Friday, May 09, 2008

Pearl Izumi Float 2-Guest review by Fasteddie

My Utah running partner Fasteddie sent me this review of the Pearl Izumi Float 2 running shoe.
Fasteddie is a late bloomer. In his forties a doctor told him to stop basketball and get an operation on his knees and ankles. He ignored the advice and took up running. 49 marathons later, mostly Boston qualifiers, he is the picture of consistency in pace and equipment.

When Nike completely changed the Pegasus and he was no longer able to find the 05 model on line he turned to the Pearls. I also run in the Synchro Seek 2 trail runner from Pearl. A bit heavy but very protective on tough trails.

Fasteddie's Float 2 Review

Took them out for a test run this am, no orthodics after purchase at the SLC half this weekend. Wowie!
They run a bit LARGE to size, I’m a solid 11 ½ and could prolly go an 11 in thin socks. The 11 ½’s easily take my bargain basement $8.00 Dr. Scholl’s heel/arch supports.
What a shoe. Slipper Design is sooo comfy. No seams! And, the heel absorbs shock without mushyness, so there is great heel strike cushion along with stability. They have also wound hard plastic into the heel for stability with cushioning, with two passes on the inside heel. The Holy grail of heel strikers.
The mid section flexes just enough to allow rotation without correction, unlike the way most manufacturers have beefed up support. These therefore allow flexing throughout the range of motion. (Compared to the NEW Pegasus, which is now a motion control shoe with an old moniker of a previous thoroughbred) This allows the foot to strike the pavement and absorb shock with force and control, but not sacrifice road feel. Basically, let ‘er rip.
Forefoot also flexes but again is stable with a closed cell foam pad, and two deep grooves embedded in the forefoot sole, giving the shoe an even flex in front of the midsole, another sorely lacking feature in the ever more supported shoe building culture of late, whereby most shoe builders add a stiff shank and only some flexibility at the toes, necessitating a more pronounced effort to push off. These shoes FLOAT on push off. They remind me of another great shoe of about 12 years ago, the Asics DS trainer with a nippled sole, that eventually suffered the similar fate of Pegasus, in a bid for mediocrity and middle of the pack marketing; over stiffening.


Forefoot box seems a bit wide, but slipper design pulls up the slack, and a thicker sock or smaller size may mitigate. Also, they aren’t broken in yet with my foot imprint. They should get more comfortable than their already acceptable out of box feel. They do run big. However, front toe tip gives ample room. Still haven’t tested on steep downhill to check slip and toe bang, if any, but slipper design should mitigate such. Open heel design just may be an issue for small rocks on trail, but these are really a street/light trail cruiser anyways with great road feel, cushioning, and shock dispersion.

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