Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pearl Izumi Shoe Review

Kind of odd to do a shoe review when you haven't run in over a week due to a bad cold/flu, but here goes...I've been running in the Pearl Izumi Streaks for a couple months now (they are pictured in the ad at right). I got them for free from the company marketing representative (story here). I tend toward light-weight, flexible, low-to-the-ground shoes. Think Nike Free or Mizuno Revolver or New Balance 790s. The Streaks are not really low-heeled shoes, but they sure are light and flexible. They also have quite a bit of cushioning. I've done most of my testing on the treadmill with a few short road runs thrown in for good measure. These new (and still clean) shoes have not seen the local muddy trails. The outsole has very little grip/traction--which should be fine for roads and the treadmill. It leads to a nice smooth stride. The upper is wide mesh and very airy. In cold weather they are too airy and ventilated, but I see them being perfect for a summer fast paced run or race. With their bright red color, I feel fast when I put them on...and they deliver. I feel fast and zippy when I run in them. I'd love to try them in a 5K road race once the weather warms up a bit. For now they are my main "treadmill shoe." If I actually run some shorter races, the Pearl Izumi Streaks will be my 5K-Half Marathon road shoes. Other shoes are better for the trails.

Here are my ratings for the Streak on several variables (1=poor, 5=excellent):

Weight: 5
Flexibility: 4
Cushioning: 4
Traction: 2
Fit: 3
Low to Ground: 3
Appearance: 4
Durability: ?

After reading several internet reviews, I think the Streaks run a little short in sizing. I normally wear a size 13, but went for size 14 in these shoes. There was no 13.5 option. The 14s are a little big, but better than a small 13. If they made them in 13.5 and cut out a little of the heel lift/cushioning, they would be a fantastic shoe. Of course, it's not fair to judge until I've actually tested them in a race (they are racing flats!). I'll do a local 5K this spring or summer. My final verdict will come after Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race this August. I plan on using the Pearl Izumi Streaks for about the last 2-3 hours when I will appreciate their lightness, cushioning, and open mesh design. I'll let you know how they work.

I still love their running ads. Remember, there is no such thing as ultra jogging!

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