The best trail shoes

Pearl Izumi eMotion Trail N1

Living in Boulder is the perfect place to test trail shoes. We have miles and miles of rolling, dirt trails and then we also have some technical trails up the nearby front range peaks, like Green Mountain, Bear Peak, and Mount Sanitas.

For a long time though, trail shoes have been overbuilt. Yes, you do want protection, but it’s like manufacturers are overbuilding the shoes so that they’re customers feel well-protected. These shoes though are so heavy that it makes running uncomfortable.

What we need is a shoe that still provides adequate protection and is light-weight. And the Pearl Izumi Emotion does that almost perfectly.

Claimed weight: 9.6 ounces
Heeldrop: 1–4mm

IRunFar, April 18, 2013, “The eMotion Trail N1 is hands down the best trail shoe I’ve tried for 2013.”, August 15, 2013, “The “one size fits all” approach rarely works for most products.  But in the case of the N1, it does.”

Where to buy:

Last Updated:
Dec.29, 2013


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