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Pearl Izumi’s Ultralight, ‘Dynamic Drop’ Road Shoe

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The Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N1 is the brand’s lightest and lowest drop road shoe. I logged a lot of road miles in them all summer.

The shoe features a new technology called E:Motion. Basically, it has stiffer material under the mid-foot and heel than forefoot, resulting in what the company calls “dynamic offset.” The claim is that this change in heel-to-toe offset (from 1mm when unweighted to 4.5mm mid-stance) eliminates forefoot slap and reduces shock while propelling the runner forward.

The E:Motion Road N1 is the first shoe I’ve run in with the rocking-design technology. It took me a while to get used to it, but after the first few miles I grew to love the feeling of transitioning through each foot strike.

With a women’s specific fit and ample amount of cushioning, they have become my go-to for long runs on pavement.

The Gear: Pearl Izumi Women’s E:Motion Road N1

Price: $115

Available: Now

Where To Test It: Long runs and short sprints on pavement.

Who’s It For: Runners racing half or full marathon distances and those who want a very light training shoe.

Boring But Important: A low heel-to-toe drop (1mm unweighted) encourages mid and forefoot strike running. Ample cushioning allows for an easier transition between heel, mid foot and forefoot striking styles. Pearl Izumi claims that E:Motion shoes work with varied running styles.

Important Specs: 7.6 ounces for a women’s size 8, means they are lightweight, yet there’s enough cushioning to make these comfortable enough for the heel-strikes that often come at marathon-length distances.

Made In: China

Killer! In testing these shoes I’ve found that they transition well from a slow, long distance pace, to a faster race pace. I was generally impressed at how quiet my footfall is in these shoes. I’ve run in them up to 12 miles without blisters or hotspots.

Flaw: Runners who are looking for a minimal-feel shoe might think the midsole is too stiff.

First Impressions: The EM Road N1 is comfortable right out of the box. The mesh upper is a snug fit, but the stretchy material conforms to your foot as you run. They also feature a roomy toe box, which allows my toes to splay freely.

Who Should Buy It: Runners looking for a neutral and lightweight shoe for both racing and training. Runners not used to low-drop shoes should build up their milage gradually before any long distances in these.

Contact Brand/More Beta: Pearl Izumi

—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at GearJunkie.com. Photos © Monopoint Media LLC

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