Pearl Izumi has announced they will discontinue production of running products, effective January 2017. After 13 years in the running business, Pearl Izumi has decided to abandon the category and have a sole focus on cycling and triathlon.
Pearl Izumi footwear has become a favorite shoe choice among many off our staff members. When Pearl Izumi introduced their E:Motion footwear design and abandoned their Syncroframe technology, they found something that struck a chord. The E:Motion design has a slight rocker and engineering that results in a super smooth ride. When walking the shoes, they feel firm. But when running in them, they seem to virtually disappear. They don’t feel soft or firm, they just dissipate impact. The ride is reminiscent of how Mizuno felt 10 to 15 years ago.
While E:Motion has been around for a few years, only recently have we seen the shoes start to gain popularity. The N1 and N2 trail shoes had early success as trail runners were loving the ride. The recent addition of level 3 cushioning combined with growing word of mouth about the other shoes was putting Pearl Izumi on a positive trajectory. But while we have seen the brand growing, Pearl Izumi was not seeing the necessary success on a national or global level.
Let’s not forget that Pearl Izumi started as a high quality cycling apparel company. As such, their running apparel has been top notch. They make some of the best jackets around, and when their Fly line was their premiere line, they had best-in-class split shorts.
We are disappointed to see Pear Izumi will be leaving the running space, especially since their current shoes are they best they have ever been. It sounds like layoffs will be minimal and our hearts go out to all those affected by this decision.