This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Late yesterday afternoon the new UPS guy, walked up the driveway with a box that had Pearl Izumi all over the box and as he left he said "hope you have some good runs in them". Damn, runners are everywhere or is that he saw the 5K and 26.2 stickers on the tailgate of the Ranger. Either way, I told him "I was going to have fun in this pair."
The obligatory unboxing photo of the new shoes that I bought from the Pearl Izumi Web store. Yes, these are a personal purchase and while I am a member of the Pearl Izumi Champions team and definitely positively predisposed to their products, because I have run well in them. Everything I say in this post is my opinion and no I have not been compensated to write positively about this product other than to receive that same discount that all other team members receive. Yeah, all the opinions are my own.
Usually I am not easily wowed, by a pair of running shoes out the box, but this pair had three things going for them - even before I started running in them.
- Appearance - I really, really liked how the M3 v2's looked, appearances can be deceiving, these are good looking running shoes in my opinion.
- The outsole is very different from other Pearl Izumi road models I have used and should be much more versatile for the kind of running I generally do: roads, lots of road shoulders, running down-back on the dirt road and non-technical trails like Quarry Road. Somehow they also felt more "sticky" and squeaked when I walked around the house on our wood floors. The outsole almost seemed like a modified version of their trail series, which I know run well wherever I do.
|Top Pearl Izumi M3 v2, Bottom Pearl Izumi H3 v1|
- Finally, they seem a little wider in the forefoot than the H3's, even though they have more of a curved last. Overall, the shoe just seems bigger (wider, higher volume and longer), even though the fit feels just about the same? In the below photo, both heels are against a flat surface.
Well enough of the blah, blah, blah, let's get to how they do for what they are designed for...
Generally, I like to take my new shoes on a 4.0 mile run down to Pepin Way, it gives me a really good idea on how they will handle long downhills, flats and then coming back up the bitch, which tells me how they will work when my legs get tired. It is all tar, so I get a pretty good feel for the level of cushioning, ride, grip and how fast a shoe they will be.
Temps were in the low 20's*F, with wind chills around 13-14*F, so it is still cold, but my feet were not cold at all, but it did mean that I wasn't going to try to pick the pace up too much, no matter what - cold and bad hammies are not a good combo for running faster.
I don't care what running shoe it is, it takes time to find the sweet spot when you first run in a new style of running shoe, sometimes it can be quick and other times you never do. Not too surprisingly, this one was pretty short and by the time I got ready to go down the hill, I was feeling very comfortable with my stride and the M3's.
Probably because I have been running exclusively in Pearl Izumi's for a while now and while the M3's are a slightly different style, the ride felt really familiar with the dynamic offset - which just works for me. So I think the first run in these is really more about how the shoe works for me, than figuring out how to run in them, which is sometimes the case in new shoes.
Check. No problems there. My legs were feeling a bit beat up from some of the faster running, running in the mud down-back this week and it was still pretty damn, so it was a good test run. Going down the hill, I could definitely tell they are a cushioned shoe and they felt good because I tend to pound my heels a lot more going down hills, especially with Bennie pulling me along. On the flats, there was no slapping or noisiness from the shoes, just a buttery smooth ride.
Coming back up the hill they didn't get in the way, but I could tell that they are a heavier shoe. So I will have to muscle up the legs a little more with these - part of that adaptation.
The grip on the tar felt good and when I got into the shoulder a couple of times, there were no issues with traction, although a couple of small rocks got lodged in the center line, but I didn't realize it until I got home and was taking the photos. Also, somehow I did pick up a small pebble inside of my right shoe. Which always seems to be an issue with all of my Pearl Izumi shoes for me and something I have learned to live with.
Errr no. These are not fast shoes weighing in somewhere between 11 and 12 ounces each they are the heaviest shoes in my Pearl Izumi arsenal.
|Can't tell I like my Pearl Izumi's|
The reality is that
Overall, for a first run the Pearl Izumi M3 v2's did everything I asked of them, were quiet and comfortable. They felt supportive, but didn't get in the way of just letting me run, like some other "motion" control shoes have.
They gave a great first impression, lived up to what I have come to expect from Pearl Izumi running shoes and I wouldn't hesitate to take them out for a double-digit long tomorrow - mmm I might just do that too.
The M3's just ran with good manners.