Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes Fully Reviewed
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!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Comes in great colors and design
Highly breathable mesh
High-quality material finish making them durable
Rubber sole to support traction and minimize foot pressure during step
10 Best Pearl Izumi Running Shoes
1. Road N2 v3
Comes in great colors and design
Highly breathable mesh
High-quality material finish making them durable
Rubber sole to support traction and minimize foot pressure during step
May be highly priced to some customers
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.Read more
Unfortunately, a small number 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.
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.
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.
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.
Thankfully these running shoes are really breathable and will keep your feet cool and dry.
2. Syncro Fuel II
Not for really long distance
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. EM Road M2 v3
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
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
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.
When it comes to traction, these running shoes are perfect for those of you who like to hit the road.
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.
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!
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.
4. EM Trail N1
Good trail runner
Good cushion and bounce
The traction is not fantastic
Not as flexible as some shoes
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
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.
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.
Overall, these offer enough stability and support for most trail runs and their shape and fit gives good comfort for the majority of users.
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.
Although these running shoes are made for the trails, they still offer a good bit of breathability.
5. Trail M2 v3
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
The toe box of this shoe provides ample space, while at the same time ensuring there is no heel slippage
Breathability is okay
Low to moderate amount of cushioning
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. EM Road M3
Good for those who have a heavy heel strike
Great cushion and comfort with excellent bounce
They 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
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
These have particularly good durability and will last you a while. They are also of great quality and do everything they claim.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. Road N1
Good for mild overpronators
Good bounce and cushion.
May require a small breaking-in period.
A small number of issues with durability
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
These are of fairly middle-ground durability; not excellent, but certainly not bad. In terms of quality, they are great.
Pretty good traction and grip, although you won't want to take these running shoes out on technical terrain.
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.
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.
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.
8. EM Trail N3
Great for trail runners
Ideal for neutral feet
Wide forefoot for good stability
Great support in all terrains
Excellent forefoot protection
Not particularly waterproof
Not as flexible as some other shoes on the market
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
9. EM Road N3
Great for neutral runners
Very supportive around the entire foot
Nice gliding feel when running
Offers a comfortable run
A small number of users have experienced sole pain with these
The design of the shoe may rub on the foot a little
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
The durability is great here – these should last you a while, and no users seem to have experienced any issues with longevity.
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.
The shaped midsole gives good cushioning and comfort for neutral feet, the toe guard is abrasion-resistant and the midsole is very responsive.
The support both in the heel and the arch is great, and the responsiveness of the midsole adds to the stability and support here.
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.
10. Road H3
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
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
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.
The foam midsole creates a stable arch platform for feet which are susceptible to pronation, and the fitted upper supports and hugs the feet.
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.
There are a good cushion and bounce here to keep your run light and protected. These shoes have light breathable mesh and decent traction.
The breathable mesh will keep you cool even on long runs.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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!
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.
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 both high arches and 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.
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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Some of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing running shoes; Buying for looks, too small of shoes without trying them on and assuming you know your size, and not asking the salesperson for a deal.
Most stores will offer discounts so don't be shy about asking.
For various reasons that had nothing to do with the quality and popularity of their running shoes, Pearl Izumi stopped making shoes specifically for running in 2016 so that they could focus on their excellent lineup of cycling gear.
Luckily there was enough of a backstock of their shoes that they're still available today, but if you're a fan of their running shoes we recommend buying a few extra pairs while they're still available.
Other Factors to Consider
We know that selecting a comfortable pair of running shoes can be a difficult feat–which is why we’ve done our best to provide you with the best of the best to choose from. Everyone is looking for just the right balance of cushioning, stability, and breathability when looking for a pair of shoes.
So, take a moment to consider what you find most important as well as what you need. 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.
Make sure to get the right size
Many people assume your running shoe will automatically be the same as your standard shoe. However, almost everyone’s feet swell after strenuous activity and having a tightly fitting running shoe will cause pain, discomfort, and blisters. Make sure to size your feet towards the end of the day to get an accurate size for you and even consider just going up a half size.
We have listed the models that tend to run smaller or larger so you can size accordingly because the key is finding the perfect fit is choosing what is best for you.
Will they restrict your range of motion
If you like a rigid feel or if you 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. On the other hand, if you prefer a 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 definitely avoid selecting a stiff model.
This is more than just a personal preference and is an essential factor to consider when making your selection.
It’s important to consider the running surface you typically encounter because some need more stability and support than others. Neglecting to do this may lead to injury and less enjoyable runs–and you can’t blame the shoe if you didn’t choose the right pair, to begin with.
We have included all types of running shoes on our list, so be sure to look at those that are pertinent to you specifically. If you are a trail runner select a trail-rated running shoe that offers the protection and traction you need. If you are a road runner look at our more lightweight and cushioned options that will help you push yourself further while also keeping you comfortable.
Most importantly, avoid using one pair of shoes as a “do-it-all” workhorse, this will ultimately cut the lifespan of the shoe in half and reduce the benefits it was designed to provide Most seasoned runners to maintain a solid rotation of running shoes, just like tools in a toolbox--so, if you think you might need more than one pair, that may the right decision to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Pearl Izumi is known for cycling gear so why should I consider them for running shoes?
Unlike large running shoe companies that are slow to change and adapt to new technology, Pearl Izumi takes pride in their innovation and quality materials and stand by their products. 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 Pearl Izumi footwear?
Putting all feedback and recommendations together, everyone seems to agree that you can expect to feel the smoothness and lightweight responsiveness while running in their shoes. It can be best described as a smoother, more airy run.
q: What should I look for in a trail running shoe?
You should make sure 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 a jagged rock or sharp edge can’t harm you while running. Additionally, you’re going to want to make sure the outsole features an aggressive tread pattern that can give you the traction you need.
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 I should look for?
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 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.
q: Didn't Pearl Izumi stop making running shoes?
Yes, unfortunately, they discontinued their running shoe lineup in 2016 to focus on their cycling products. Luckily for enthusiasts, however, there's enough on backstock so the best Pearl Izumi running shoes are still available today. If you like their products we recommend buying a few pairs now before supplies run out forever.