Gear Review: Pearl Izumi Women’s N2 V2 Trail Running Shoes
Shoes are a huge part of a hiker’s gear. I am glad to have tested out Pearl Izumi’s Women’s E: Motion Trail N2 V2 shoes. These shoes were given to me for review purposes but in no way did Pearl Izumi influence my opinion about these shoes.
Now, I thought it would be great to test out the Pearl Izumi brand because, in our hiker poll of footwear (AT Footwear by the Numbers), there was no significant amount of people that were wearing this brand so I thought it would be great to introduce the AT community to something different. I chose this model because it is lightweight, trail-worthy, and breathable. Now, let’s check if these shoes really stood up to the test.
Type: Trail Running Shoe
Sizes Available: Women’s 5-12
Weight: Size 8 – site claims 9 oz, weight of my size 6.5 – one shoe: 7 oz, both shoes: 1 lb
Material: Synthetic and mesh fabric, Carbon rubber outsole
Suggested Retail Price: $120.00
I tested these shoes on various hiking trails in Colorado as well as took them on a few test runs on pavement. Terrain varied from rocky, muddy, packed soil, and wet rock. I ran, hiked, and did some bouldering in these shoes too. I did not replace the insoles.
The first thing I noticed is that these trail runners are lightweight. They are not quite minimalist but they are lightweight compared to other trail shoes on the market. I felt like they were light enough to run in but also sturdy enough to climb up mountains and endure some scrambling and bouldering.
The grip on the bottom sole was perfect on wet granite rocks, sandy and dirty rocks, and muddy trails. The grip is still in great condition after taking these shoes on many 10-mile day hikes, short (5-mile or so) trail runs, and short (3-5 mile) pavement runs.
The thick sole is light and not too bulky but also gives me comfort and support while traversing over rocky terrain and little pebbles and roots. I also like how the sole is wider than the actual shoe. The widened platform gives me more comfort and confidence.
These shoes are not waterproof so the mesh on the top is very breathable, which I loved during the summer months. During windy hikes and runs, I could actually feel a breeze coming through my shoe, cooling my foot off.
This shoe has a smaller toe area compared to the heel, allowing me to fit my toe in smaller rock spaces while bouldering. I also noticed that the top mesh makes the shoe very flexible so I can bend my foot without any resistance.
This may or may not be a con for you but these shoes are not waterproof. These shoes are a great shoe for summer hiking but might be a bit too cold for spring, fall, and/or winter adventures due to the breathable mesh. I know some hikers sweat more than others so this might be great for you during those months. During my time as a thru-hiker, I embraced breathable shoes during the summer and used waterproof shoes during the fall to battle those messy and wet bogs that are all too common in Maine.
Not the Most Durable
After about 20 miles in these shoes (two different 10-mile day hikes), I noticed that the top near the toe had started to peel off. I can’t think of a certain incident that had caused this so I just associated it with regular wear and tear.
Overall, I think these shoes are really great. I love the fit, design, and color. The laces never bothered me and never loosened. I love how I feel light enough to run in these shoes but there is some bulkiness in the sole to make for a great trail shoe. If you are looking into these shoes as a thru-hiker, do be aware that they might not be as durable as other brands.
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