Monday, December 9, 2013

Gear Report - Pearl Izumi

Full Disclosure: Earlier this year, I met a Pearl Izumi rep when we were both working at an expo. After chatting, he asked if I'd be interested in joining "Team Pearl" and testing out some gear. Of course, because PI is basically the gold standard of gear, I said yes. I received a pair of trail shoes, running shorts, a team running tech shirt, and a light weight team jacket for free. They did not require or request that I blog or talk about their gear - simply wear it when I worked out and raced if I liked it. I like it. Here is my review.


Road - EM N2
I met Jesse when I went to test out a pair of the EM project shoes at the expo. After Brooks changed the top box of the Pure Project, I set out to see if I could find something to replace them. At first fit, the EM felt a tiny bit heavier, but more stable. It's still a very light shoe. Bonus points for having crazy colors. When I reorder my shoes, I'll be getting these:

They fit true to size (I wear 10.5 because of my big fit and orthopedic inserts). If you are looking for a suitable replacement for the Brooks Pure Flows, this is a pretty good alternative. 

Brooks PureFlow, 8.4 ounces for a 10.5
Pearl Izumi EM N2 Road, 9.4 ounces for a 10.5

Trail - EM N2
I am not a trail runner. I have done precisely one trail race. It took me over an hour to do a 5 mile trail race. My normal five mile pace is somewhere in the low 40s. THAT BAD. But, Jesse shipped me these shoes and the suggestion to give them a shot on some of the off road portions of Ragnar. Prior to that race, I took these bad boys out for a test run around Rock Creek:

Mine are badass green and steel. The first thing I noticed in this shoe was the gripiness. Maybe it's in my mind, but the shoe felt very stable (something I need these days for my ankle). I liked them enough on my trial 5 miles that I took them to Vegas. I wore them for the entirety of the race (30.4 miles) and really appreciated the extra cushion in the shoe, which a lot of the light weight shoes tend to not have.

Pearl Izumi EM N2, 10.2 ounces

Shorts - Y Fly Split Short
I hate wearing shorts to run. I just do. I am a capri kinda girl. But when I tried these on, I was hooked. When these are dirty, they go right back into the wash so I can wear them again. I'll be buying these in bulk. They hit right on my thigh and have a nice range of motion, so I never feel like they're pulling when I run.
I love them so much that if you drop by my house on a random night of the week, you will likely see me wearing this and a sweatshirt in the kitchen. 

Jacket - W Infinity Jacket
I seem to be a connoisseur of running jackets. I have a ton of them. This fit the bill for something between a long sleeve running shirt and a heavier, technical jacket. It's VERY light weight - think of this as the "tissue tee" of running jackets.

It was great for the bizarre weather in Vegas (hot, cold, hot cold, coldish hot). 

Shirt - I can't remember what this is, honestly. I left it at my folks' house in Atlanta since I didn't need yet another short sleeve tech shirt and I'd be back in a couple of weeks. Chadd says I look good in it, but since I prefer to work out in looser shirts, I've only taken it for a spin once. Can't give you an honest review on a product I haven't really used. 

So. There you have it. If you're in the market, check out some of the Pearl Izumi gear. They did not give me the long cycling pants, long running pants, or capri cycle pants I have from them and I have no problem telling you that I love them.

Just a reminder on the full disclosure: They gave me some of this stuff for free (shirt, jacket, shorts and trail shoes). I was never required to talk about their stuff on my blog. They did not pay me for this post. They did not pay me to be an ambassador. If I don't like a product, I will either blast it on this blog, or I won't talk about it. So. There ya go.

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