Pearl Izumi N2 Road v1 #2

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.
Originally posted on: September 25, 2014

I have over 200 miles on my Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road running shoes that I got back on 1/18/14 , which means – I get to write about them for the first time.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads
MMMMMM Harold you almost always do an initial and 50 mile reviews on your shoes, what happened.

When I got this particular pair of N2 Roads in a trade for some shoes that I didn’t like, I was doing the initial, 50 and 200 mile N2’s reviews based on the pair that I got for Christmas and started running in on 12/26/13.

So this pair of shoes just got worn, not reviewed.

What do I think of the Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads after 200 plus miles, without all the hype?


Since price is such a big deal for me and many other runners, I decided to put it right up front.

How much did I pay?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this pair of Pearl Izumi EM/N2’s in a trade, with another runner for running shoes that I didn’t care for. I got lucky and it only cost me the price of mailing the other shoes to him. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with this product might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Pearl Izumi site, still has them for $120, but you can find them on sale at other sites from around $80 to list price or above. With discount coupon codes, you can get them for less.
How have they worked out for me?

This is the second pair of N2’s that I have gotten at least 200 miles out of.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road

Initially, I made these my treadmill shoes, since I had a pair of N1 Trails and N2 Roads already in the rotation. To be honest through most of the winter, I didn’t use them all that much and it took until the end of April to get 60 miles on them.

During March, I had gotten disillusioned with my PI’s especially the N1 Trail’s and the amount of grit they were letting in to make things distracting/uncomfortable and said this about my first N2’s, after a 11.0 mile run on 3/21/14.

So I decided to try the N2 Roads to see if they kept the sand out any better. They did, but I missed the extra traction that the N1 Trails would have given in a few places, when I had to move onto the shoulder and it was loose dirt/mud or melted/slushed ice. The N2 Roads just don’t have the traction for that kind of running. Other than the traction fun, the N2’s were the right choice for the drier pavement and I didn’t have any issues with my feet.

At this point I had decided that I needed different running shoes, that didn’t let in so much grit and had a bit more traction and did the big spring shoe search. Which looking back with 20/20 hindsight was a big mistake and a waste of money on other shoes that I attempted to run in, that didn’t work out nearly as well as the N2’s were/had/are.

I didn’t use the N2’s again until the Boys and Girls Club 5.0 miler in April, because my “new” shoes were hurting my Tailor’s Bunionette and this is what I said after that race.

How did the Pearl Izumi N2 8.5 do? I didn’t think about them at all, which is a good thing and what I want from my shoes. They were smooth feeling, but at the same time something was missing, not sure what? I can run far comfortably in my Pearl Izumi’s, but I really haven’t run that fast in them, despite of all the miles I have run in my 2 pair of N2 Road’s.

Boys and Girls Club 5.0 Miler wearing the N2 Roads – Photo by David Colby Young

My attempt to use the N2’s as race shoes was a mistake too – they are not racing flats and this experience pushed me to look elsewhere for yet another pair of running shoes.

After that race I didn’t run in these Pearl Izumi’s N2’s until 8/14/14, when I ran a 10.0 miler in them.

Why did I run 10 miles in a shoe that I hadn’t run in, in several months?

There is just something about the N2’s that I knew I could just run in them and have confidence that they will not bother my feet, plus I had just ordered a pair of Pearl Izumi N1’s and wanted to get used to running in the EM’s dynamic offset design before they came in.

They did fine on the 10.0 miler, no issues and since that run, I have kept them in my running shoe rotation and used them for everything but speedwork. I still don’t really feel as if the N2’s are a “fast” shoe, but for anything else, they work nicely.

Harold be honest.

I have had a love/hate relationship with my N2 Road 1/18/14.

Many runners do not like the out of the box experience with the N2’s, I know that I didn’t. Just like my original N2 Road’s they felt stiff and inflexible and needed to be broke-in, before they really were comfortable to run in and this need for a break-in period can be a deciding factor for many, whether they continue to keep running in them or not.

Runners today have been spoiled with so many running shoes being great right out of the box, that when we get a pair that need 20-40 miles to break, we do not want to deal with that and quickly move to a different pair that do not need a break in period.

I wonder how many “great” running shoes we miss out on, simply because we do not/are not willing to break in a pair of running shoes?

It sometimes seems as though our expectation for all our running shoes now is that we should be able to do a double-digit run in them the first time we put them on our feet…I know I have been guilty of this and when I can’t run “long” in new shoes comfortably, I have returned them.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road

Also, I do not like this colorway and to be honest, I think that this affected how much I actually ran in them. Maybe I was a little “vain” about how they looked. I am not a fan of the “gray” running shoe look.

