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Comfort, Endurance, and Performance - Progressive cushioning

Superior cycling shorts are formed from the body's position on the saddle, and the body's movement, with the torso upright or forward, and the legs constantly cycling through the pedal stroke.

The foundation of riding comfort is the pad or chamois, and the best have a feature called progressive multi-density cushioning.  

Simply, progressive cushioning designs the right thickness for each area of the pad.  The pad is thickest where the sit bones, or ischia, press down on the saddle. The pad gets thinner farther away, such as towards the thighs, to allow free movement. The pad is minimal in sections like the center, where soft tissue lays against the saddle.

The pad may be made from foam layers with different densities. A soft layer is next to the body, to more comfortably conform to its shape. A middle, higher-density layer, provides the primary cushioning. A third, soft layer is next to the saddle, for increased stability. Together, these different foam layers better absorb and disperse the shocks and bumps from the road.


Pearl Izumi is a company of and for cyclists, and so is a company that puts serious thought and effort into cycling apparel. Because riders know that the epic rides are best enjoyed on the best shorts.

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