Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes Fully Reviewed


Pearl Izumi creates gear for cyclists, runners and more, and makes a bunch of fantastic accessories and clothing.

Pearl Izumi will shape their business to focus on cycling shoes in the future, their current high-performance shoes are still available.

Here, we look at the best Pearl Izumi shoes. No matter your stride and your running style, there’ll be something for you – they make a diverse selection of shoes with plenty of options and offerings.

Whatever your running needs, this shoe brand has put in precise timely research in order to produce shoes for all types of running. Trail runners can expect and get high-quality performance, comfort, outstanding appropriate levels of cushion, pronounced protections and serious performance.

Those running road surfaces will be very impressed with the lightweight performance shoe models, which give durability, a level of traction on both roads and trails as wanted by all runners, performance, FIT and comfort which shouts reliability through being tried and tested by many runners. If you’re looking for a hoe through which you can pour on the heat and hit fast speeds, you will find this shoe brand has a model for you.

This is a very good shoe brand which has carved out a well-deserved reputation among runners around the world.

Take a look and take your pick, choose a shoe which matches closely to your running aspirations.

Last Updated: April 3, 2018
By Richard Haberkost:

These high performing shoes are still available but the Brand has ceased making new shoe models. If you want to invest in a high-performance shoe while it is still available, the options available in this guide are tested, tried by runners and popular.

Pearl Izumi EM Road N2 v3
  • Pearl Izumi EM Road N2 v3
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 1:1 Energy Foam Cushioning
  • Price: See Here
Pearl Izumi EM Road M3 v2
  • Pearl Izumi EM Road M3 v2
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mid-level Stability Running Shoe
  • Price: See Here
Pearl Izumi EM Road M2 V2
  • Pearl Izumi EM Road M2 V2
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 3D Print seamless upper
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes

1. Pearl Izumi EM Road N2 v3

This is our top pick for Pearl Izumi, and is another great road running option. They are responsive, cushioned, bouncy, snug, and have a breathable mesh design. They are lightweight without sacrificing structural integrity and are a brilliant choice for neutral runners.

Version 3 of the Road N2 has taken into account many of the previous version’s complaints, and manufactured a smooth, responsive, comfortable road shoe that can endure mile after mile of training. Runners with a neutral running gait will find these training shoes wearable straight out of the box and offer a budget friendly price tag.
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They are good and soft, which of course leads to lots of comfort. The toe box is wide, which avoids blistering, especially on long runs. They are lightweight and offer good traction, and the smooth transition between landing and take-off is really nice with these. The upper in particular is very comfortable, the bounce is great and they don’t need a breaking-in period.

Unfortunately, a small amount of users have experienced wear with these. That said, they are a really great running shoe, so they’re still absolutely worth the investment. Overall, the quality here is otherwise is very good.

Again, these are around an average price for this list.

The upper material of the N2v3 is lightweight and seamless

This updated version of the N2 offers reflective features on the tongue mesh

The durability of this shoe allows runners to put serious miles on them


Pearl Izumi has exited the running industry, and thus, this shoe will not be redeveloped for any future improvements

2. Pearl Izumi EM Road M3 v2

These are a particularly stable road running shoe with a responsive midsole and a smooth heel-to-toe transition. These are comfy while supportive and have decent pronation control. The midsole here is also very well supported – they are particularly good if you have high arches.
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These offer massive stability in the midfoot, so if high arch support is your priority, these are a fantastic option. These are a little wider and bulkier than some other road running shoes, but this gives greater support. These are spacious, comfortable and give a nice consistent run.

These are a great shoe, and do what they promise, though they aren’t very water-resistant at all. This shouldn’t be a problem for most runners, but it is worth noting if you often run in very wet conditions.

Another average price offering!
  • Fantastic if arch support is what you need.
  • A small amount of pronation support.
  • Nice and comfy.
  • They offer a wide and spacious fit, which is great if you have broad feet.
  • Very responsive midsole.
  • Not particularly waterproof.
  • Might be too wide if you have narrow feet.
  • They are slightly bulkier than some options, but the good support absolutely makes that worthwhile.

