Pearl Izumi Streak II Review

Pearl Izumi Steak II

A little over a month ago a few members of the dailymile team each received a pair of Pearl Izumi shoe to review.  We tried out the Streak II and the IsoTransition models.  Reviewers were all asked the same questions.  Let’s start with the Streak II.

According to Pearl Izumi:

“The new Streak II has been completely overhauled this season to be even faster, lighter and more performance-oriented than ever. With a new lower profile midsole and lightweight upper, the Streak II is light enough for a 5K, but cushioned enough for a marathon. This is your new go-to PR shoe.”

Overall, the team was surprised by the comfort, the weight, and generally liked the fit. The Streak performed very well with the team for style and fit. Between 1-5, the average rating for fit was 4, and for style: 4.4.

Mike N. “I have never had a shoe that fit my foot better. I have never had a shoe that fit my foot better. My foot feels secure, like it’s wrapped in the shoe. Couldn’t ask for more.”
Kristen F. “This is a very light shoe and I found it ideal for speed work. And, it’s very true to size; I wear a size 10 and that’s the size I received. They fit like a glove.”
Joe M. “I think the shoe will be a solid race flat, lightweight speedwork trainer for neutral runners with narrow feet.”
Mark C. “Better fit than other shoe brands for my foot shape and volume… the fit was more comfortable right out of the box than most other running shoes I’ve worn recently. My feet are long and narrow, and I like a shoe with room in the toe box that also fits snug in the midfoot. The Streak II fits the bill, although I think I’d try on a half size larger for length and toe box comparison the next time. My sense is that the shoes may run about a half size small.”
Brodie W. “This shoe is good for people who do not need a lot of support. The shoe felt like it wrapped my foot. When I slipped it on, it hug the whole thing. Felt a 1/2 size smaller than expected but my toes didn’t hit the end. Pretty tight across the forefoot but I have wide feet.”
Ray J. “The first thing I noticed is that it is extremely lightweight. It feels true to size. Perfect fit for me with or without socks. Very comfortable.”
Karlee M. “I ordered a half size larger, like suggested and they fit perfect with and without socks, though I did prefer them with socks. Very comfortable and I liked the cushiony feel under my feet.”
Adam M. “I wore them two days after 26.2 and felt great. I found the sizing a bit snug. Most other shoes, a 10.5 are perfect. The Pearl Streak felt really snug, especially around the forefoot. This generally went away once I was running though, or at least I didn’t notice it as much. I may just need to run in them more!”
Thomas N. “I was surprised how great the shoe felt.”

These shoes are light and good for shorter, faster runs. But they’re also versitile, so we wanted to test them in a variety of ways. Here’s the breakdwon of who did what:

  • Adam M. – Speed work
  • Brodie W. – Speed work
  • Thomas N. – General training runs
  • Joe M. – Speed work
  • Karlee M. – Speed work
  • Mark C. – Short training runs
  • Kristen F. – Short training runs
  • Mike N. – Speed work
  • Ray J. – Short training runs

Whenever you’re trying out a new shoe, it’s important to not only focus on how they feel on your feet, but also how they feel on your run. Take the shoe for a jog around the store, if you can try them out at home, or on a short run. Here’s what we thought about how the Streak felt during our runs.

Ray J. “The first thing I noticed is that it is extremely lightweight. It is breathable with or without socks. Minimalist feel. It lets you run faster. I had blisters though and can feel some hot spots around mile 3 or so.”
Mike N. “These shoes are light. They made me feel like I was flying.”
Mark C. “The Streak II felt light, flexible, and comfortable on my feet. So much so that I decided after my first run in them that I would wear the for my next 5K. The Streak II seems about middle-of-the-road with regard to heel-toe drop, and I have been running in shoes with 4mm or less drop for most of the last 18 months. Despite the slightly higher heel-toe drop, an forefoot/midfoot strike seemed natural and effortless.”
Kristen F. “I found them perfect for shorter, faster runs and ideal for speed work.I’m not sure how they would hold up on long distance runs.”
Karlee M. “The thing that surprised me the most when I first started running in them was how I naturally took to running on the fore front of my feet. It was amazing. I did also get this weird feeling at the beginning of nearly all my runs of my socks being bunched up on the balls of my feet. But this was just a feeling, it was not actually the case. I got the same feeling whether I was wearing socks or not. However, after 3-5 minutes of running, this feeling went away. I did end up getting blisters during one of my 5 mile races underneath both of my big toes (I was wearing socks). After healing them up, I have not gotten blisters since (but have not worn them with longer distances).”
Joe M. “The issue for me was truly just the cramped toe box. It was not a matter of going up a size, it really was the shape of the box.  I did like the heel to toe transition, and for a neutral mid-foot striker, the shoe was very responsive. It would be a solid race flat for runners who don’t need a roomier box.”
Brodie W. “Shoes felt unbelievably light. Across the whole base of the shoe I didn’t feel much support. It felt like a single pad and I felt every step on every run. I had to keep the runs short because it felt like a minimal shoe. When my heal struck I felt a shock up the rear of my legs so I tried to lean forward more in my runs.”
Adam M. “Despite the snug fit, the shoes felt good on runs. I’ve taken them on mostly short 3-5 mile runs, and one 14 mile long run. On all of the short runs, the shoes felt fine. I even wore them without socks twice. On the long run, I did develop hot spots on both feet – forefoot, under the first metatarsal, but no blistering. As I’ve only done the one long run, I’m can’t blame this all on the fit of the shoe.”
Thomas N. “I really like running in these shoes.  I was able to do double digit runs in the shoes and my feet felt great during and after the runs.”

