Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Pearl Izumi EM Road M2, $110

9.8 oz. (men’s); 8.8 oz. (women’s)

25mm (heel), 16mm (forefoot)

Fit: The M2 is snug and secure in the heel and midfoot area (although it does have a decidedly flat arch, which creates a gap under some foot shapes) and has ample wiggle room up front.

Feel: Although it appears to have a slightly higher (but not quite maximal) level of foam, the M2 is considerably more firm than it is soft. It’s a lightweight and quite supple stability trainer with a large medial post under the arch aimed at slowing overpronation at the mid-stance phase of the gait.

Ride: Depending on the pace and length of a run, the firmness of this shoe can either seem relentlessly stiff or full of snap. While the lack of softness rankled some of our wear-testers on longer runs, several said they enjoyed this shoe for shorter runs and faster workouts.

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