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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2014
Everyone's foot shape is different. Crazy, I know! This shoe has had so much praise and good feedback I thought I'd give it a go. I've been in search for the 'perfect' trail shoe since New Balance discontinued my beloved MT110 (I'm on my 3rd pair).

I have yet to find a shoe that fit me as well as the 110, it's as if it were made just for my foot. The upper is great, the heel locks in, it never comes untied, the tread grips well and is extremely durable. The ONLY downside to the 110 (and the reason for the search for another shoe) is there just isn't enough underfoot for longer outings and really technical terrain. Anything longer than 1/2 marathon distance on technical trails, especially those with crazy descents, and I was just getting beat up and tired.

I've tried other trail shoes (see other reviews) but everyone kept telling me to give these a go. I've now got about 100 trail miles under foot and a good technical trail 1/2 marathon race, so I think I can offer my insight.

Pros:
- Outsole is rock solid. These things shine in all conditions and grip! Although the tread isn't aggressive, it works and works very well. I appreciate the solid rubber of the entire shoe as well as the rock plate.
- Midsole. I like the rockered shape (PI calls it their 'dynamic offset') as it helps to propel forward and maintain good running form and a good solid mid foot strike.
- Upper material: good stretchy fabric. I didn't love it at first but after 50 miles or so it began to accommodate my foot shape. I initially had some concern spots but they went away after trial and error. For example, I did a summit to 9,000+/- feet and the descent down destroyed my left big toe. This was entirely my fault as I didn't stop and tighten the laces at the summit for my run down. Didn't have this problem during another long descent on a recent trail race.

Cons:
- Upper: While it's taken shape, and I do love the mesh fabric, it's still too narrow for my liking, especially in the small toe. I feel like my little toe stretches the fabric and it then 'hangs' over the midsole.
- Heel: I'm torn on this, but my left heel slips and I can't get it to stop no matter what I do. I think I have been hyper sensitive, though, because running with other shoes I notice my left heel slips on virtually all shoes I wear. That just must be my smaller foot. I'm really in-between sizes of 13-14, but there's no 13.5 shoe, so I typically size up to the bigger 14. This almost always causes problems for my left heel and too much room in the toes (as was the case with the Allout Rush). While there's slipping, I still don't have any blistering in the heel.
- Midsole: I do like the rockered midsole but I'm not entirely sold on the 'dynamic offset' by Pearl. When my form goes south I start to notice too much under my heel. I have to concentrate on a midfoot strike. While these are sold as a 4mm offset, it's not the case. Walking in them one can definitely feel the built up heel. Also, these are a pretty firm midsole.

Overall, I don't love these shoes, but I've invested in them, they don't cause major pain or discomfort, so I'll wear them till their done (get my $$ worth).
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on September 27, 2014
First off, super excited to see Pear Izumi launch another quality product. Years ago I ran in the synchro-fuel trail shoe and was among those that were turned off from the brand when they re-factored the last gen of the synchro lineup. Was a bit skeptical at first when they launched the EMotion lineup.

I'm a long time runner that has recently started trail running. My preferred road shoe currently is the Adidas Energy Boost. I took my boosts on a 50k Ultra around Utah's Bryce Canyon and decided that I needed to revisit my equipment for trails. I picked up a pair of these in Size 12 (6'1" 175lbs) and have since conquered some pretty rugged terrain.

The day after I bought them I speed-hiked to the summit of Mt Timpanogas in UT and ran the approximately 8 miles back to the trail head. The first thing I noticed compared to road shoes is the traction and stability. Even on loose dirt, these things bite and don't slip, yet the innovative design doesn't pickup and debris. The next thing I noticed is that while I still feel the terrain underfoot, I don't receive nearly the same level of punishment on my feet muscles for curving over and around each stone. The ride is great, the performance is great, the look is great and my feet are happy.

I have since done similar runs on Utah's Mount Olympus and in big cottonwood canyon. I paired them with some Mountain Hardware Gators to keep the pebbles and stickers out of my shoes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2014
feels like your walking on a cloud. you can run for miles in this shoe gives comfort and support on any terrain and has great ventilation. i would highly recommend this shoe
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on June 24, 2015
The Pearl Izumi Trail N2 is not a bad shoe; however, it is not the shoe I thought it would be. The road N2 v2 is a great running shoe that fit as if they were made specifically for me. They compliment my running form, foot shape, lack of pronation control I love so much, and their midsole material is nicely balanced. The Trail N2 disappoints a bit. The sole is a little soft so it doesn't grab dry trails like my old salmons do. It would be a fantastic shoe for hybrid running road/intermediate soft trail, but that's not what I use it for, so again I'm kind of disappointed. The upper material is soft and smooth on the inside and nearly seamless. The reenforcing welded spraps on the outside need a redesign. They really don't function in a way the wraps the foot (not technical stuff for me) and I've experienced a looser heel regardless of the lacing technique I use. The pronation control is too aggressive for me and it doesn't feel like a true neutral shoe. I had really big hopes but in the end I kind of I feel like I wasted my money. Hopefully Pearl Izumi received honest feedback so that their Trail N2 v2 coming out in July 2015 gets much need changes.
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on November 13, 2014
Super soft- but fit a little different than my regular Brooks and Mizunos. Heel is a little wide and loose - forced to use extra eye and hurts top of foot. Nicely made and super comfy- everyone has different feet- so it may be a glove for you? The rocker is nice- great flow - I will wear these for medium slower trail runs- but nothing too technical or long.
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on July 7, 2014
I only have a few runs with these shoes so I can't give a comprehensive review. I ordered a half size up not because I thought they were sized small, but because I wanted to wear cushier socks and allow for swelling of my feet in the summer.

Grip seems to be about what you'd expect out of trail shoes, they are fine except in deep mud. Comfort-wise I cannot complain, I have not run over 3 hours in them at once yet though.

I don't really have any complaints, the shoes just disappear under me and do their job. I have a 50K trail race in a few days and I may update my review after that.

Edited 9-7-2014: wore these for 2 50k trail races, and the Pikes Peak marathon, which is more or less a trail race. No problems with the shoes, the comfort and ride of these shoes is great. They do slip on wet rocks, but most shoes with the exception of very aggressive shoes do also. The half size up was great with thin socks for me, allowing for swelling later on in long races. I saw a half dozen folks wearing these at Pikes Peak, most people that had them gave them a good report.

I can't imagine a better shoe for me, although I always try other shoes that are my style just out of curiosity. These shoes will be my default winter running shoes with thicker socks, unless there is ice and then I'll wear screw shoes. I may even try the road version of the shoe, when my current road shoes die.
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on November 17, 2014
Did Hong Kong Oxfam Trailwalker 100km with this
feet pain starts at post 80km which is VERY GOOD considering other shoes, i start to get feet pain post 40-50km
definitely be my go to shoe.
Must buy half size bigger
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on May 6, 2015
great shoe. comfortable out of the box. went for a short run with no break-in period and loved the fit, feel and performance.
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on August 26, 2014
One of my favorite for long runs on rock/ hard pack. I use them for trade outs on last loop runs. Nice and comfy on tired feet
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on May 18, 2015
Pearl Izumi makes the best performing products in their field
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