3. Pearl Izumi EM Road M2 v2

This is where things get really good for road runners. This model and the following two are similar, but with somewhat varying qualities. These have a sock-like fit, a nice responsive midsole and blown rubber forefoot for more cushion and bounce. These are decent for anyone who mildly overpronates and have a short heel-to-toe drop.
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The sizes seem to run a little small, but other than that they are very comfortable. The stability with these is excellent, especially if you mildly overpronate. The toe box has a nice soft feel which accentuates the general comfort. If you want something comfy, this’ll do it!

These are of good quality, but the sole is a little less durable than would be ideal. There are less durable shoes out there, but these still aren’t fantastic.

These run at an average price for Pearl Izumi.
  • Very comfy.
  • Good for those who overpronate slightly.
  • Toe box is nice and snug and comfortable.
  • Good sock-like fit.
  • Slightly small fit, so you might want to buy a size or a half up.
  • The durability here isn’t great.

4. Pearl Izumi EM Trail M2 v3

Pearl Izumi’s Trail M2 v3 is an all around trail running shoe that can accommodate a variety of runners and trails. This shoe is touted as having a smooth fit with comfortable stability. Pearl Izumi has designed the Trail M2 v3 to keep the foot centered over the midsole when navigating treacherous terrain and its price point may attract budget savvy trail runners.
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The Trail M2 v3 provides runners with smooth roll off for a rugged trail shoe that can go from smooth groomed trails to rocky scrambles up steep embankments. The Trail M2 v3's traction and support on uneven rocky terrain will be a welcome sight for those looking to move from road to trial conditions without breaking the bank.

Great quality, great durability. These will last a while.

This is the closest you’ll get to a bargain on this list. They’re not massively cheaper than other shoes here, but they’re good if you’re looking to save a few cents or so.

The seamless upper provides the runner with a comfortable fit that conforms to the foot throughout each stride

The midsole is designed to create a mild over-pronation of the foot which allows a more dynamic shock absorption throughout

The toe box of this shoe provides ample space, while at the same time ensuring there is no heel slippage


Low to moderate amount of cushioning

5. Pearl Izumi EM Road N1

These shoes are built for road running, they are very light and offer decent protection against overpronation. The heel is deeply cupped for a more snug fit, while the shock absorbing midsole cushions and returns energy back to the foot of the runner. The traction and durability are good and they have a very small 1mm heel-to-toe drop.
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The vast majority of users find these very comfortable, and they offer excellent bounce and cushion. The fit is nice and snug and you should stay comfy in these for the duration of your run, especially with the nice fit on the heel. They are lightweight, the upper has decent cushion and they do a good job of avoiding mild pronation.

These are of fairly middle-ground durability; not excellent, but certainly not bad. In terms of quality, they are great.

These run average for a Pearl Izumi shoe.
  • Particularly lightweight.
  • Breathable.
  • Good for mild overpronators.
  • Good bounce and cushion.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • May require a small breaking-in period.
  • A small amount of issues with durability.

6. Pearl Izumi EM Trail N1

These come with a 1mm heel-to-toe drop and are a great option for trail runners. The tongue is water resistant which gives greater protection for wet runs. The outsole has a rock plate motion midsole which offers fantastic protection and support while still giving flexibility and freedom.
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They offer good protection and are very stable given their technology. That said, they are a little stiffer and tighter than some other options, and the traction could be better. But overall, these offer enough stability and support for most trail runs, and their shape and fit gives good comfort for the majority of users. The cushion and bounce is good, and the stability will make your runs feel better.

These are designed well, and there are no apparent durability options, which is great.

These are on the higher end of the price spectrum here, but again, they’re not too pricey.
  • Good trail runner.
  • Excellent stability.
  • Decent comfort.
  • Good cushion and bounce.
  • The traction is not fantastic.
  • They are not as flexible as some other shoes, but this helps with protection in rocky conditions.

