2013 Summer Trail Running Shoe Review

Pearl Izumi EM Trail N1, $115

Category: Versatile Cruiser

Weight: 9.6 oz (men’s); 8.7 oz (women’s)

Height off the ground: 23mm (heel); 16mm (forefoot)

**Most Versatile Model — Competitor’s Spring 2013 Wear-Test**

FIT: A medium-width heel snugs up through the midfoot and opens into a roomy, but not-too-voluminous, toe box.

FEEL: Testers loved this model for its familiar, easy-flexing road-shoe feel. Most raved about its versatility, while one specifically noted the seamless, stretch-mesh toe box design allowed his toes to “feel free” and allow for uninhibited running on most types of terrain.

RIDE: The Trail N1 is decidedly smooth and sublime, like a lightweight road shoe only with trail-oriented traction and some protection against sidewall scuffing. Testers lauded the rocker design for its smooth footstrike and toe-off and welcomed the balance of responsiveness and underfoot protection. “A shoe I could run in all day,” gushed one tester. Moderate, multi-direction treads made for a breezy transition from roads to dirt to mud and the minimal rock plate added just enough stiffness and protection to make them ideal for medium to long runs.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter

Top Stories

Videos

Photos