Pearl Izumi SyncroGuide

I got a new pair of shoes today.  I actually finally went away from Mizuno which is shocking!  Mizuno has been tinkering with the Alchemy for a while, and while this change was just a color-up, The changes they made the last time made the shoes fit less well for me.  Specifically they widened the toe box and apparently the heel cup as well.  For short 5 milers it was no problem, but on my 7 miler I started to feel sort of mechanical problems that I related to the shoe.

Pearl Izumi has become known for it's Unusual advertisements that bash joggers! You owe it to yourself to take a look at  We are not Joggers to see what I mean.  Here is an ad that ran recently in Runner's World Magazine. 



Frankly, I think it's a clever campaign, but not entirely "nice" if you will.  If the PI's make me more than a Fast jogger, I'll really applaud them, but for now…I'm on the fence!

According to the fitter I have a collapsable flexible arch, and of course little narrow feet. So we tried on some Asics, and New Balance and the Pearl Izumi's.  He didn't have any shoes in the narrow, so essentially it was a no brainer. 

I actually really liked the new PI's 

They have an unusual lacing system called "wrap-around" lacing, where the laces actually go all the way round the shoe.  If you look at the picture on the right you can see the deliniations on the shoe where the laces travel.  This allowed me to lace the shoes right snug against my feet, minimizing the side to side motion that I sometimes get in my other shoes. 

Otherwise, like most stability shoes, they do feel a little clunky, but they are about as clunky as the Mizunos I was in.

I'm hoping these shoes work for me.  I felt ok running in them in the store, but admittedly my left leg is flaring so my "running" was difficult. 

The toe box is roomy, and seems to be a little rounder than the Mizunos, making it easier to splay my toes.

I'll be taking them out for a "virgin" run of 4-5 this evening, so expect a few more exciting entries regarding the PI's.  I really hope they are "Technology that fits!"


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14 thoughts on “Pearl Izumi SyncroGuide

  1. Yeah, I don't like that campaign. Being a slow runner, I don't appreciate the superior [jerks] who seem to think that everyone should get out of their effing way. I liked John Bingham's response to it.My new Asics Nimbus are not working out as well as I had hoped. I may have to get another pair of the Sauconys, but it's only 31 days to race day. Damn it.

  2. I swear by New Balance – since I bought my first pair for £50 a few years ago (the most expensive shoes I'd ever bought!), I've always bought NB – even for my casual trainers. I bought a pair in Florida in April 2006 that I run in, and a pair in New York last December for weekend wearing. I should probably get some more for running in, god know how many miles they've done!

  3. Not liking that campaign. Is there a clear delineation between what constitutes 'jogging' and what is defined as 'running' after all? As far as I know jogging as a term was invented in the 80s to make running seem cooler. If you run, it's running, no matter how slow it is or where you do it. And I don't see any point in trying to divide runners into the 'real' runners and the wannabes. Shouldn't we all be happy that people are at least getting exercise? I run on a dirt running track, but I'm nowhere near as fit or fast as my mate who runs on his neighbourhood footpaths. Regardless of what this advertising campaign states I don't think I qualify as hardcore just because I get dirt in my shoes.I hope your new shoes work out for you, Katiebell. I'm still trying to find the magic pair of running shoes that fix my plantar fasciitis. My current Brooks Ariels are okay, but I'm hoping to find something that offers more cushioning on the heel next time I replace them.

  4. Have you tried some insoles with the shoes? or Heel cups? that way you can keep shoes you like, but still have the cushion you want. Some people swear by Spenco other by Superfeet.

    I'm not anti- the campaign, and I am a fairly slow jogger. I think I feel sort of neutral about the whole thing. but it sure was designed to inflame! but I adore the shoes after one run in them.

  5. Oooh Steph. I am sorry about your shoes. It's amazing how sometimes shoes can cause so much anxiety isn't it.

    When I first saw the PI ad's I was very surprised. I prefer the "Run like an animal" ad because it's less "rude" But I gotta admit, I am rather loving the shoes. but of course I may be in the new shoe nirvana-honeymoon stage. We shall see.
    I hope your shoe issues get worked out. 31 days is right around the corner!
    OH, you have me looking at tons of smart wool beanies. Expensive! I know they are worth it, but with the weather in the 70's here, I've been sort of waiting for my move to chilly NM to invest. Some are too cute too!

  6. New Balance makes so me good shoes! They are known for their widths. if you ever get back into the US, you have to go to Raleigh NC where they have a specific New Balance Store (Guess they probably have one in Miami and NYC as well). It's pretty cool. I tried on some NB yesterday but they were not quite fitting my wierd feet.
    I think your feet would enjoy some new shoes, by nw your midsole cushioning is probably gone….though I foudn my shoes lasted a longer time on the Treadmill since the surface was uniform. Besides, it's an excuse to look for a fun new color. 😉

  7. Thanks for the tip about the insoles. I'll try and track those brands down. I tried using the ones I wear in my casual shoes, but they provide arch support as well as heel cushioning. As my running shoes already have arch support it resulted in a very uncomfortable run! I felt like The Princess and The Pea perched on top of a dozen mattresses – all in the wrong place!

  8. Thanks for the tipoff on PI's! I just checked and they have cycling shoes, too, which has me really cranked up! Ever since my really good, comfy, 'friends-for-life-feeling' shoes were stolen (!) from my car, my feet get a little tingly around 20 miles unless I un-clip and whack them against the crank a few times.
    I've never been 100% happy with my Shimano shoes so I'm going to give PI a try. There's nothing wrong with the pricing, either. :O)

  9. We're going out to the States in the Summer (in the Adirondacks for Independence Day – woohoo!), so when we're in Boston before we fly home, I'll try and grab some then. I've tended to go for the sale ones in Footlocker, I have to admit, but they've always been good.My toes have a tendency to go numb, usually when I'm on the crosstrainer or bikes, but I don't think that's shoe related!

  10. Most people take out the factory provided insole, and then put in the superfeet insert. That should make your runs more comfortable. That or just heel cups. I don't know a lot about PF, so I can't for sure say if this would help or not.
    I got PF type pain on one run this year. I absoloutely freaked out, stopped running or walking and just stood there in total fear. Fortunately,it went away and has never returned.

  11. As an ultramarathoner, if you judged me by "speed" I would definitely be only a "jogger." However, after 30 or 50 miles I am very happy to be jogging. I am ecstatic to be even moving at all! I am sure most other folks would be too.
    I tried a pair of Mizunos for my road shoes which I love. I don't think that I am going to invest in Asics again for a while, if ever. I got a pair of Asics Gel Trail Sensors as my most recent trail shoes and part of the outer sole fell off on both shoes in the SAME run and in the same location on the sole. This was after less than 200 miles of use! There was not even any wear onto the sole and the other parts of the sole are already loose too!
    I go through innumerable shoes per a year and because I am always trading them out at different times, I keep track of the mileage religiously to know when I need to think of getting new ones. It is really annoying when a shoe falls apart like that!
    Come to think of it… I think I will take a photo of these right now and post it.

  12. Ultra, You might like to read the page in the PI book..
    And I quote
    "Ultramarathoners don't run very fast, but they sure as hell run. The truth is the line between jogging and running is different for every person"
    I'm trying to find a few types of shoes I can run in, but we'll see. Mizunos are pretty sweet, but apparently they don't work for everyone.

  13. PI is more known for cycling stuff, so i think you may like them. The running shoe prices are less than desirable, but because of my injuries, I expect to run in spendy shoes.

  14. As far as I'm concerned, a jogger is someone who runs but has never entered a race. A runner is someone who has raced (if even only once). Speed is irrelevant.

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