7. Pearl Izumi EM Road M3

These are an excellent option for road runners, with good cushion and support. The upper gives structure, durability and comfort while the tongue and collar are particularly well-padded. The breathable mesh will keep your feet nice and cool, the outsole reduces tension and shock and the insole cups and cradles the heel and sole. The fit and shape of the shoe offers good protection for those who tend to overpronate.
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The crash pads and outsole return energy to your foot to give good bounce and reduce impact. The outsole has decent traction which is sufficient for road runners, and the whole run is smooth and stable. The run in these shoes is very lightweight and offers very little shock or discomfort.

These have particularly good durability and will last you a while. They are also of great quality and do everything they claim.

These are very mildly more expensive than most on this list.
  • Good durability.
  • Particularly lightweight.
  • Good for those who have a heavy heel strike.
  • Great cushion and comfort with excellent bounce.
  • These cradle and support the foot very well, with good stability.
  • Good padding and breathability.
  • Sizes are a little small and narrow.
  • These are marginally more expensive than other options.

8. Pearl Izumi EM Trail N3

These are a great option for trail runners, with a very flexible and supportive forefoot allowing for splay and stretch. The midsole gives fantastic cushion while the protective elements of the shoe protect against stones, rocks and uneven ground with great traction and resistance. They unfortunately won’t keep you dry, but they will keep you protected.
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These offer great stability in rocky and uneven conditions, and the wide forefoot gives even more security. The traction is excellent in wet and rocky terrain and the cushioning is great. They aren’t as flexible as some other trail runners, but this is offset by better support. Overall, these offer a very comfortable and stable run.

These seem to be very durable and of very high quality!

These are slightly pricier than some other options on this list, though not to any drastic degree.
  • Great for trail runners.
  • Ideal for neutral feet.
  • Wide forefoot for good stability.
  • Excellent traction.
  • Great support in all terrains.
  • Forefoot rock plate prevents against stones and rocks from pushing through to your feet.
  • Not particularly waterproof.
  • Not as flexible as some other shoes on the market.

9. Pearl Izumi EM Road N3

This is another great road running shoe, with great stabilisation for neutral runners. The shaped midsole gives good cushioning and comfort for neutral feet, the toe guard is abrasion-resistant and the midsole is very responsive.
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These are very comfortable, and the added bounce and cushioning makes them a great buy for larger runners. The stability is excellent while the plush feel of the shoe gives a nice glide and weightless run. The support both in the heel and the arch is great, and the responsiveness of the midsole adds to the stability and support here. A small amount of users have reported sole pain in these, which is a shame, though it seems quite a rare occurrence.

The durability is great here – these should last you a while, and no users seem to have experienced any issues with longevity.

Again, these are around an average price for this list.
  • Great for neutral runners.
  • Very supportive around the entire foot.
  • Nice gliding feel when running.
  • Offers a comfortable run.
  • Good durability.
  • A small amount of users have experienced sole pain with these.
  • The design of the shoe may rub on the foot a little.

10. Pearl Izumi EM Road H3

This road running shoe offers a great lightweight run with excellent stability. The foam midsole creates a stable arch platform for feet which are susceptible to pronation, and the fitted upper supports and hugs the feet. There is good cushion and bounce here to keep your run light and protected. These shoes have light breathable mesh and decent traction.
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The design of the shoe reduces shock and impact, while the cupped heel and the upper cradle and hug the foot for added support. All told, this offers a very stable and comfortable fit, and protects against overpronation. The breathable mesh will keep you cool even on long runs. The fit and structure is a little stiffer than some may like, while the fit sometimes runs a little small.

They are of very good quality and have decent durability.

You will find that most shoes on this list are of a similar price – and these are no different; they run pretty average for a Pearl Izumi shoe.
  • Good if you overpronate.
  • Good arch support.
  • The fit provides structure and comfort.
  • Nice breathable mesh.
  • A little stiffer than some might like.
  • The sizes seem to run small.

