I know Pearl Izumi makes great cycling gear, but what about their trail running products. I will be reviewing the Pearl Izumi Peak II ($120) trail shoe.
The Peak II is a sub-10 oz lightweight trainer designed to be a neutral shoe. It has a seamless upper which you could possibly not wear socks while running in the Peak II (I chose socks). I was very impressed with the look and feel of the Peak II right out of the box. It is a snug fit. Pearl Izumi recommends going up a half size from your original sizing. I second that recommendation. The 9.5 size fit perfectly. The Peak II felt like a road trainer made for the trails. I couldn’t wait to test this pair.
Lots of small lugs on the outsole. You can see multidirectional lugs throughout the shoe and rear facing lugs in the heel for downhill braking. Notice the torsion control (but leaves the shoe still very flexible).
The Peak II tested well in muddy and wet conditions. The traction was great in the mud and on wet surfaces. I had no issues. When wet, the shoe drained well. However, the neoprene tongue felt like it retained water (not a big issue, just an observation). In the “lab”, the evaporation testing results were “Good”.
The Peak II felt like I was wearing a road trainer on the trails. It definitely has a “race” feel to it with the lower profile (9 mm drop). It felt so good on the trail, I took it on the road. I loved the feel on both surfaces. This is a shoe that is definitely built for a neutral runner.
Although a non-gusseted tongue, there was a minimum amount of debris coming through (around the ankle collar vs. through the lacing system – not a big issue).
- Toe Measurement – 8 mm
- Heel Measurement – 17 mm
- Drop – 9 mm
- Non-gusseted Tongue (But has a form fit)
- Neutral Shoe
- Rock Plate (Small plate at forefoot)
- Midsole – EVA
- Upper – Synthetic (Seamless)
- Made In – China
The Pearl Izumi Peak II is a neutral lightweight trainer that feels like a racer. The Peak II is supportive enough to use as an everyday trainer while providing a race-like feel for race day. I loved the supportive seamless upper and great traction. This shoe is for the neutral runner or a runner looking to transition into a minimal drop shoe. Great job – Pearl Izumi – in updating this model!
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