New Shoes from Pearl
Written by: Jeroen Van Geelen
Date: Tue Jun 11 2013
The Iso Transition was a lightweight racing shoe with nice cushioning considering it's very light weight. The sock-like upper functioned very well and I ran sockless in those shoes without any blisters or hotspots.
My expectations were high. So when we first got our hands to the EM TriN1 and the EM TriN2 we were really excited to try them on. Before I tell you how they run let me explain the difference between these triathlon specific models. The Iso Transition was a very light racing shoe. PI decided to introduce a new running collection. The Iso Transition is replaced by the EM TriN1 (pictured above). The new model, the EM TriN2 (pictured just below), is built more as a training triathlon shoe.
The TriN1 is designed with a midsole with 22mm of heel height and 15mm in the forefoot, so, a low-to-moderate drop. The TriN2 is built with 27mm to 16mm - a drop, at 11mm, that's a bit of a throwback to ramps you'd have seen over the last generation. According to the current running shoe narratives one explanation might be that the TriN1 is for midfoot strikers and the TriN2 for heel strikers. Another parsing might be that footstrikes right below the knee favor lower drop shoes, and footstrikes in front of the knee favor cushier heels.
Because the upper wraps your feet the elastic laces give you extra support if you need it, but I can imagine many runners just putting on the shoes and running without touching the laces.
One feature not found on these new models are the water drain holes at the bottoms of the shoes. Where the Iso Transition had a whole string of holes at the bottom of the shoe the TriNs donít have these any longer. I donít miss them. I was more annoyed by the fact that those holes were constantly filled with little rocks that will give you that scratchy noise what can be so irritating when your shoes hit the ground. And any liquid that's spilled during your run through the aid stations will leave the shoe through the very breathable mesh upper.
Another change is how deep you are sitting in the shoes. The Iso Transition had a low ankle line, and some users had problems keeping the heel snug in the shoe. I personally liked this low ankle line. It contributed to the feeling of a light shoe, but both new models are about 7mm to 8 mm deeper. So for some they actually will feel more stable around the ankle.
I do think that the TriN1 is too firm in my opinion for many triathletes, but in the end it's a matter of personal taste.
If you have no problems with the cushioning, or the lack of it, Pearl Izumi created again some terrific triathlon specific shoes. But I do think that if the TriN1 would have been a little softer it would have been more appealing for a wider group of athletes.
Both models are available in specific mens and womens size and colors (the women's colorway is adjacent).
The second edition is, on my feet, more comfortable than its original version. If you want a lightweight shoe, but you don't want ultra low-drop, this shoe could be the one. 5.06.13
With this update to the Mirage 3, Saucony brings to market a nice new shoe. New due to significant, and positive, changes, which will open up this shoe to a larger segment of the market. 1.30.13