I've been a road runner for many years now, but never tried many trail runs, so I did not own any trail shoes. When I was given the chance to try out Pearl Izumi's brand new E:MOTION N3 trail shoes, I started seeking out unpaved trails on my running routes, and it's been fun!
E:Motion N2 sole
Out of the box, the shoes look very similar to the current E:Motion N2 shoes. The sole has a good tread while not feeling too knobby. Trying on the shoes, they feel comfortably roomy but supported in the toe box, and my heels (which have been unhappy with plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis in the past) liked the balance of cushioning and a snug fit. The heel-to-toe drop is 4mm. I don't feel any seams or pressure points while wearing the shoes. I first wore the shoes for a day at work where I knew I'd be on my feet (walking and standing) for the better part of seven hours. After they passed that test without problems, I took them out for a run.
Pearl Izumi E:Motion N3 trail shoes
Long story short, I’ve been really happy with the shoes! Their first race was the “Worst Day of the Year” run on February 6th, and they were perfect for the gravelly hills of the golf course trail. The shoes fit my feet well, there are no rub spots, they work well on pavement and pea-gravel running paths, and my feet feel happy even after an hour run. A fun little thing are the shoe laces: They are woven to not be flat but a little bumpy, so they won’t untie, even without a double knot in them.
I’m new to trail shoes, so I don’t have much to compare these with, but I can certainly recommend you try these out if you’re in the market for trail shoes.