There they are – the top ten best Pearl Izumi shoes. They’re a great brand with great products, and anything from this list will deliver a wonderful run with wonderful results.


The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes:


The History Of Pearl Izumi

Best known in the cycling world, Pearl Izumi got its start when Kinji Shimizu, who would ride 38 miles each day to deliver 90 pounds of clothing to customers in a neighboring village. His son was a member of the Asian Cycling National Team and was given a nylon jersey made in Italy for the championship. At the time, the only racing apparel they had ever seen were made from cotton and were very heavy.

This new design sparked a change in the way that Kinji would look at materials and how they were used. Everything would lead to the brand that is world renowned for innovation, quality, and bold design. Their move into running shoes was careful and calculated as they transferred the same high-quality philosophy to their footwear. Let’s take a look at how we chose the absolute best models and what they can do for your running game.

The Durability Of Quality Construction

While many of the other tops branded running shoe companies have several registered trademarks that allude to the high durability of their footwear, Pearl Izumi actually stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty. That’s the amount of trust they place on their manufacturing process and quality materials. Even after extended use, if any of these running shoes fail at fault of the construction or a material defect within the shoe, they will replace them free of charge. We have also gone through countless reviews and user feedback that speaks well to the incredible durability of this company’s running shoes. Many runners have put them through their paces and were impressed by just how much these shoes will last.

Traction For Every Surface

We made sure to consider all typically encountered running surfaces and how the outsole of each model seems to be able to handle it. From treadmill to concrete to a trail, there is something for everyone in our buying guide. Real world users provided us with the details of their daily run and what kind of surfaces they were coming across. It’s essential to be able to trust your footwear and its ability to keep you nice and steady while you’re out on your run. Pearl’s really passing the test.

Support For All Arches

For runners with high arches, there are models in our buying guide that have an appropriately suitable amount of support to aid in pronation control that can be a lifesaver, especially for longer distances. For those runners with fallen arches or flat feet, there are also some suitable options with additional cushioning to absorb those hard landings. Pearl Izumi receives high marks for their abilities to give runners a customized ride and plenty of choices when it comes to sizes and fits. They have developed a labeling system to make the selection easier; we have the detailed information listed about that on all models reviewed.


We always preach the use of trail-rated shoes for technical running. There’s no reason to expose yourself to injury or danger because of running in the wrong type of footwear. We made sure to list which models are perfect for the great outdoors and which are better suited for city road running and treadmill workouts. In fact, there are great models on our list with protective plates and aggressive outsoles for additional traction. Safety should always come first, especially when you’re dealing with Mother Nature.


Top-Notch Breathability

At Runner click, we’re runners too, and we know that the last thing you want on a run of any distance is hot sweaty feet. This is why we made sure that our selections have highly rated breathable uppers that kept tester’s feet nice and cool, even on longer runs. Our experience shows that when uppers are seamless and breathable, they remain both flexible and comfortable to the runner and eliminate hot spots and unnecessary skin irritation. Proper ventilation is the first step towards keeping feet happy.



Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Pearl Izumi Running Shoes

This was some of the important things we looked at when making our selection. While we are sure that no matter which model you choose, you will get a high quality running shoe with a lifetime warranty that will last. However, before you go, take a look at the wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections. This will help you choose a running shoe that’s right for you. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.

Selecting The Right Size

Commonly overlooked, the right sized running shoe should not be confused with your standard shoe size. Almost everyone’s feet tend to swell after strenuous activity or workout and having a tightly fitting running shoe will cause pain, discomfort, and even blisters. Make sure to size your feet towards the end of the day to get an accurate size for you. Additionally, we have listed which models tend to run smaller or larger with pretty good accuracy. The key is finding that perfect fit that will be the best for you.

