Shoes: Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2

On a side note, some of these shoe names are so long. ADD moment over.

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Ignore that other box. You’ll see my thoughts on those shoes later.

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New shoes! One of two pairs I picked up and let me tell you, while I was a bit iffy at first, I LOVE these.

When Joe (awesome runner that he is who part times at one of the local running shops) showed me these, in my mind I was thinking “those don’t really look like running shoes…” Oh how wrong I was. They may not look it, but they definitely feel like it.

Here’s how Pearl Izumi describes them (just to be fair even if it is PR speak) –

Your one-shoe quiver, the Project E:Motion Road N2, is the perfect balance of light and fast with just enough cushioning and durability to provide the maximum confidence you need to go the distance. The Road N2 will be your go-to high mileage neutral trainer.

Moving on…let me be straightforward – this is not an “official” review. I’m giving what I’ve found from running in them and linking to one or more people who did review them (who hopefully can explain what I feel).

What makes this new line by Pearl Izumi so attention grabbing is the focus on the bio-mechanical. Basically, they’re not just modifying the style and material of the shoes, but attempting to construct them in a way to positively influence the structure of how you run. As one review put it, the “most significant advancement lies within the sole of the mid-foot.” (Read the full review over here which includes the easy to understand explanation of the bio-mechanical stuff.)

I totally agree. My arch is kind of funky and considering the bulk of my weight falls from the mid-foot forward (I run mostly on the ball of my foot and toes), having a firmer mid-sole can be felt. From the first run I could actually tell the difference. At first I just thought it was the weird design of the shoes, but after how awesome I felt post run I looked up info (and came across that review). The soreness and strain within the arch and mid-foot for me is actually reduced when I run in these – the change is significant enough for me to notice it. I’d never really considered how a shoe could be made better for different types of running except for adding more or less cushioning. The only thing I really ‘got’ was the more rigid designs meant for motion control (of which I wore for about 2 years). Flattening and firming up the sole in various areas never even occurred to me – which is one of many reasons why I don’t design shoes.

Yes, that's the wall & ceiling. I know I stretch weird.

Yes, that’s the wall & ceiling. I know I stretch weird.

Now the first few runs were just easy and short recoveries – 5 miles at most. But then I did a 9 mile speed workout in them. Talk about feeling my shoes! I know that obviously my old pairs were mad ready to be retired and maybe it’s just the relatively new cushion. But then I took them out for an 18 miler – and still felt awesome during and after the run.

While I admit my intent was for these shoes to be my speed work and racers for anything half-marathon and under, taking them out on that long run has me seriously contemplating them as a marathon race shoe. Maybe it’s just me. And I won’t say to just go out and buy them (remember, this isn’t really a review). But if you’re looking for what appears to be a solid neutral trainer, check them out. Give them a test run. Maybe you’ll find you like that solid mid-sole just as much as I do.

Because I promise you, I cannot wait to take these out and race in them. Thinking that half I intend to PR in November will be the perfect opportunity.

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