Pearl Izumi EM Trail M2 V3
The Pearl Izumi is a shoe made for trail running. It’s a moderately cushioned shoe with a fairly low drop. The name of the shoe is meant to provide a bit of an explanation in terms of category and cushioning. The ‘M’ refers to midfoot stability. The associated number next to it describes the level of cushioning, in this case, the shoe is moderately cushioned.
The Pearl Izumi EM Trail M2 V3 is an affordable option for runners and hikers alike, who are looking to travel or run long distances. It’s a shoe that offers comfort along with protection in a fairly lightweight package. It’s a great option for off road adventurers who want a solid shoe without all the heft. Overpronators will get a secure and controlled ride from the EM Trail M2 V3 along with a snug, comfortable fit. There are some durability issues with regards to the upper, the material tends to rip easily, but that’s about it in terms of weaknesses for the EM Trail.
- Comfortable, long lasting trail shoe perfect for long distance running or hiking
- Great support in both the arch and thanks to the multiple overlays and snug fit
- Quick drying material ensures minimal potential for waterlogging
- Nice degree of ground feel
- Very responsive thanks to the 1:1 Energy cushioning in the midsole with added cushioning in the rear foot
- Snug heel locks in foot for a secure ride
- Wide toe box allows for better ventilation
- Ample cushioning
- Fairly lightweight
- Upper material tears easily
- Not recommended for moderate to severe overpronators
- Some found the instep of the shoe was too low and caused an uncomfortable pressure point
The midsole also features an ESS rock plate placed in the forefoot to protect against hard trail debris. And, for stability, there's also a medial post in the midsole area to provide stability on rough terrain. The medial post offers only minimal stability, though, so runners who may fall into the category of moderate overpronator may want to take care when bounding across uneven terrain.
The upper features a nice soft interior that's comfortable enough for runners to go sockless. Standard laces allow the wearer to secure their feet at their desired level of tightness.
The women's version weighs in at a respectable 9.6 oz and the men's at about 10.8 oz. Reviewers felt that even with the light stability features incorporated into the shoe, it was light enough to provide a quick and springy ride.
Quite a few injured runners chimed in and added that the shoe provided a nice amount of cushioning to help them continue their fitness journey while remaining comfortable after a recent injury. A few runners did mention that the instep of the shoe was not high enough to accommodate their foot shape. Runners with high insteps may feel a little too restricted in the shoe and may want to opt for a shoe with more room in this area.
The men's version of the shoe comes in two variations. A dark charcoal version with red and blue accents and a black version with neon striping. The women's version comes in a grey coloring with pink accents and a darker purple option.
The shoe also features a tough rock plate in the forefoot area. The ESS rock plate protects against hard rocks and sharp objects that could potentially be encountered on the trails. It allows runners to focus on their run and avoid staring down at their feet while they run.
Read also about hightop running shoes.
The shoe performs well on trails thanks to various other features as well including a quick drying upper, a protective ESS rock plate, and a durable outsole.
- Multi-directional lugs make the shoe aggressively grippy
- 1:1 Energy cushioning is very responsive
- New Energy cushioning in rear foot
- ESS rock plate in front of shoe
- Seamless upper
- Shoe is anatomically shaped to provide the best fit
- Overlays on the upper enhance support and help with control
- Soft comfortable interior
- Standard lacing
With a moderate amount of cushioning and protective ESS rock plate, this shoe works well for long distance runners wanting to head out on the trails. The shoe is durable, despite its flimsy upper, and delivers a great fit that reduces pronation and wobbling. Even recently injured runners found themselves running comfortably again with the EM Trail. The newly Energy foam infused rear foot ensures full-length protection and comfort.
The Pearl Izumi EM Trail M2 V3 is a great trail shoe option with an all around solid reputation.