Now that I have gotten them broken in and gotten over the colorway, I have run comfortably in the N2’s at all distances and I have not worried about my feet hurting because of my shoes, when I wear them.

They work best for me when I use them to eat up mileage, but I do not like them for speedwork or attempting to run faster.

The size 8.5 from Pearl Izumi’s EM line fits me about as good as any line of running shoe ever has and seems to run true to size. Although I believe that the N2’s are slightly narrower in the toe box than the N1 Roads, I have not had any issues with the fit bothering my Tailor’s Bunionette.
Feel (different from fit)

The N2 Roads like the N1’s are mostly quiet, they have a slight tap, tap, tap sound when running on tar and when my right foot splays out – that right shoe becomes more noisy, which cues me to correct my stride.

I am a heel striker and the dynamic offset design (whatever that actually is) does not exacerbate my the heel striking (make it more pronounced), like some shoes do and provides a smooth heel-to-toe feel/transition that I really, really like.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads

The N2 Road’s were stiff and fairly inflexible when I started running in them and while they are still fairly inflexible and firm compared to other shoes I like. Now that they are well broken in, I don’t seem to notice the lack of flexibility or stiffness, now when I am actually running in them.

They do feel more cushioned than the N1’s, but not as soft as my GoRun Ride2’s or even my Brooks Launch’s, but there is enough cushioning that I don’t notice the rocks and other road debris that you tend to land on around here.

The N2 Roads are road shoes, the flat tread design makes no doubt about their purpose.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road

My experience when the dirt road downback is really wet/muddy, is that they are not the best choice of shoes to run in down there.

When I took them over into Bond Brook yesterday, they did fine protecting my feet in the conditions over there, but it was dry. With the lack of tread in the design, if it had been wet, I would not have even tried to run on any of the ski or single-track trails there.

The N1 Roads protect my feet better than some trail shoes I have worn, which means that they do not have a lot of road feel, which is fine by me, I am looking for protection and do not worry about feeling the road.

During the winter, I don’t enjoy finding the road with my arse, due to flat-bottomed shoes. Which means unless it is dry and clear, that I won’t use them outside after the first snow.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road

I have been pleasantly surprised with how little wear there is on my N2’s after 200 miles and the best part is my right knee hasn’t started hurting yet – which is my cue that a pair of shoes are toast.

I am not crazy about the colors of this pair of shoes, but getting them free in a trade, you take what you get. I would never have picked this colorway, if I had to buy the shoes and I wonder sometimes if how much a pair of shoes looks to us – affects how we view them and want to run in them.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Road

I like the Black/screaming Yellow colorway a lot better than this Gray/Yellow/Red colorway.

My original N2 Roads

The upper is one of the biggest things that I like about the Pearl Izumi’s, they are a more minimal upper, that have welded overlays and have enough give that they do not bother my Tailor’s Bunionette, in any model that I have tried so far.

I really believe that Pearl Izumi nailed the uppers.

The N2 Road’s are still available on the Pearl Izumi website and they came out with updated colorways this summer, so they are continuing to support this model. Of the colorways available, I still like the black yellow one the best.

They are still available on most of the major online retail sites and even on some of the discount sites for the older colorways. Luckily our local running store The Rail Trail Run Shop carries Pearl Izumi, although none of the other retailers in the area do, so I can get them locally which is a good thing.

I have heard rumors that PI is going to release version 2 soon. It will be interesting to see what changes they make, (rumor has it they will be a little more flexible and have a more cushioned feel). Personally, I would welcome a little more flexibility and out of the box runability.
If Bennie Chewed Up These Shoes Today, What Would I Do?

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

If I needed to go out today and get another pair of running shoes, the Pearl Izumi N1 Road’s would be at the top of the list due to their versatility/faster feel and the N2’s Roads would be my choice for eating up miles.
The Reality is that

This is the second pair of Pearl Izumi N2 Roads that have reached 200 miles for me (the other pair are now my primary walking shoes and I wouldn’t hesitate to take them for a 10 miler).

They are also a shoe that I have tried to ignore at times this year, but seem to keep coming back to them when – I just want to run.

The out of box experience and need for 20-40 miles break-in is something I did not like in either pair and is something that has to be acknowledged/thought about before purchasing.

The Pearl Izumi N2 Roads are part of my current 3 shoe rotation and I use them primarily for my long runs and running down back on a rocky dirt road and they do what I want. The N2’s are comfortable, do not bother my Tailor’s Bunionette and I am able to focus on running, not how my feet are feeling or if when is the pain going to distract me, that has happened in so many other shoes this year.

