I am what companies call brand loyal. When I find a product that I like and it works for me I tend to stick with it. I am like this with my running shoes. I started my running days in Pearl Izumi's. I loved them. I had 4 or 5 pairs, same model (shines). I ran my best marathon in Synco Fuels. Unfortunately Pearl Izumi stopped making the ones I liked and the models they replaced them with just didn’t feel the same. So the last few years I ran in a variety of different brands on the road. I was excited when Pearl revamped their line up with the E:Motion shoes and was itching to try them out. I hoped they had that feel that had been lost.
I started off by trying the Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N1’s. They were the lightest and least cushioned of the line (they have since come out with the more minimal N0). The N1 is a neutral runner with a semi firm feel. The 1 piece sole has a curved shaped (rocker) allowing a smooth toe off. The uppers are mesh with minimal stitching. This gives them a slipper like feel while still holding the foot securely. This was one of the features I loved about the shoe. My feet are small but a bit wide for their size. I often have problems of shoes being too tight on the sides. Not with the Pearls. The toe box width along with the forgiving uppers accommodated my foot nicely.
On my first runs with them they felt fast and light. I wore them as I trained for a 50k so I put lots of miles on them, they held up well. One caveat is that the mesh tend to absorb water easily, making them not great for rainy days. On some of my long runs (usually after 15 miles or so) I was wishing for more cushioning. That led me to try my next pair, the N2’s.
The Pearl Izumi EM Road N2’s are very similar to the 1’s. They are again a neutral runner with an 4mm drop. The additional padding in the sole does not take away from its fluid feel. It offers the same rocker shape ( as does all of Pearl Izumi E:Motion line). The uppers contain a little more stitching to secure the foot, but not so much as to interfere with the comfortable feel. For that matter, while it is called “stitching”, there are not actual treads involved. The material is somehow “welded” to the mesh. This eliminates any annoying material inside that may irritate your foot.
I have been running in the N2’s for about 3 months now and am very pleased. They provide a great ride for my everyday runs, whether long or short. I enjoy the extra cushion over the N1’s. The quality shows in how they both held up to many miles without tears or frays.
Needless to say, I am very happy with the new Pearl Izumi E:Motion line up. The new shoes are everything that I had grown to love about the brand. I am ready to get my second pair of N2’s and also going to give the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2s a shot for my 50 miler.
Article you may be interested in reading:
Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 Shoe Review by Phil Germakian