Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 Review
I think I fit Pearl Izumi’s target market perfectly. I mountain bike, cycle the roads, enjoy the challenge of a triathlon, and hit the roads and trails for running. If I had to take a guess, I’d say running is a slightly smaller portion or focus for Pearl Izumi. That doesn’t mean they don’t make quality running shoes, because I see them with good frequency at my local races. It may be that I live in Denver, and they are based in nearby Louisville, Colorado. I do like to support my ‘local’ business, and it seems many of my peers do as well.
First Thoughts on the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2
About 10 years ago, I met this girl who ran – A LOT. In my attempt to impress, I went to my LRS (local running store) ‘cause that’s what you do! They sized me up, listened to my story about whatever I had planned, made me do the walk. You know the walk, right? The pronation, supination, neutral walk of shame. The great big indicator of what shoe would be right for you. They paraded about a half dozen pairs of shiny new sneakers in front of me, and the Pearl Izumi Syncro Pace was the clear cut winner. With my cycling background, it seemed like a perfect match.
Here we are today, and I am back to my running roots in some nice looking Pearl Izumi shoes. The Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 has a simple look to it, not a lot of fancy bells and whistles in the form of support or glossy features. Let that not take away from the fact that the technical specifications are quite superior. This will be a great shoe for someone with a Neutral or slight supination gait as a training and/or racing shoe, because it is lightweight with a decent amount of cushioning.
The Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 is part of the Motion series which has been quite popular for Pearl. The N is for Neutral and the 2 stands for the level of cushioning: 1 being on the minimal side, and three being very cushioned. I prefer my 1’s and 2’s, so this is a great shoe for me to train in, go for easy runs, as well as push the distance a bit. The V2 just means that this is the second version.
Technical Specifications of the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2
- New 3-D Seamless Print Upper Technology adds lightweight structure and upper integrity
- Transfer Dry spacer mesh keeps feet cool and dry
- New Dynamic offset-shaped E:MOTION® midsole is biomechanically tuned for neutral to supinator running gaits
- 1:1 Energy Foam in forefoot cushions upon impact and returns energy back to the runner during propulsion
- New 1:1 Energy Foam in heel delivers a softer step in feel and enhanced heel cushioning
- Blown rubber in the forefoot and carbon rubber in the crash pad combine for great cushioning and abrasion resistance
- Sizes: 7–13 in half sizes, size 14
- Weight–Size 9: 9.6 oz, 273 g d pattern for traction and durability
This shoe fits really nice and comfortable. Pearl Izumi uses a bonded technology (not stitched or sewn) on the seamless upper to provide structure as well as durability. Without heavy strapping, banding, seams, etc., the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 pretty much ensures that you won’t experience any rubbing or hotspots. In addition, these shoes run just wide enough to provide ample room for your toes to splay comfortably to eliminate any in between the toe blister opportunities.
Midsole and Outsole of the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2
This shoe has a pretty wide base for the outsole to provide good support for many a runner. The traction is somewhat limited, so keeping to the roads, compact gravel paths, or dry trails are probably your best bet. The small individual ‘pods’ for lack of a better term will splay ever so slightly to adjust and accommodate for any road/trail inconsistencies to aid in providing a good push-off point.
An interesting fact about the Heel Toe Drop (HTD) is that it is ‘Dynamic’. Your typical shoe ranges anywhere from 12mm all the way down to 0mm or flat. The trending over the past 4-5 years has many shoe companies going to a lower drop as it encourages better form (in my humble opinion). The Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 has a 4mm drop at initial contact and goes to 7.5mm at mid stance. This is quite new to me, but I suppose it makes sense. A lower HTD caters to the trend of going lower, but slightly less aggressive from the midfoot to the heel. This is something that would appeal to a wide range of runners as they are either trending down, or like to mix it up a bit. With a variety of shoes and styles, I can appreciate a little diversity. It helps to strengthen to foot and perfect your form depending on the day, condition, workout, distance, etc. The heel stack height is at a respectable 23mm which atones for the noticeable cushioning.
The very pronounced line you see on the sole is the new dynamic offset-shaped E:MOTION midsole, and is there to guide you for neutral to supinator running gaits.
First of all, I am going to start out on a note that can determine if you will purchase or like this shoe. Each and every foot is different. Add in the myriad of running styles, and you have a complex and delicate mix for runners to find their perfect shoe. I have had the luxury to sample many, and have dialed in my formula. Although Pearl promotes this shoe to have a deeply cupped heel that cradles and secures the foot, I experienced a slight heel lift for my first few runs. That is not to say that will happen to everyone, but I took the opportunity to play with the lacing to get these shoes to fit perfectly. If you’ve ever wondered what those extra little lace holes were for towards the top please follow along and look at the progression of photos below:
As I was running and when my heel was lifting slightly, I really tried to hone on the lacing and tightness especially around the heel. With the 4 photos above you can see what it takes to aid in really tightening that heel. I do this for all of my shoes, but needed to really make this a more focused effort for the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2. This ensures a nice and tight fit around the heel/ankle to prevent the heel from lifting avoiding any issues with blisters or rubbing. After having done this, and the shoes have molded to my feet after 60+ miles, the lifting is NOT an issue anymore.
Final Thoughts on the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2
If you are a Neutral runner, and want a lighter weight, simple, cushioned shoe for a variety of running purposes, the Pearl Izumi E:motion Road N2 V2 is a shoe definitely worth taking a look at. I always encourage everyone to go to your LRS to find the right shoe for you, and those guys do really know what they are talking about! I have used this shoe for short and easy runs, fast speed workouts, and longer Tempo runs, as well as for my early season long runs, and have not been disappointed.
For more information on this and other fine E:motion shoes please visit: www.pearlizumi.com