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Pearl Izumi Takes Aim at Lightweight Support Category

November 30th, 2009

Building off of the success of the lightweight Streak and Peak XC, Pearl Izumi is introducing the syncroFuel (pictured below) and syncroFuel XC. Where as the Streak and Peak XC are neutral shoes,  the Fuel and Fuel XC offer support for mild over-pronation.

Mens and Womens Spring 2010 Pearl Izumi syncroFuel

Men's and Women's Spring 2010 Pearl Izumi syncroFuel

Fuel versus Fuel XC. What’s the difference?

The Fuel uses a blown rubber forefoot outsole for reduced weight and better responsiveness at toe-off.  At expense of added weight, the Fuel XC uses carbon rubber in the forefoot for better durability. The Fuel XC also has deeper tread, which provides increased grip off pavement. Although not a true trail shoe, the Fuel XC will perform well on well-groomed trails and fire roads. So the Fuel is the faster sibling and the Fuel XC pretends to be a wild child but is really just a down to business performer.

Does the world really need another lightweight trainer?

Although the lightweight support category is dominated by shoes like the Asics DS Trainer and Mizuno Elixir there is definitely a need for more shoes for fast runners that have biomechanical foot issues. Most shoe companies only offer one shoe in this category and Brooks (second in sales in the running specialty channel) currently does not even have an offering here. Although some may argue that the Brooks ST 4 fills the void, it’s really a racer and not a trainer. Hence, we welcome more shoes that are light, responsive, fast and supportive.

How light is light?

Estimated weight for the Fuel is 10.1 ounces (Men’s size 9.0, Women’s 9.2 oz for size 8), which is comparable with most shoes in the segment. Although not as close to the ground (Heel: 23mm, Forefoot: 13mm) as the other players, the 10mm drop is more level than standard trainers, which should work well for midfoot and heel strikers alike. With it’s added thickness, the Fuel should provide best in class cushioning durability. This is a highly anticipated shoe among RW staff and we can’t wait to test them when they come out January.

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