Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 Review
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When it comes to running, I am a minimalist trail runner at heart. I love to be able to feel the ground beneath my feet. So heading out onto the road in the Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 is quite a change from the normal for me. To top it off I have never had the opportunity to run in Pearl Izumi shoes. I have looked at plenty of Pearl Izumi shoes before, but have never pulled said “trigger” to buy them. As with every new brand name I use, I like to take a look at their website and do a little research. The one interesting fact I found on their website was the name Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. is derived from the gem “pearl” and an area of Japan known for its clear water “Izumi.” Literally translated, the name means, “fountain of pearls.” That has to be a good sign, right?
First Impressions of the Road N3
The Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 has a slightly heavy feel to them coming in at 11.7 oz. / 332 g. Considering that the heel stack height is 27 mm which includes the mid-sole and the out-sole. This is not a shoe you buy for the lightweight speed factor, but more for the long mileage comfort.
The upper of the shoe is made with 3-D seamless print technology giving the shoe an attractive one piece look, and alleviating the chance for any hot spots due to sewn seams.
The mesh upper of the E:Motion Road N3 has a good breathable look to it, and in the hand it has a nice comfortable and flexible feel.
The tread of the shoe has an interesting look to it, one tread running down the center of the shoe, the flow line, and then four separate treads two on top and top on bottom. The treads have splined cuts in them, allowing for a bit more flexibility in the sole of the shoe. That’s enough handling of the shoe, time to let the rubber hit the road.
Lacing up the E:Motion Road N3
The Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 shoes have an amazingly delightful feel to them. The toe box is perfectly roomy, my toes don’t feel like they are being stuffed into a coffin and crammed together.
The back of the shoe rests nicely on my heel with a good plush feel. The shoe as a whole has a wonderful feeling of comfort. Going from minimalist to what I would call a whole lot of cushioning, I can definitely tell that I am in the air, if you will. Okay, maybe only an inch taller, but I notice the difference. With a little walking around in the Road N3 shoes, the cushioning is quite enjoyable. I can’t “feel” the ground in these, but I feel like a king standing on a couple of foam pillows.
When you drive a certain way to work enough times it tends to be automatic even when you’re not heading to work, you almost go into a trance and head that direction. Well with me, running isn’t that different, as I headed out the door, I went right off in the direction of the trails. Oh yeah, that is right it is time for some road running. Divert course and start pounding the pavement. When I am running on the road in minimalist foot wear, I have to pay strict attention to my form to make sure that I am not doing any damage to feet or legs. This was not quite the case with this shoe. The Energy Foam in the E:Motion Road N3 allowed my form to be more lax, my cadence dropped from the normal 182 to 176, not that this is good or bad, just that it changed and my running still felt comfortable. The Energy Foam in the sole of the shoe, cushions a lot upon impact and then returns energy during the propulsion.
Looking at the picture below, I even tended to over stride a bit, there are not a lot of shoes that will let you get away with this, but the Road N3 shoes did.
The Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 felt great running on wet and dry pavement, leaving me feel almost as if I had fresh legs after each run. Of course being the trail runner that I am, I headed off into the trails with the E:Motion Road N3 shoes. I am not sure if it was a placebo effect of the word “Road” in the shoe, but they just didn’t feel right running on the trails. The uneven ground off the trails made the running feel incredibly sloppy, it didn’t take me long to turn around and get back to the place that these shoes were made for…the road.
Final Thoughts on the Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3
There is no doubt in my mind that the Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N3 were made for the road. When I have to run the roads, I can tell the next day with the extra soreness I get from all of the jarring the pavement gives my body. This was not the case with the E:Motion Road N3 shoes and all of their cushioning. I could tell that I went on a run, but it wasn’t the noticeable, “Oh yeah, I ran on the road yesterday.” The Road N3 shoes have just earned their spot in my arsenal of everyday running shoes. You could say that Pearl Izumi has made a “gem” of a road shoe. For more information visit: www.pearlizumi.com