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Friday, February 25, 2011

So, I need some suggestions…

… on what I should do with these. They are the Pearl Izumi Iso Transition, described as a lightweight no frills racing flat specifically built for triathletes.


Here is how they are described.

Ultra Minimal: Your lightest, most flexible choice for advanced foot strengthening, speed workouts, and racing. Cutting-edge training tool for Stability, Performance Stability, Neutral or Performance Neutral runners.

  • Seamless Bonded Upper: Creates an incredibly comfortable sock-like fit for all day barefoot comfort
  • 360 Lacing: Anatomically conforms to the foot for a tailored fit regardless of foot shape
  • Quick Lacing System: Easy entry for fast transition times
  • Energy Foam: Cushions the forefoot upon impact and returns energy back to the runner
  • Midsole Drainage Holes: Allows water and sweat to escape easily
  • Hybrid Outsole: Blown rubber & outsole-grade EVA combine for great cushioning and weight savings
  • Low-Profile midsole: Minimalist approach promotes efficient midfoot running style

My Take?… Um… well, here we go.

I took the insole out and found they were a better fit for me, but there is a tough structural mesh on the bottom that would probably be abrasive so I would need to get a really thin insole to cover the tough mesh. (or wear a really thin sock, as these are designed to be ran in sockless)


I did a few strides in them and found with a degree of concentration it was quite possible to utilize a forefoot landing without a bulky heel getting in the way. When I took them out of the box I was surprised to see how flexible they actually are they can be rolled right up to the front part of the heel. The fit is very snug as compared to my true minimal shoes, and VERY snug as compared to my old EEE wide NB 1063’s. The Heel to toe drop is quite a bit less than regular trainers (hence the ‘racing flat’ designation)

Right from the start tho, they seem too snug for my wide feet, I would probably up the size of another pair to a 13 (gawd) from the 12.5 they sent me. Speaking of 12.5, these shoes are SPECTACULARILY light, weighing in at 9oz where the Merrell are only 1 oz lighter at 8oz.


For comparisons sake, the Vibram KSO’s are 7oz and the Walmart Aqua’s are 10oz, but the Auqas hold onto a lot of water, so they get significantly heavier (to the tune of 13oz. I just tested them, and that was mildly wrung out) in wet cool weather (where I would utilize them)


As I said earlier, they are quite flexible too. Not as flexible as the Merrells, but that’s to be expected.


I’ll will give them a fair test drive, as seen (felt) from the eyes (feet) of a barefooter. I think, on first blush, that they would be a good option for someone looking for less shoe , without going all in minimal or full bare. I’ll show them around and get others takes on them, and maybe I’ll find another 12.5 (shod) runner to give them a test run for some different feedback. Anyone nearby interested in a test run Runner’s World style?

Stay tuned!

I am going to try and sneak out to the Calgary Roadrunners XC event tomorrow at noon to try and force myself back into a training routine again. ARgh life… Still a little sick, and still a lit stressed over current events in life. We are closer than ever to listing our house, which is the big ticket to a simpler happier life.


  1. I'm not really a barefoot/minimalist runner... so I'm kinda stupid when it comes to those sorts of things... I think they look pretty sweet ;)

    Im with ya on getting back to a training routine... it's so easy to fall out of a routine and so hard to start it back up again...

    Wishing you luck on listing your house! Hopefully life becomes more happy and simple for you soon! :)

  2. Heel/Toe offset: 19.0mm/10.0mm, not good
    Toe spring, not good
    The toe box is too small and tapers in, not good

    I would like to know is there is arch support.

    A step in the right direction but too much shoe for me.

  3. They offered me a chance to test drive them also. Since I am really trying to go full out minimalist, I didn't try them. But--it's good to get your perspective and I think you are probably nailing them on the head--a good in between shoe.

  4. I may be able to help. What size are they?

  5. Nice looking shoe. Unfortunately, my feet are too small. And, sadly, that's not something I can say often.

  6. I'd still go with the vibrams, most of these "light" aren't really light at all.

  7. Interesting.... I'm with Boris - these really aren't SUPER light. I have a pair of Brooks that are 6 oz and they are real live shoes! (the T7 racer)

    Solution: You could give them to me? :) j/k