Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes Fully Reviewed

If you are on the hunt for the best Pearl Izumi running shoes, then you have come to the right place. Here we offer the top 10 best models currently available on the market as well as their Pros and Cons and what to look out for before making your final decision.

Pearl Izumi is a brand that has been around for a while now and they put in a lot of time into each model when they develop their running shoes. This allows them to develop high-quality shoes that are built to last and will help you perform to the best of your ability.

From trail running shoes to triathlon running shoes, the best Pearl Izumi running should be lightweight, comfortable, and provide you with the right amount of traction for the terrain you are running on.

Take a look at our top picks below!

Standout Picks

Pearl Izumi 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. The Road N2 v3 have around an average price for this list. Do you want quality at an affordable price? This is the pair you desperately need.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel II
The Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel II running shoes are really durable and built to last—so you can rely on them for the long haul. They come in three different color options to choose from, so you can use your favorite color and get to running.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Road M2 v3
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 run at an average price for Pearl Izumi shoes. Still, you will have features that qualify for one of the best running shoes out there in the market.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Trail N1
These are on the higher end of the price spectrum here, but again, they’re not too pricey. The cushion and bounce is good, and the stability will make your runs feel better.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi 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. 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.
Amazon Link
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. These are very mildly more expensive than most on this list. However, their advantage is that the pair would last you a while before you buy another.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Road N1
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.
Amazon Link
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. These are slightly pricier than some other options on this list, though not to any drastic degree. They are, nevertheless, regarded to be of high-quality and durable.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Road N3
This is another great road running shoe, with great stabilization for neutral runners. Like the previous pair in this review, these are around an average price for this list. However, a small number of users have reported sole pain in these, which is a shame, though it seems quite a rare occurrence.
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Road H3
This road running shoe offers a great lightweight run with excellent stability. You will find that most shoes on this list are of a similar price – and these are no different; they run pretty averagely for a Pearl Izumi shoe.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Your Pearl Izumi should be durable enough to handle your lifestyle, so choose wisely!

While there are many popular brands that market the durability of their shoes, Pearl Izumi actually stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty–this is how much they believe in their product. Even after extended use, if any of their running shoes fail you due to their construction, or if there is any defect within the shoe, they will replace them for you free of charge.

Furthermore, users have attested to the incredible durability of this company’s running shoes, and many runners have been impressed by how long these shoes truly last. Speaking of lasting, in 2016 Pearl Izumi decided to stop making running shoes to focus on their excellent lineup of cycling gear.

However, there are enough of their shoes still stocked in various warehouses and still being sold online to warrant an update to this buying guide, and they have such an excellent reputation and loyal following that we'll most likely continue to promote their products as long as they're still available.

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you have already used and enjoyed their products we highly recommend buying an extra pair or three of your favorite option while they're still available. There are other companies that offer products similar to the running shoes in the Pearl Izumi lineup that can be a good replacement.

However, some extremely loyal followers have been buying up as many pairs of Pearl Izumi running shoes as they can get their hands on so we suggest acting quickly if you want to be able to get some while they're still available. Many users swear by their Pearl Izumi running shoes, so if you are thinking of trying a pair out, you should give them a shot!

Traction

Whether you are a road runner, a trail runner, or both--you will want to make sure you get a pair of shoes that offers the right amount of traction.

When making this list, we made sure to consider running surfaces how the outsole of each model handles it. From the treadmill to concrete to a trail, there is something for everyone in our buying guide. Real-world users provided us with details of their daily runs as well as the types of surfaces they ran on. It’s essential that you trust your footwear and its ability to assist during your run–and Pearl Izumi does just that.

Their running shoe lineup consists of two main lines, Road, and Trail. We've featured options from both on our list so that both road runners and trail runners will be satisfied. As you have probably already surmised, the trail lineup feature outsoles with more aggressive traction than the road running lineup, although lines do a good job of offering the user a high level of grip, just with different designs and purposes in mind.

There are two main factors at play in the traction that a pair of running shoes offers; the type and softness of the material used in the outsole of the shoe, and its lug pattern. As with most athletic gear, there are trade-offs to be made. Shoes that use softer materials for their soles have better traction because the softness means that the shoe is better able to grip the pavement or whatever surface you're running on.

However, this softness also makes them less durable. Conversely, shoes with harder soles are longer lasting and more durable but typically don't offer the user as much grip as softer options. At the end of the day, though, when you are shopping for a pair of running shoes you need to make sure you choose a pair that will work specifically for your needs.

Support

Make sure to get a pair of running shoes that offers the support level you need for your foot type.

Pearl Izumi is known for being one, if not the only, running shoe company that offers shoes with varying degrees of firmness in the sole based on the size and weight of the runner. Basically, their shoes that are designed for heavier runners have firmer soles and cushioning than their options designed for lighter runners.

