Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pearl iZUMi Running Apparel

 

Pearl Izumi is celebrating 60 years, or kanreki. What is Kanreki? For men, the 60th birthday is called kanreki, the recognition of his “second infancy.” The Japanese characters in the word kanreki literally mean “return” and “calendar.” The traditional calendar, which was based on the Chinese calendar, was organized on 60-year cycles. The cycle of life returns to its starting point in 60 years, and as such, kanreki celebrates that point in a man’s life when his personal calendar has returned to the calendar sign under which he was born.


The name Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. is derived from the gem "pearl" and an area of Japan known for its clear water "Izumi." Literally translated, the name means, "fountain of pearls." The focus of the Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. line remains dedicated to meeting the needs of the serious sport enthusiast. The company's long-term plan for the Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. brand has been to strengthen its position in cycling and apply the same formula for quality, innovation and technical performance into other sport categories. These categories now successfully include cross-country skiing, triathlon, duathlon, running and other outdoor sport activities.


I've worn Pearl iZUMi cycling gear and have always appreciated the design and quality that the brand brings to the table. Recently, via Outside PR, I was given the opportunity to try out some of their 2011 running apparel and shoes. Street cred? The winners of the 2010 Wasatch 100 both wore Pearl iZUMi running gear!

The Infinity In-R-Cool® Short Sleeve features our innovative In-R-Cool® technology that cools the body while you exercise. This is the ultimate lightweight hot weather running top.

Superstealth up front, wicked cool in the back!

  • ELITE Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool® technology provides superior skin cooling and moisture management when you perspire
  • Direct-Vent panels provide superior ventilation
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • Screen print
The Infinity LD Short features a full Minerale™ liner which dries 50% faster than regular performance polyesters. The lightweight outer shell has a longer inseam and secure external pockets.

LD Shorts are mostly subtle, with just a hint of elan via racing stripe and web

ELITE Transfer fabric is lightweight and provides superior moisture transfer
  • Smooth front panel with elasticized sides and back with stretch draw cord for superior comfort and fit
  • Two hook and loop and two zippered pockets
  • Fully-integrated Float liner uses Transfer fabric with Minerale™ which provides optimal moisture transfer, faster dry time and odor absorption
  • 7" inseam [size medium]
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility

Incredibly light and comfortable, these shorts really allow the legs to move and breathe. With multiple pockets (on the small side), minimalist runners can forgo other storage options. Two items to note: the fabric was clingy, but not uncomfortable and the shorts ran a tad small, so if you like your shorts roomy and loose, get them a size larger than normal.

The new Streak II has been completely overhauled this season to be even faster, lighter and more performance-oriented than ever. With a new lower profile midsole and lightweight upper, the Streak II is light enough for a 5K, but cushioned enough for a marathon. This is your new go-to PR shoe.


  • 1:1 Seamless Upper creates an unparalleled fit with a seam-free interior
  • 1:1 360° Lacing anatomically conforms to the foot for a tailored fit regardless of foot shape
  • NEW 1:1 Energy Foam cushions the forefoot upon impact and then returns energy back to the runner
  • Outsole-grade EVA and blown rubber outsole combines for great cushioning and weight savings
  • Segmented forefoot for a smooth, efficient ride
  • NEW Ortholite® sockliner for amazing step-in comfort and long-lasting cushioning
  • NEW 100% recycled lace webbing and laces
  • Heel/Toe offset: 19.0mm/10.0mm

I was initially sent a size 13 for review, but found them too constricting. As Pearl iZUMi does not make a size 13.5 (does any shoe maker?), I went with a size 14 and was much happier. ORDER HALF TO FULL SIZE LARGER THAN NORMALLY WORN! Apart from the sizing issue, my other concern was their light weight, due to being a bigger guy who is more of a plodding sloth than lightfooted gazelle. My initial runs were all very short, to make sure I didn't damage myself in these more minimalist shoes, but I have worked my way up to 40+ minutes in them with no concerns. While not appreciated by all, I found the blazing green a beautiful color and felt somewhat badass in them, as I were an actual athlete. Even ChrisK has admitted to liking bright green shoes, so there must be something to it. While I haven't been brave enough to try it yet, my impression is that these would be comfortable sockless. Extremely light and breathable, I'd recommend these as a training shoe for warmer to hot days or indoors on the treadmill.

Overall, it seems Pearl iZUMi has hit a home run with their running gear and I can happily recommend searching out any and all options available to you. I hope to be given the opportunity to try out their cycling and triathlon gear as well - I especially covet the TRI FLY III CARBON shoe.

Check out Pearl iZUMi's website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out their videos on YouTube.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEARL IZUMI!

(Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Pearl iZUMi, via Outside PR. I did not pay for the items, receive payment, or agree to give them a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company's website, the opinions are my own.)


Would you like a product reviewed? 
Contact me at lakotega@yahoo.com!

13 comments:

  1. "a plodding sloth than lightfooted gazelle"

    Great visual you've given with your nouns and adjectives :-)

    I love Pearl izumi - their products are always fabulous.

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  2. First of all, thanks for the homework on the name--I have actually always wondered what it meant! And secondly, I am glad to hear that you and others found the shorts on the small side too. I know I put on a few lbs. from not running, but man were mine tight!

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  3. Nice looking stuff. One of these days I'll have a pair of bright green shoes...at least until I ruin them in the mud. :)

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  4. I love the ad for the running shoes... makes them some bad ass running shoes!!!

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  5. So many people are writing reviews about awesome PI gear and it's making me green with jealousy! With all the praises that are getting sung, I'm going to have to try it out!

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  6. I love the men's top! Very interesting to know the origin of the name Pearl Izumi.

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  7. Very interesting! Great review dude. Love the new gear!

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  8. you are so talented with that reverse photo op. amazing.

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  9. Em, thank you very much... (Elvis voice)

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  10. I tried some Pearl iZUMi shoes once - they didn't work for me, but they have a lot of really cool clothing options!

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  11. Great review! I got some of their gear too and really liked it all!

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  12. Quality stuff, Pearl Izumi has. I have a bit of their cycling gear and really like it. I'd love to try a pair of their running shoes; they sound fabulous.

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