Gear Review - Pearl Izumi N2 Road
Here at Front Runner we have been busy testing every piece of equipment in store. We want to know exactly what they are like, from straight off the shelf to well worn! Be it shoes, clothes or electronic equipment... it is being tested. To kick things off here is my review of the Pearl Izumi N2 road shoe. The N2 is part of the project E motion range and as the name suggests, it’s a neutral shoe.
First impressions of the Pearl Izumi N2 are that they look different to your more standard long distance shoe. A single sole piece for full ground contact and striking colour mix make for a bold looking shoe, which honestly I’m all for, something to add colour to the mundane wet wintry nights can only be a good thing, especially with the 360° reflective in the laces and heel cup.
The N2 is a mid to long distance shoe, aimed at road runners running half marathons and beyond. I’ve been immediately impressed with the ride in the N2’s, whilst the EVA sole is quite firm through the heel and mid foot, Pearl Izumi’s E-motion technology makes for a very smooth transition through each stride to a flexible toe off.
It was mentioned to me initially that grip on the Pearl road shoes was a bit of an issue especially in the wet. However, I found that after a couple of runs, the sole became more abrasive and gained much more friction. The N2 has segments of tougher sticky rubber spread across the whole sole which whilst clearly adding weight compared to the N1’s heel and toe sections, provides adequate grip in all but mud.
In terms of fit, the N2 has like all Pearl Izumi Emotion shoes, a completely seamless upper, which allows the upper to give in common problem areas especially on those with a wider forefoot. For the more narrow footed like myself, the solid heel cup holds even my skinny heels in place and the TPU bonded sides work well with the flat lock laces to keep the mid foot well in place, leaving plenty of room for the toes without feeling too big. Perhaps the most telling thing about this shoe is that everyone who has tried it on in store straight away likens it to a pair of slippers.