Our list includes both styles, as well as options for people with high arches or flat feet. Although some of their shoes do include features that are designed to give under and overpronators added support, they are not that ideal company to turn to if you're severe under or overpronator.

This is because they are focused on the lightness of the shoe so they don't use a lot of extra materials in the overlay of the shoe that other companies do. This helps to keep the shoe light, but it does mean there is a sacrifice when it comes to motion control features. This isn't to say that Pearl Izumi isn't great running shoes, far from it.

They're one of the companies that have the most loyal and enthusiastic followings when it comes to runners in the know, although they're not widely recognized by the mainstream public like the massive brands. If you find a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes that fit your support needs and work perfect for you, then you might become one of the brand's many loyal fans as well.

Protection

No matter what type of runner you are, you need to make sure you have adequate protection from the elements.

It’s important that you have the right protection for the type of running you are doing–which is why we always preach the use of trail running shoes for technical running. There’s no reason to expose yourself to injury because you are running in the wrong type of footwear. This is why we included models that are perfect for the great outdoors, city streets, and treadmill workouts.

In fact, there are great models on our list with protective plates and aggressive outsoles for additional traction, so if you are a trail runner make sure to take a look at those. These are easy to pick out since the word "Trail" is in their name. Using a shoe that is specific to trail running will help to prevent injury.

These options typically have a more aggressive lug pattern on the outsole for better traction to help prevent the user from slipping and falling. They also will have more support and stability features to help keep your feet and ankles in a good position while running variable, technical terrain, again helping to prevent injury.

Finally, trail options usually have a bit of a toe bumper to protect your toes from impact should you accidentally kick or otherwise collide with a large rock or another obstacle that can typically be found while trail running. All in all, make sure you choose a pair of running shoes that offers the level of protection you need.

Breathability

A good pair of running shoes will ensure your feet stay cool and dry--no matter the weather.

Here at RunnerClick, we are runners too. So we know the last thing you want during your run is hot, sweaty feet. This is why we’ve made sure our selections have breathable uppers that will keep your feet cool and dry–even on longer runs. Seamless and breathable uppers will provide runners with flexibility, ventilation, and comfort as well as eliminate hot spots and unnecessary skin irritation.

In running shoes, breathability comes from the design and materials used in the uppers. An upper that has mesh with large spaces will obviously let more moisture escape than one with a tighter weave. However, this also comes with a slight sacrifice in durability and support since there isn't as much torsional rigidity as shoes with tightly woven uppers and lots of extra supportive materials in the form of overlays.

Think of it like this; sandals are obviously extremely breathable because there's really only a few places with material blocking moisture from evaporating, But sandals are obviously not nearly as supportive as shoes because of the is same reason. Pearl Izumi running shoes are known for their lightweight and responsiveness because they don't use a lot of extra materials in their uppers which keeps the weight down.

10 Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes

1. Road N2 v3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Road N2 v3
Amazon Link

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. The Road N2 v3 have around an average price for this list. Do you want quality at an affordable price? This is the pair you desperately need.

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Durability

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

Traction

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.

Support

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 shoes wearable straight out of the box and offer a budget-friendly price tag.

Protection

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.

Breathability

Thankfully these running shoes are really breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry.

Amazon Link

2. Syncro Fuel II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel II
Amazon Link

The Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel II running shoes are really durable and built to last—so you can rely on them for the long haul. They come in three different color options to choose from, so you can use your favorite color and get to running.

Read more

Durability

With a rubber sole, these running shoes are pretty durable and can hold up pretty well. They are definitely made for the road and will last you a long time if you keep them on the terrain that they were built for.

Traction

Since these running shoes are made for road running, they will not offer enough traction and grip for technical terrain. However, they do offer enough traction for the road—so if you are an avid runner you will love these shoes.

Support

When we took a look at the amount of support delivered by this pair of running shoes, we found that they deliver a good bit of cushioning to ensure you stay comfortable no matter how far you run in them.

Protection

If you like to hit your favorite paved paths, then you will find that these offer enough protection from the terrain you encounter. On the other hand, if you want to hit the trails, these shoes will not provide you with adequate protection from those elements.

Breathability

As far as breathability goes, the Syncro Fuel II running shoes will ensure that your feet stay cool and dry no matter how far you run. They feature mesh and synthetic material that is really breathable and durable.

Amazon Link

3. EM Road M2 v3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Road M2 v3
Amazon Link

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 run at an average price for Pearl Izumi shoes. Still, you will have features that qualify for one of the best running shoes out there in the market.

Read more

Durability

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.

Traction

When it comes to traction, these running shoes are perfect for those of you who like to hit the road.

Support

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 has a short heel-to-toe drop.

Protection

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 will do it!