I fully expect to get another 200 to 300 miles on this pair of shoes and am planning on getting a pair of N2 Trails for winter running.

Honestly, I wouldn’t pay the full list-price $120 for these shoes and do not believe it would be necessary and you can find them on sale in the $80 range or less with other discounts available at most sites.

Pearl Izumi EM/N2 Roads

Next spring, when I need to replace these shoes, I will take a close look at the revisions Pearl Izumi makes with the new N2’s and if I do not see/like any major changes, I will probably pick up a pair of the original N2’s on close-out and do the break-in routine again.

I can’t give a pair of shoes a higher recommendation than I would get another pair.Email PostLabels: 200 mile reviewPearl Izumi N2 Road v1running shoe review


After careful consideration, a lot of thinking and all the other stuff, I have decided to retire my blog Aging Runnah/ and start a new blog called:

Aging Runnah

I hope that you decide to continue following/reading my blog and will update how you get it, so you don’t miss any future posts.

Also I have closed my old Twitter account and can now be found there at:


I look forward to seeing you in both places.

This blog will be retired and serve as an archive for my old blog posts, so it is not going away, it just will not be maintained and there will be no new posts made here.

Thank you


In A Bit of a Funk and Some Changes – Maybe

Over the past couple of days, I will admit it, I have been in a bit of a funk and yesterday I really thought about how to get out of it.

What brought this funk on? Most likely it was when I read that David Patterson lost his battle to cancer this summer. I knew that he had fought it for over a year, but I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten.

David Patterson teaching a session at ACTEM 2010
David Patterson teaching a session at ACTEM 2010

David was the person who taught and mentored me in how to use and implement many facets of social media into my classroom and eventually into my life. Although we didn’t see one another all that much over the past few years, we did stay in contact through commenting on his photography blog and he would stop around here to see what I was up to every so often.

I was saddened to hear of David’s passing and know that the world lost a true gentleman. It made me look again at how fragile our lives really are and how we need to work harder to stay in contact with those people who have touched our lives.

He would be the first to tell to me to do something about my funk (some would call it grieving) and get my butt moving again.

Moving On

David taught me so much about how to use social media and the more that I thought about what David and I discussed back in 2008 and that I need to get back to why I started using social media. Continue reading “In A Bit of a Funk and Some Changes – Maybe”

The Facebook ’10 Books That Stayed With You’ Meme Post

Mike over at Running Around the Bend got ‘tagged’ on a ’10 Books That Stayed With You’ post, and he tagged readers of his blog to go ahead and do their own lists.

“List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great words of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

I did it a little differently than the instructions (what else is new) and chose the 10 books or series that I have read, which affected me in some way and that I decided to keep in my personal library because of how they affected me.

My bookcase, although I have boxes of book and books hidden on other shelves
My bookcase, although I have boxes of book and books hidden on other shelves

Picking only 10 was difficult, but as you can see the books I chose were more Heroic Fantasy/Science Fiction (series) than any other genre. I enjoy the coming of age / heroic action, that take me away from the more mundane life that most of us lead. Continue reading “The Facebook ’10 Books That Stayed With You’ Meme Post”

Pushing the Redline – RunLog 9-9-14

Tuesday = speedwork, which means tonight I am freaking toast. Bennie and I sat in our easy chair after lunch (around 1:30) and then next thing I knew it was 2:45. TheWife is on vacation, so she was puttering around the house, making plenty of noise and I was basically – out and she said that Bennie never moved at all either.

Based on that result, I guess they were great workouts.

Really both of my runs today were tough ones, that challenged me in different ways.

Bennie Run

I think that Bennie can tell when I put on my Skechers GoMeb 2’s, maybe there is something about the way I walk or get more focused when I put them on. All I know is that he seems to know when I put them on, that we are gonna run faster than usual and he takes off, then looks back at me as if to say “well aren’t you coming you old fart!”

Silly dog!!! 🙂

Strava Bennie Run 9-9-11
Strava Bennie Run 9-9-11

Continue reading “Pushing the Redline – RunLog 9-9-14”

A Quick Vacation Run – RunLog 9-8-14

TheWife and I went over to Gorham, New Hampshire for quick overnighter to start her week’s vacation.

We got in a nice hike yesterday over in Shelburne, although it wasn’t what we were looking for – it was more of an old logging road than a trail, it was still nice to be outside together, with the Bean 🙂 .



It was just an out and back on this kind of road, so we were a little disappointed, but at least now we know.

