Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel Road II Review
What runner doesn't like this site:
Ah, lovely Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel Road II shoes. The first thing I did, believe it or not, was run straight to the Pearl Izumi website to check out the details on the shoe.
Directly from the website:
This responsive, lightweight trainer is designed for one thing—going fast! The syncroFuel™ provides mild pronation control and excellent cushioning for the runner training for their next race.
•Seamless Race Upper with hybrid mesh combination: recycled mid-foot mesh and breathable forefoot mesh
•Half-length medial side syncro Stability Frame
•NEW 1:1 Energy Foam cushions the foot upon impact and then returns energy back to the runner
•SKYDEX® heel crash pad
•Full blown rubber outsole with carbon rubber heel crash pad
•Forefoot Flex Grooves for a smooth, efficient ride
•NEW Ortholite® sockliner for amazing step-in comfort and long-lasting cushioning
•360° degree reflectivity
•Heel/Toe offset: 23.0mm/13.0mm
The SynchoFuel is listed as a Neutral Plus shoe.
I'm going to get the "bad" out of the way, since it's about personal preferences. First, I've moved to a slightly less-cushioned shoe for some of my training and all of my racing, so it felt a little weird at first to be back in a shoe with heavier cushioning. Definitely a personal preference. If you love the cushioned shoes - I know when I first started, I preferred it - then this is a great shoe. The second thing is that I ordered a size 10. I wear a 9 in regular shoes, and consistently order a size 10 in running shoes, but this shoe definitely ran small. I didn't have my preferred inch of space between the end of my toe and the shoe. I would've ordered at least another 1/2 size up. Unfortunately, this limited me to testing this shoe on mostly shorter runs.
I wore the shoes on 11 runs for 58 miles total. The longest run I used the shoes for was 8 miles. I actually find it hard to describe the shoes, which for me, is a positive thing... because as soon as the run started, I totally forgot about the shoes. They were well-cushioned, comfortable, responsive. I noticed no difference in performance between these shoes and my usual shoes (and I rotate between a couple brands).
Before trying these shoes out, I honestly thought of Pearl Izumi as a cycling company, but they have branched more into running in recent years, and I think their shoes deserve some honest attention. I know I was impressed, and being one of "those" people that is in love with the shoes I wear day-to-day, to give up those shoes over and over and wear the Pearl Izumi's, not just for a couple of test runs, but for some real mileage, means a lot. I intend to keep using these shoes for my shorter runs until they've hit their mileage limit! I only wish they were a little bigger so I could put some real mileage on them!!!