Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC Review
Pearl Izumi has an exciting 2010 planned. This spring, they will release the new Fuel line which will feature a road-focused shoe and the syncroFuel XC shown here, which will be trail-specific. The Fuel line is Pearl Izumi’s entrant into the performance stability category. Think of it as their answer to this category’s Goliath, the DS Trainer from Asics. And judging from our tests of the Fuel XC, their answer is right on the money.
The syncroFuel XC features an updated take on PI’s seamless upper, with overlay welds separating more structural upper materials which make the midfoot more secure from the open mesh which gives the forefoot great breathability. Overall, we love the fit and feel of this shoe’s upper- it hugs like a glove and feels super secure thanks to loops for every lace and reinforcements at the top eyelets. We do feel that the waist of this shoe is relatively low-volume, and that with a bit more room this shoe could accommodate runners with higher insteps and wider feet. The Fuel line gets mild pronation control from a medial side plastic syncroFrame device, which adds great mild stability without much added weight. The XC gets a protective toe cap and a carbon rubber outsole with deeper lugs for added durability and traction on the trails. The lugs aren’t aggressive enough on this shoe for super aggressive terrain, but it is superb on fire roads and smooth trails, and can absolutely handle the road as well as it does the trail, unlike some models with more aggressive outsole patterns. The midsole features a nice upsprung forefoot and is thick and plush but feels very responsive.
The syncroFuel XC from Pear Izumi weighs in at only 10.8oz, making it a featherweight among trail shoes. Our testers raved about how versatile and fast this shoe felt, and we think it is an outstanding debut from Pearl Izumi. For more information, pearlizumi.com.