Overall, we were very pleased with Pearl Izumi Streak. It’s a great shoe for speedwork or race day, light training days, or casual runs. Because of its lightweight nature, the Streak doesn’t offer a lot of support, so wearing them for longer races which generally need a stable, cushioned shoe, would be challenging for some runners (unless you’ve trained for running with a minimalist shoe).

Adam M. “My first impression of the shoe was ‘light and fast.’ I thought that these would be great pre-dawn shoes because they’re bright. The fit, as I mentioned, is a bit snug in the forefoot, but they felt good on the road. I ran a 5k race a few weeks ago and according to my Garmin, I ran a personal record. My main shoes are the Brooks Adrenaline. Anyone coming from a similar shoe with some stability elements may need to transition slowly to the Streak II’s, as there is definitely less support. I’ve done so much running in the Adrenalines (11.3oz) that the (7.8oz) Streak II’s felt like wearing nothing it all. I’ve been working on mid/fore-foot striking, so these shoes have been helpful. I expected a lighter shoe to not have as much cushioning, but the Streak II’s feel great, and at times they even feel like they are giving me a boost. I’d still like to take them out on a few more long runs before making a final judgment. Overall, I really like them. They’re incredibly light and fast, I love taking them out for 5k-10k distances and I’m looking forward to longer distances. The bright green matches perfectly with a tech shirt I have, and with the right pair of shorts, I look like a spiffed out running pimp, or, some kind of green lantern fan-boy gone awry. Either way, nice shoes.”
Brodie W. “This shoe is good for people who do not need a lot of support, it is a good minimalist shoe with limited support. The shoe made me think of a racing spike without the spikes (little more to the shoe than that.) Looks good on the feet and made my size 13 feet feel like they could almost look size 12. Using this shoe ongoing, I will keep to less than 2 mile runs and try to use for speed work only.”
Joe M. “I can’t speak to the wear or longevity of the shoe as I really was not able to log a lot of miles on them do to the issue with the toe box. I was leaving my runs with hot spots on my toes and the balls of my feet, so i needed to retire the shoes just short of 40 miles over 8 runs. I think the shoe will be a solid race flat, lightweight speedwork trainer for neutral runners with narrow feet. I would not describe this as a very verstatile shoe unless the runner is used to logging heavy miles in minimalist shoes.”
Karlee M. “I love these shoes and use them mostly for racing or training short distances. After about 4 miles, I start to feel an onset of blistering, whether I am wearing socks or not. I will probably never wear them on anything longer than a 10K. I love the look (fast and pretty) and got complimented every time I was wearing them. ”
Kristen F. “This is a very light shoe and I found it ideal for speed work. It is very true to fit and I plan to wear them for some of my shorter distance triathlons and duathlons this summer.”
Mark C. “I wasn’t able to put these shoes to the test on longer runs, because I’m dealing with some tendinitis issues, but I did use them in a series or funs of up to around 10K. Some shoes take some getting used to on the first run, but I felt that for me the Streak II was good-to-go right out of the box. Although I couldn’t test it on longer runs, I think the shoe was comfortable enough to carry me through a half marathon. That said, I’m accustomed to running regularly in shoes that fit more on the minimalist end of the running shoe spectrum.”
Mike N. “I really like the shoes. Their overall feel is wonderful. I only experienced problems when running on gravel. I felt the rocks on the ball of my feet more than I’d like to.”
Ray J. “First time I tried it on, it felt comfortable right away. Other than the hot spots and blisters issue, the only criticism would be I think the shoe laces are too long for me. Overall, I highly recommend the Pearl Izumi men’s Streak II for races equal to or shorter than 10K but not more than that. Great choice for those who want to try minimalist running. I had a huge PR on my last 10K race wearing the shoes.”

Check out team members individual reviews on Believe in the Run and FoCoRunner

About Thomas N.

Thomas Neuberger is the founder and editor of Believe in the Run, a website dedicated to reviews on running gear and running events. Thomas has always been a gear head that gets excited by the smell of new eva foam. When he's not working as a marketing consultant for the companies in a venture fund group in Baltimore or spending time with wife and two sons, you can find Thomas on the roads and trails around Baltimore, MD. Big goals this year include a 3:10 marathon, a sub 20 minute 5k, and Completing two ultras.
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