Breathability

One of the best parts about these running shoes is how breathable they are--so you won't have to worry about your feet overheating and experiencing any blisters or chafing.

Amazon Link

4. EM Trail N1

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Trail N1
Amazon Link

These are on the higher end of the price spectrum here, but again, they’re not too pricey. The cushion and bounce is good, and the stability will make your runs feel better.

Read more

Durability

Given that these are a really good option for those of you who like to hit the trails, you will love how well these will hold up over time.

Traction

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.

Support

Overall, these offer enough stability and support for most trail runs and their shape and fit gives good comfort for the majority of users.

Protection

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.

Breathability

Although these running shoes are made for the trails, they still offer a good bit of breathability.

Amazon Link

5. Trail M2 v3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Trail M2 v3
Amazon Link

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. 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.

Read more

Durability

These shoes definitely have a great quality, great durability. These will last a while and you will enjoy your investment without worrying about additional costs.

Traction

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 trail conditions without breaking the bank.

Support

The Trail M2 v3 provides runners with a smooth roll-off for a rugged trail shoe that can go from smooth groomed trails to rocky scrambles up steep embankments.

Protection

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.

Breathability

As far as breathability, these running shoes are perfect for those of you who need a breathable pair of running shoes that can also handle more technical terrain.

Amazon Link

6. EM Road M3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Road M3
Amazon Link

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. These are very mildly more expensive than most on this list. However, their advantage is that the pair would last you a while before you buy another.

Read more

Durability

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

Traction

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 roadrunners, and the whole run is smooth and stable. The run in these shoes is very lightweight and offers very little shock or discomfort.

Support

These road running shoes offer a good bit of padded support to ensure you stay comfortable when you hit the road, however, they don't offer enough for those of you who may have serious support needs.

Protection

When it comes to the protection offered by these running shoes. They offer enough protection for those of you who like to hit the road and the calmer terrain.

Breathability

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 offer good protection for those who tend to overpronate.

Amazon Link

7. Road N1

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Road N1
Amazon Link

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.

Read more

Durability

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

Traction

Pretty good traction and grip, although you won't want to take these running shoes out on technical terrain.

Support

These shoes are built for road running, they are very light and offer decent protection against overpronation. They are lightweight, the upper has decent cushion and they do a good job of avoiding mild pronation.

Protection

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.

Breathability

As far as breathability, these running shoes offer a pretty good job of keeping your feet cool and dry so you don't have to worry about them overheating.

Amazon Link

8. EM Trail N3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Trail N3
Amazon Link

These are a great option for trail runners, with a very flexible and supportive forefoot allowing for splay and stretch. These are slightly pricier than some other options on this list, though not to any drastic degree. They are, nevertheless, regarded to be of high-quality and durable.

Read more

Durability

These seem to be very durable and of very high-quality thanks to their durable material that protects your feet and a little extra cushioning is a plus!

Traction

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.

Support

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.

Protection

The midsole gives a 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.

Breathability

While these are not the most breathable pair of Pearl iZumi running shoes on our list, they certainly won't let your feet get too hot or muggy when you are running in them.

Amazon Link

9. EM Road N3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi EM Road N3
Amazon Link

This is another great road running shoe, with great stabilization for neutral runners. Like the previous pair in this review, these are around an average price for this list. However, a small number of users have reported sole pain in these, which is a shame, though it seems quite a rare occurrence.

Read more

Durability

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

Traction

These are very comfortable, and the added bounce make 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.

Support

The shaped midsole gives good cushioning and comfort for neutral feet, the toe guard is abrasion-resistant and the midsole is very responsive.

Protection

The support both in the heel and the arch is great, and the responsiveness of the midsole adds to the stability and support here.

Breathability

At the end of the day, these running shoes offer a good bit breathability and ensure that your feet will get the ventilation they need when you take them out on a run.

Amazon Link

10. Road H3

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Pearl Izumi Road H3
Amazon Link

This road running shoe offers a great lightweight run with excellent stability. You will find that most shoes on this list are of a similar price – and these are no different; they run pretty averagely for a Pearl Izumi shoe.

Read more

Durability

These shoes are of very good quality and have decent durability. The fit and structure are a little stiffer than some may like, while the fit sometimes runs a little small.

Traction

The foam midsole creates a stable arch platform for feet which are susceptible to pronation, and the fitted upper supports and hugs the feet.

Support

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 an comfortable fit and protects against overpronation.

Protection

There are a good cushion and bounce here to keep your run light and protected. These shoes have light breathable mesh and decent traction.

Breathability

The breathable mesh will keep you cool even on long runs.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running Magazine
  2. Hal Higdon, Hal Higdon, Running Guide
  3. Run Blogger, Run Blogger, Running Blog
  4. Jonathon Beverly, Gear Up With the Right Running Shoes, How to guide

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.