We spent the night at the Royalty Inn in Gorham, had a nice pizza and whoopie pies for supper and fell asleep before 9:00. Continue reading “A Quick Vacation Run – RunLog 9-8-14”

Peer Pressure Sucks – Even for Runners

My foot the day after, being run over
My foot the day after, being run over

I made a comment over at Mike’s Running Around the Bend and he suggested that I make it into a post, so here it is.

Peer Pressure, marketing (which can be a form of peer pressure) and advertising are prevalent everywhere in our cultures. The use of the “cool kid” imagery to get us to do stuff, even if it is not in our best interests at times, has become “just the way it is” with the constant barrage of TV, brand imagery and us bloggers talking about how “great” it was to do whatever, especially when it comes to running marathon distances – You know the holy triumvirate:

  • half
  • full
  • ultra

Over the past few years, I got caught up in the you gotta run a lot of miles every week and that running in a marathon (half, full or ultra) is something you just gotta do if you are a “real” runner.

mmmmmm cough, cough Bullshit!

You do not need to run a lot of miles a week, run a marathon or even run in a race (sorry Dr. Sheehan I disagree with you on that one) to be a runner.

I really think that prevailing mood in social media and many in the running community has gotten too many runners to thinking that they are supposed to run “big” miles and always be training for the next half, full or ultra marathon and that other races are given a short shrift when it comes to respecting that distance.

After all it can’t possibly be a real race if it last less than an hour for most people – I mean just about anyone can do that. Sarcasm there folks – but that is some of the attitude I have seen and heard.

Peer pressure sucks and it leads too many runners into that seemingly endless cycle of: Continue reading “Peer Pressure Sucks – Even for Runners”

Enjoy The Heat While We Can – RunLog 9-6-14

@eather 9-6-14
Weather 9-6-14

I know, I know the heat and humidity sucks to run in, but at the same time, the winds of change are coming and before we know it the cold will be back and we will be whining about that instead of the heat and humidity 😉 .

Yep, 81F glorious degrees and 74% of humidity – tough to run in?


Not gonna lie or try to set any PR’s or anything in that kind of weather, nope that kind of weather for running is made for just doing it and getting it over with.

However, being able to walk around the block wave to your neighbors, stop/pet a couple of dogs and enjoy being able to walk around the block in shorts/t-shirt without freezing your ass off !!!  is GREAT. Which I much prefer over the heavy winter jacket, mittens, watch cap and not seeing any neighbors outside.

No this morning’s runs were nothing to get excited about, but at the same I AM EXCITED ABOUT  being able to run consistently in any kind of weather. I have had 6 weeks of at least 40 miles and I am beginning to enjoy – just being able to run.

Screw the stats, I don’t care about the distance, who gives a rat’s ass about the pace, what my run graphs look like – I love being able to get out the door and run — then enjoy it no matter what the weather is – is the important thing and some times, we forget the joy of running.

The weather will change or be what it will be, no matter how much we want 55F, low humidity, no wind and a cloudy day for running – they just don’t happen that often. So we need to just take what we get, enjoy them while we can :-).

Yes, I will whine, piss and moan about the weather with the best of them, but when it comes right down to it, I am still gonna run. I guess what Chief Hart told me my first week on the USCGC SPAR (WLB 403) “A bitchin sailor is a happy sailor, because he is to damn busy bitchin to get hisself into trouble”. Continue reading “Enjoy The Heat While We Can – RunLog 9-6-14”

Step (Way) Back Week, Running Thoughts, and August Summary!

I found this to be a timely post from Mike over at Running Around the Bend

Running Around the Bend


Hi Friends! Well … when I said it had become much easier to disconnect, I wasn’t lying! In fact, I have enjoyed it so much I suddenly find myself very much disconnected on a regular basis … my posts two weeks ago were erratic, and I hadn’t done any since the previous Thursday until just a couple of days ago!

But when I say ‘step back’, I am really just talking about blogging – my running is still on track, as you will see below.

What are my blogging plans?

Well, I don’t know.

Here’s the thing – this was supposed to be posted on Sunday … or Monday … then Tuesday. Wednesday ended up with a different post – which is good because I don’t think this would have made it.

Funny thing – Wednesday’s post eased into one for Thursday and then Friday … and reconnecting through catching…

View original post 1,604 more words

Well That One Sucked – RunLog 9-4-14

As you can tell by the title my long run today was not something to write home about or give it more credibility than it deserves.

I started out really well and thought that I was going to have a GREAT run, but that changed going into mile 3.0 and didn’t get better – it got worse.

Strava Stats 9-4-14
Strava Stats 9-4-14

I made mistakes: Continue reading “Well That One Sucked – RunLog 9-4-14”