Pearl Izumi P.R.O. 2009 Cycling Shoes

And how to ship stuff to the USA when you live in Canada.

I needed a new pair of road cycling / racing shoes to replace my 15 year-old Sidi shoes. I love Sidis but they’re pricey and well, I’ve never ridden anything else.

My requirements:

  • carbon sole
  • something mid-range but on sale
  • if possible, something to match my club clothing or bicycle

I’d never seen the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Road shoes until they were on sale at Mountain Equipment Co-op here in Vancouver this March, 2010. But the largest size was a 42 and my toes were crunch in that. Pearl Izumis must fit small because I wear a 43 in my Sidis.

And then I found the same shoes on Amazon.com (note NOT on Amazon.ca) in a size 44, and in black and yellow (the red and white was sold out), which fingers-crossed would be my perfect size. And they were. And instead of costing me $199, or MEC’s sale price of $149, they cost me $90 including taxes and shipping.

After one 30km ride I’m already pleased with the shoes. One of the lightest I’ve felt, grip my heal very well, buckle easy to use and I like the dual insole (thin foam then a contoured one on top). Can’t flex the soles. A little worried they’ll wear out sooner than my Sidis, though.

One hitch in the sale though: they only ship to the US (some sort of warranty restriction on sales?). The solution was using a mail receiving service in nearby Washington State. In fact, both Point Roberts, WA, and Blaine, WA, and so close I can ride to them from my home in Vancouver. Turns out a lot of people do this: order items to a storage service in Washington and pick them up themselves thereby avoiding international shipping costs, possible duty and tax charges, and in my case, giving me a chance to buy an a product a period.

I used Hagen’s of Blaine. It cost me $2 to pick it up there. I simply rode my bicycle across the border, signed for the package at Hagen’s, recycled the box and rode back on my new shoes (stuffing my old ones in my jersey pockets). No questions at the border. No other fees.

Will try Point Roberts next time, which is slightly closer to where I live, using this recommended mail service.

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