Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shoe Review Tuesday #9 (Pearl Izumi Streak II)

Pearl Izumi Streak II
Support Category: Neutral/Lightweight
Weight: 7.6 oz (size 9)
Cost: $110
Available in Widths: No
Multiple Colors Available: Yes
Durability: 250 - 300 miles
Updates from Previous Model: Lower heel collar, Energy Foam forefoot cushion, Ortholite sockliner
Upper: Lightweight, supportive, mesh, seamless
Arch Height: Low
Heel-Toe Drop: 9 mm (20mm heel, 11mm forefoot)

Shoe Specs
The Pearl Izumi Streak II is one of Pearl Izumi's few performance running shoes. Designed to be a racer for any distance from 5k to marathon, the Streak is a lightweight but sturdy shoe. Pearl Izumi prides themselves in making a 360 degree lacing system with internal eyelets to really cinch up the midfoot wrap around the instep. In addition, a new feature in the Streak II is that the lacing and lace webbing is made from 100% recycled materials.
  • Heel- This show has a very low heel collar, meaning it does not come very high on the Achilles. This can be a good and bad thing. It is a good thing because it won't rub at all when you are training/racing. However it can be a bad thing if you are prone to your heels slipping in a shoe because you are sitting much higher with this one than in others. In terms of fit, it is a snug, grippy heel, good for people with narrow heels.
  • Instep- With their top-notch lacing system, this shoe can really be as tight or loose on your instep as you want. This is definitely the best shoe brand for keeping the shoe fitting well on your instep. The upper hugs the entire midfoot by wrapping from the top almost to underneath the arch for maximum support and security.
  • Toebox- The Streak II offers a narrow toebox with low vertical height. This means the shoe almost comes down to a point at the toes with the upper being barely above the toes and hugging lightly on the sides of the feet. If you have wide feet at all, this would not be a comfortable shoe.
  • Flexibiliy- As a general rule, racing/lightweight shoes are going to be flexible. The same holds true with the Streak II. Rated on a scale from 1-10 (with 10 being most flexible), this shoe stands at about a 7, which is where you would want to be with a structured neutral shoe. It bends with the foot in every way possible while still holding true to the racing last it sits on.
  • A look at the lacing system
  • Cushion- A bit more padded than you would expect in a shoe from this category. Lots of cushion in the heel tapering down to a little bit under the forefoot, lead to an approximate 6 out of 10 on the cush scale. I will say that because of the extra cushion, it makes it a great shoe for longer speedwork days or even racing a long distance.
Personal Experience
I have only used this as a speedwork shoe. I've gone about 50 miles or so on it so far and it is holding up great. For the days where I'm running 8 to 10 miles of speedwork, there isn't really another shoe in my closet I would rather go to because of the durable cushion that protects my feet from the extended intense pounding. The only real negative I have to say about the Streak II is that the heel collar is really low and gives a slipping feeling if you don't tie a runners knot. Other than that, it's a great shoe. Reasons I like the Streak II:
  • Lightweight and Durable
  • Ties really well and holds my foot in place
  • Not any more expensive than other shoes on the market
  • I feel this is Pearl Izumi's first shoe they have done really well
So if you're in the market for a new racing shoe or lightweight trainer, go try on the Streak II. This is not a shoe I would go out to buy solely because it is the most comfortable shoe ever and that lasts longer than my other shoes. I would get it if I was in the market for a new pair and looking for something a little lighter weight than my other shoes. Or if I was having problems with shoes slipping, I might try this shoe with a runners knot. Overall this shoe gets a 6 out of 10 for me, it's a good shoe, but not my favorite.
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