Barefoot running seems like it is the new trend for 2011, but if you are like me and not quite ready to hang up your running shoes you might want to check out Pearl Izumi Streak II. Pearl Izumi did an overhaul this year on the new minimum feature Streak II making it the perfect shoe for racing, training, or just looking for a shoe with a little less material.
The first thing I noticed is that the Streak II is extremely lightweight, with the women’s size 8 weighing a mere 6.8 ounces & a men’s size 10 weighing in at 7.9 ounces. Pearl Izumi knocked off a whole ounce from its 2010 Streak model!
When slipping the shoe on to go out for a run, I noticed immediately how comfortable & stable the new low-profile Streak II is. The heel crash pad offered a lot of cushioning that gave me extra spring to my step. The forefoot is re-designed this year with Energy Foam to absorb shock and return the energy back to the runner, however, it did not have the cushy feel that the heal did. Just because the forefoot did not feel as cushy, it did offer quite a bit of support and comfort.
Since minimum feature shoes are built to allow your foot to move more freely, your muscles might need some time to adjust. The first couple times I ran in these shoes I noticed my shins were a little sore. Progressively, the soreness did go away. Running in the Streak II shoes my feet are one step closer to finally being able to move the way they were designed to!
The second time I ran in these shoes I made the mistake of going barefoot. Pearl Izumi advertises that the Streak II has a new “Ortholite sockliner for amazing step-in comfort” & “a seam-free interior”. I did feel that the Streak II was very comfortable with socks on, but without socks I got blisters on the back of my heels. If that wasn’t bad enough, the tongue of the shoe put a lot of pressure on the top of my foot rubbing it raw. So if you are going to try to run in these shoes barefoot, take them out for a tester before doing a long run. The Streak II is rather breathable, so even with socks on, your feet stay nice & cool. Since then, I’ve been running with socks on and my feet can’t complain.
The Streak II minimum feature running shoe is a great choice if you are wanting to try out minimalist running. This every day performance shoe does not sacrifice on any comfort or style and is a perfect start if you are wanting to head in the direction of barefoot running. For more information, check out Pearl Izumi website at www.pearlizumi.com
Review by Andrea Beiswanger