Pearl Izumi has done it again with its Road N2 v3 (3rd edition). The Pearl Izumi N2 V3 road shoe is neutral road shoe that features several innovative technologies that Pearl Izumi has been perfecting for years. While this is not a new model for Pearl, but it has been refined with some new technologies specific to the E:Motion line. The features include a 3-D seamless print upper to decrease weight, and a dynamic offset-shaped E:Motion midsole that is biomechanically tuned for a neutral running gait. The shoe has energy foam in the forefoot and heel, as well as blown rubber in the forefoot and carbon rubber in the crash pad to provide lightweight cushioning. The shoe also features a highly reflective tongue mesh that provides visibility for running in the dark. The shoe has a 3.5mm drop with a stack height of 23 mm.
Described as a road shoe, ALL of our testers enjoyed the N2 v3 on a variety of terrain. One of the testers even used it for the 50 mile Zion Traverse. Whether running on roads, smooth dirt trails or around town, all of our testers feel in love with the shoes. Several mentioned an initial hesitation about the shoes, but these impressions changed quickly. The N2 provides an outstanding smooth transition with every stride.
The upper is constructed of a 3-D seamless print, with of a durable mesh material for increased breathability for those hot midday runs. The seamless overlays and light construction are incredibly attractive and will draw the attention of all your friends. The reflective tongue will safely draw drivers attention at night. Our only criticism of the N2 v3 is that the upper lacked the durability in a couple of the tester pairs. Although it should be noted we just couldn’t keep those testers off the trails, so the rocks did a job on the N2 v3 after 150 miles.
The toe box is wide enough for toes to wiggle around and prevent moisture build up, and in return – no blisters. This extraordinary shoe has everything without the added weight. The midsole cushioning is far beyond perfect. The shoe fit felt as if it was custom made for me. It cradled my foot and provided just enough stability and cushioning for mid to long runs.
The upper is breathable and can handle mud and rain (snow) and cleans up like Cinderella. But unlike Cinderella, it will stick around well after midnight, this shoe can handle a quick lap around the block or a 15-20 mile jaunt on the trails.
Strengths: Provides a nimble/comfortable ride, light and flexible, shoe laces do not come undone if double tie, breathable upper (prevents moist built up), enough room in toe box, makes a great day to day shoe to wear.
Weakness: Upper durability, some movement in the shoe due to room in the toe box
Product name: Pearl Izumi N2 v3
Weight: 273 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 4 mm:
Suggested optimal use/Distance: Shorter distance if you’re not used to minimalist road running, longer if you are (up to 50 miles, I’d say)
Rating (1 to 5) 1 is horrible, 5 is Amazing