Friday, February 22, 2013

Pearl Izumi EM N2 Road Quick Review

I got the call on Tuesday!

The Pearl Izumi Project Emotion shoes are in.

That literally made me smile when I got out of work.  Tri geek here!!  I headed over to the local Fleet Feet and as I opened the door, I said a little prayer and held my breathe.

As I slipped the shoes on, I recognized the feel of a Pearl Izumi shoe.

Comfort - Check!

Since the entire shoe line is modeled after the Streak II, I had some confidence that the comfort would be the same.  As I stood, I could feel the same open toe box that I love from the Streak II.

Fit - Check!

The sole certainly looked bigger. With a 23/19mm stack height, it was a lot thicker than my Streak IIs; 18/9mm.  I headed out the door to give 'em a run and immediately felt a good deal of cushion.  I could literally feel the sole give under my feet and then expand again in transition and toe off.  Ugh!

Road Feel - Fail!

I admit that all around, the N2 Road look and feel like a great shoe and will probably be a highly rated trainer.  However, this runner will not be running in them. 

Unfortunately, the shop is not carrying the N1 Road shoes and will not have the N1/N2 Trail until April.  I was informed that the N1 has not only a smaller stack height (19/18 compared to 23/19), but also a firmer sole.  The midsole, made of an EVA foam, is measured by what's called the Durometer, or the firmness of the material.  Normal running shoes run between 48 and 63 on the durometer scale (according to the guys at the store).  The N1 & N2 models have a midsole durometer of 55.  I was told that is a very typical reading for neutral training shoes.  My beloved Streak IIs have a reading of 50, which I was told is VERY soft; the actual phrasing was "That is Saucony Kinvara soft."

What this leaves us is the fact that the N1 Road/Tri is 1mm thinner in the forefoot stack height than the N2, which couldn't possible change the overall feel of the shoe's firmness.  The durometer measures of the Streak II and N1/N2 are very close as well, leaving us to assume that the outsole, the portion that you see on the bottom of the shoe, must be much harder in order to create an overall firmer feel.  That along with cutting out 10mm of stack height. 

What to do from here...
  1. Horde some Streak IIs (already ordered one pair and considering another).
  2. The local bike shop will be getting the N1 Tri next month.  I can test those out when they come in.

SIDE NOTE: I pulled up my training logs and did a rough calculation of how many miles my two pairs of Streak IIs have seen.  The first pair has seen over 800 miles while the second is already over 500.

Over 1300 miles on two pairs of shoes!

I had not realized how far I've pushed these shoes.  I simply replace them once I start getting pains in my feet, shins, knees, or such.  Maybe I should replace them more often!  =\


1.  Have you ever had a shoe model you love ruined by a redesign or replacement?

2.  How many shoes do you use while training?  Do you rotate?
The only time I truly rotate is when the current pair are wet from a previous run.  Otherwise, I run in the same shoes until they begin to give out on me. 

3.  How many miles do you put on your shoes?  Or, how often do you replace your shoes?
Apparently I put LOTS of miles on them.

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

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