Pearl Izumi Project E:Motion Tri N1 – First Run

Project E:Motion is the result of Pearl Izumi’s mission to create the most fluid running experience ever. The PI engineers and designers spent years shaping, testing, and refining their design into the unique shoe you can experience today. And so far, we think all of their hard work has definitely paid off.


PI based their design on the realization that a runner’s foot and leg are always in motion—never static. The heel to ball-of-foot difference changes as a runner’s foot goes through a stride. Therefore, a shoe’s offset (the difference between heel height and forefoot) should also be dynamic in order to create a more fluid running experience. With that in mind, it’s only common sense that your shoe should adapt to your body and support the way you run—not the other way around. Project E:Motion’s Dynamic Offset Technology does just that by delivering a smoother, more natural ride while eliminating forefoot slap and reducing shock. All in all, the Tri N1 promises to make your run more efficient and, according to PI, actually drive you forward.


While we still need to put in quite a few more miles on our pair, we’ve already become incredibly fond of the Tri N1s. When we unboxed our pair we immediately realized just how light they were. Weighing in at only 8 ounces, you definitely can’t say that this shoe would weigh you down. For those among us who aren’t completely convinced that shoe weight really matters, we found research from the Nike Research Laboratory showing that shaving 4oz. from a shoe would mean a faster marathon time by up to 3 minutes. When it comes to setting a new PR, 3 minutes is certainly not an insignificant amount of time.


Of course weight isn’t everything. There comes a point where cutting weight (and therefore material) from a shoe is counterproductive and can slow a runner down. No worries there with the Tri N1s. According to the folks at PI, these shoes are cushioned enough for Ironman distances. The E:Motion line offers an EVA foam that provides a balance of cushioning and support while keeping weight at a minimum. The shoes also feature PI’s Energy Foam in the forefoot and a heel crash pad, which cushions the foot on impact and returns energy back to the runner. Finally, the shoe’s outsole has strategically placed rubber pads for traction and durability.


Cushion aside, when we first slipped on our Tri N1s we couldn’t help but notice the comfort immediately. Since many triathletes race sans-socks, a shoe’s interior comfort is key. Rough edges, ragged seams, and stiff fabric lead to painful hot spots and blisters, which can quickly ruin anyone’s race. Thanks to PI’s Ortholite Sockliner, these shoes promise a sock-like feel that we’re looking forward to testing with a few sockless runs in the near future.


In addition to a silky smooth interior, the Tri N1s feature two layers of mesh to keep you cool and clean (yes, clean). One layer of mesh was designed to be extremely open to allow for drainage and breathability. Basically, your feet will dry faster and stay cooler. The second layer of mesh is much finer to keep out road grit and grime. And for those of us who have braved torrential downpours on race day, we appreciate the ability to keep mud out of our shoes.


Since this is a shoe built with triathletes in mind, the Tri N1 also features design elements that are engineered for fast and easy transitions—a seemless upper, stretch bootie, speed-lace construction, and a large heel pull-loop.


While we’re already big fans of the Tri N1s, we’re planning to continue to put these high tech shoes through many more miles, as well as some quick transitions. Stay tuned for our final thoughts on how they perform!

4 responses to “Pearl Izumi Project E:Motion Tri N1 – First Run

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