First Run Pearl Izumi N1 Roads – RunLog 8-16-14

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

Okay – Dokay, another first run in a pair of shoes, I think this is about the 12th or 13th time this year that this has happened, so it is not anything, new, strange or overly exciting – or is it?

Nope – just another first run in a new pair of running shoes ;-).

For the 4th time this year it has been a new pair of Pearl Izumi’s, only this time it was the:

  • EM/N1 Roads

Yeah I know these are “old” news running shoes. They were great last year, but now that the brands have all released new models this year – who cares. 

Supposedly with all the new releases by all the other brands so far this year, they have left Pearl Izumi way behind, because PI has chosen to have a 2 year release cycle.

Which made it seem as though one of their flagship shoes, the N1 Roads are no longer relevant.

Which is wrong.

Personally, I am in favor of a longer release cycle. It gives runners who might be completely happy with a style/model of running shoes an extra year in that shoe, instead of worrying if the “update” will screw-up their favorite shoes that they have searched so long for.

Which has happened all too often to me in the past.


Stop frigging around Harold, you are going way off on a tangent, just get to the point where you actually say how they did instead of all this fluff shit to start the blog post.

Okay, Okay

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

How did they do?

The fit is perfect.

The 8.5 Mens – N1 Roads fit my feet the way that I want a shoe to fit. Snug in the heel, enough room in the arch area so that it doesn’t look like I have the laces cinched up tight and plenty of room in the toe box.

Speaking of the toe box, it felt slightly wider than the N2’s (whether it is or not I do not know, but it felt as though it was a tad wider), no it is not Skechers GoRun Ride 2 or Altra Instinct 1.0 or 1.5 wide, but they were wide enough that they felt “right”.

There are not any sewn in overlays to inflict inordinate amounts of pain to my Tailor’s Bunionette and damn they just felt comfortable walking around the house.

It helps that I think they are a great looking pair of kicks too.

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

The sole unit is full contact without any cut-outs. One of the reasons that I chose the N2’s last winter was that I didn’t feel that the N1’s would not have enough tread for running outside in the winter, but when I compare the differences between the two tread patterns it isn’t that big of a deal.

N2 versus N1 sole patterns
N2 versus N1 sole patterns

Neither one is too overly great for running in snow, but both work well enough on what they are designed for – road running.

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

The Run

Unless a shoe is very special, if it is a new model to you, that first mile or two, a new shoe feels a bit awkward compared to what you have been used to running in.

The N1 Roads were no different, the first mile I purposely took it really slow, just to get used to the “feel”. Even though I have run a lot in the N2’s lately, there is a slightly different feel between them and the N1.

After I got loosened up, (my long run yesterday, left me feeling a little beat-up and then this morning Bennie had wanted to run faster on his run than I really was feeling like), so it took a little while for the legs to perk up to the idea of trying out a pair of new shoes.

Strava Stats 8-16-14 First Run PI N1 Roads
Strava Stats 8-16-14 First Run PI N1 Roads

As you can see from the graph, I definitely started out slow and as I warmed-up the pace picked up.

Compared to the N2 Roads, they feel like they have a lot more “pop”, there isn’t that “dead” feeling of very little responsiveness when I attempt to pick up the pace.

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 /N2 Road Comparison

Also, while they were still firm and not as flexible as I would like, they felt better than the N2 Roads do.

After the second mile I picked up the pace to a comfortably faster pace (around 7:00 to 7:10) and the N1’s did fine, plenty of pop and they felt good at the faster speed.

However, my legs were tired and this was supposed to be a recovery day, so I slowed back down to a more reasonable pace.

One thing that I did notice was the smoothness of the heel-to-toe transition (that is something I have always liked about the EM line) and that my foot wasn’t slapping the pavement like it does in a lot of other shoes, that I have run in. They were very quiet and helped promote a quick turn-over/cadence.

For a first run

I was very pleased with how they felt, and responded, especially at the faster pace, when compared to the N2’s.

While I am not super crazy about the firmness or lack of flexibility, the design helps reduce some of the issues I have with that and if my experience with N2’s, they will loosen up some more.

Based on how they felt today, I wouldn’t hesitate to take them on a 10 mile run tomorrow and really believe that I wouldn’t have any issues related to the shoes during or after the run.

Maybe tomorrow I will take them on Bennie’s run down-back to see how they do on the dirt road, who knows – if they work well enough, I will be able to save my trail shoes for mmmmm trails and running this outside this winter. That would be nice, but that rock plate has saved my feet more than once on the rocks down-back, so we will see.

Speaking of Bennie’s Run

Yeah, we ran down-back this morning and I had to keep being a HUGE anchor just about the entire run. My legs were still crispy from yesterday’s long run, with no cool-down time and I was purposely trying to stay mostly in the recovery zone for the run. Bennie had other ideas and eventually I compromised a little, but we still kept it slower than usual.

Strava - Bennie Run 8-16-14
Strava – Bennie Run 8-16-14

 A little faster than I planned, but it worked out.

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