Pearl Izumi N2 Tri #1 – 30 Mile Review

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: November 11, 2014

Okay, this is something different, me reviewing a pair of running after only 30 miles. That usually means that something is drastically wrong with the shoes.

Well…yes and no.

After yesterday’s 10 miler and having run in them most of this week, there is a single issue with the N2 Tri’s that is going force me to make them into closet monsters until next April, when I will pull them back out and start running regularly in them again.

What in the hell are you talking about?

Yes, they are part of the N2 series, but I have found out they are not the same shoe as the N2 Roads. To me, they feel and look slightly different and it goes beyond just being brightly lit up and no tongue.

The first thing that I changed was the stock elastic laces, the slide was difficult to use and when I am tired, I don’t want to frig around with a finicky slide. I put in LockLaces and they work fine.

Let’s back up a bit…
I have run in my second pair of Pearl Izumi N2 Roads since August and they have turned into my primary…mmmm let’s change that — my favorite running shoes this year, until this week when my knee started to talk to me and it was time to retire them after 340 miles.

I liked them enough that I chose to buy another pair N2’s, but I got the N2 Tri’s and their no tongue design. I figured that they would be pretty much the same shoe with just a slight change to the upper.

Ummm — wrong.


When I first put the N2 Tri’s on they seemed a little longer and not as wide as my N2 Roads, but during my first run in them, they felt fine on the treadmill, so I didn’t give it another thought.

However, as I have run in them this week, the “small” differences between the N2 Tri’s and N2 Roads became more apparent, especially since they are both supposed to be 8.5’s.

The N2 Tri’s are not as wide in the forefoot, are longer and have a more tapered toe box.

There is a strap that goes across the outside of the N2 Tri and while it has not bothered my Tailor’s Bunionette, I am concerned about how it will feel on a long run in the summer when my feet swell.

The heel cups do not feel as snug, but that could be due to being slightly higher volume in the arch area, due to the tongue design.

These are a lot of little things, that are slightly different between the N2 Tri’s and the N2 Roads. I know that manufacturing tolerances have a certain amount of +/- , but there is a noticeable difference between these two styles of shoes in the N2 series.

To me they are a different running shoe.

The big question is – are these differences enough to affect how the N2 Tri’s do for me at longer distances?

I ran a 10 miler and they performed well. No problems with my right foot’s Tailor’s Bunionette and my knee wasn’t talking to me about anything.

So I know that I can comfortably run long in them, so WTF is the problem?

It has started to get colder up heah in Maine and when the winds are whipping around, having a pair of shoes that at least slows the wind/cold down, can make the difference between a comfortable run or frozen feet and a miserable run.

Yesterday’s first run and the long run were done in low to mid 30’s F and with the wind chills was down in the 20’s. By the time I finished my Bennie run my feet were cold and when I finished the long run, they were damn cold.

The N2 Tri’s are well ventilated for warm weather running, which means that the air gets in/out easily and yesterday it was windy and cold. I could feel the breeze blowing through without any issues and it didn’t feel like they retained any warmth, in spite of having on merino wool socks, they just felt cold the whole time.

Which caused cold feet.

Something that I don’t have a lot of patience for is cold feet and when it is preventable, simply by using a different pair of shoes – I will use a different pair of shoes.

Which means that I know what I am going to do with the N2 Tri’s

Put them in the closet until it warms up next spring.

The reality is that

Now that I have worn the shoes for a while and did a successful long run in them yesterday, would I have gotten the Pearl Izumi N2 Tri’s?

Ummmm probably not. I have a feeling that the 8.0’s would have been too narrow and even though I like the looks of the shoe a lot (nice bright colors), they just do not have the same “feel” as my N2 Roads (either pair). I more than likely would have put them back up on the shelf and gotten another pair of N2 Roads, based on how they felt.

However, they are not uncomfortable to run in, they just do not have the same feel to me as the N2 Roads and I was disappointed by that change. So my expectations on how the N2 Tri’s should feel was different than what they are and is skewing my perception of how I feel about these shoes, which I am sure will work fine, once I get by that.

That is why when you look at the Shoe Fittr, they always show the different colorways and styles within the series. There are differences.

Something to remember, especially when we are buying running shoes online.

In case you haven’t noticed I am awfully damned finicky about how my running shoes fit and feel. If they are not exactly what I want, I tend to not wear them. However, how they performed on the long run (except for the cold feet), was better than a lot of the shoes I have run in this year.

I will give them another chance when the weather get warmer and my expectations are different.

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Labels: #Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Tri v1 50 mile review running shoe review

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