Make A Selection Based On Running Surface

As previously mentioned, it’s essential that you make a selection based on the running surface that you tend to encounter on your runs. The terrain is one of the most important considerations to make, and neglecting to make the right choice can have pretty devastating consequences. If you will be trail running, make sure to select a trail rated running shoe. Our buying guide is jam-packed with great selections that will offer added protection and tractions. Avoid using one pair of shoes as a “do-it-all” workhorse, this will ultimately cut the lifespan of the shoe in half and not offer you the required performance for differences in running surfaces. Most seasoned runners maintain a solid rotation of running shoes like tools in a toolbox.

Comfort Levels

We know that selecting a comfortable pair of running shoes can be tricky at times; this is why we’ve done our best to take the guesswork out of making a selection. There is a balance of cushioning, stability, and breathability that have to be just right in order to give you a pleasant running experience. Take a moment to consider any special accommodations that you may require. For example, if you’ve had issues with shoes being too tight on your feet, stay away from selections that we have deemed to be narrower than others. If you are a neutral runner, make a choice that will aid your running style and give you the comfort levels that work best for you.

Do You Like A Stiff Ride Or A More Flexible Feeling

If you enjoy strong structure or tend to overpronate, a stiffer Pearl Izumi model is perfect for you. They are well known for their ability to provide extra guidance for runners who need it. We have marked which models are the best for that. On the other hand, if you like a more flexible running shoe, or tend to do aerobic exercise or workouts that will have you moving in multiple directions, make a selection that matches those needs, and avoid selecting a stiff model. This is more than just a personal preference and really is crucial for making a selection that will work best for the situation that it’s intended for.



We know you have questions, and we have answers.  Take a look at our list of some of the most frequently asked questions that might come up when searching for a Pearl Izumi running shoe.  We hope these questions help you narrow down your choices and pick the best Pearl Izumi shoe for you!

Q: Pearl Izumi is known for cycling gear; why should I consider them for running shoes?

A: Unlike large running shoe companies that are slow to change and adapt to new technology, Pearl takes pride in its innovation and quality materials, they stand by their products across the entire globe. When they moved into the footwear sector, they brought their long-term design philosophy and trusted reputation. You would be hard-pressed to find a company that stands behind their products as much as they do.

Q: What’s the trademark feel of running in Pearl Izumi footwear?

A: Putting all feedback and recommendations together, everyone seems to agree that you can expect to feel the smoothness and a lightweight responsiveness while running in their shoes that is not commonplace with most other running shoes. It can be best described as a smoother, more airy run.

Q: What should I look for in a trail running shoe?

A: You should make sure that there is some type of protection from the elements and surroundings. Whether it be a toe guard or a rock plate, it’s important to make sure that a jagged rock or sharp edge can’t harm your feet while running. Additionally, you’re going to want and make sure that the outsole features an aggressive tread pattern that can give you the traction you need when you come across loose gravel or wet surfaces. Nicely placed lugs will also make quick work of tiny stones that can get lodged in your shoes. Pearl has a great selection of high-quality trail runners.

Q: I really enjoy a snug fit; what are the qualities that I should look for?

A: The number one thing that you’re going to want to look for in your footwear is a deeply cupped heel that will give you a much more snug feel and fit while you are running at both slow and fast speeds. Again, if you experience discomfort from footwear that is narrower than most, take precaution when making your selection. Also, pay close attention to the how the back of the shoe molds inwards. A nice wrap around your ankle can give you a better fit. If your skin tends to chafe or get irritated, try some runner’s tape.


Pearl Izumi is an excellent brand.  Though they are well known for the cycling gear, they also make high-quality running shoes that are definitely worth considering when searching for a pair of new running shoes.  We hope all the information we provided in this guide will help you choose the perfect Pearl Izumi running shoe for you!  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! We are happy to answer anything not covered in this guide.  Happy trails!


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research


  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running Magazine,
  3. Hal Higdon, Hal Higdon, Running Guide,
  4. Run Blogger, Run Blogger, Running Blog,
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