for an element of fine tuning to suit your riding style.
Overall weight of the shoes is 520g for the pair which is as lightweight as it feels and is certainly competitive in terms of its features and intended use.
The overall impression of the Race Road IV is of a shoe that strikes a very good balance between performance, features and value - a highly recommended buy for all but the most serious of riders.