— By Dan Walker
Introduced earlier this year, the Tri Fly P.R.O. v3 is Pearl Izumi’s top-end triathlon shoe. As the successor to the Tri Fly Octane and the Tri Fly Carbon this shoe that looks fast and packs the performance punch to back it up.
Starting with the upper, after my first ride I was relieved to pull my bare foot out of the shoe and not see the scene from a gore film on my foot. I’m unfortunately prone to suffering cuts quite easily on my feet, which is why I will take the time to put socks on for any distance greater than an Olympic race. For whatever reason on my first ride with the Tri Fly P.R.O. v3 I felt compelled to go sockless and I was really impressed by the interior of the upper. I didn’t feel any hotspots at during my initial 80km ride and over successive rides both with and without socks that never changed. The Advanced Seamless Composite Upper on the Tri Fly P.R.O v3 is also extremely breathable and does a great job of keeping your feet cool and dry.
One issue I did come across with the Pearl Izumi Tri Fly P.R.O v3 upper was that it didn’t open particularly wide even with the main strap completely undone. This made things a little embarrassing during the first few moments past the bike mount line as tried to insert my foot into the shoe. The more I rode and raced in this shoe, however, the more that opening relaxed and the easier transition became. This should really only concern you if you’re looking at stepping into the draft-legal disciplines where those quick transitions are needed to make sure you stay with the bike pack.
On the other hand, I loved the off-set heel loop. Attention to detail like this is a make or break for me with triathlon shoes. And by offsetting the lower stitching a few mm it becomes way easier to hold the shoe when you’re frantically trying to stuff your foot in during those first few pedal strokes.
Out on the road, these shoes efficiently put the power down into the pedals. With a sole that’s rated 13 out of 13 on the stiffness index, you’re getting a shoe that does what it says on the tin. On the upstroke, the central strap does a good job of not giving too much so you can maintain power through the entire pedal stroke.
The Pearl Izumi Tri Fly P.R.O v3 retails for CAD$499 and is available online or your local multi-sport shop.