Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gel-Bot Winner and Pearl Izumi Streak II Shoe Review

The winner of the Gel-Bot is:


Congratulations!  Send me an email (40somethingsjourney@gmail.com) with your contact info and I'll pass it on to my contact.

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One of the perks of blogging is that sometimes you somehow catch the attention of certain companies, who offer you free stuff in exchange for a review.  And as we all know, free is my favorite price.  Still, there are some things that I decline, either because I don't (or wouldn't) use them myself, or I can't get behind the product enough to endorse it to you.  I had a bit of an internal struggle with accepting Pearl Izumi products for review, and although in the end I obviously did, I'd like to explain why.

Pearl Izumi markets their products to what they consider "real" athletes.  To them, I'm not a runner.  I've seen their print ads in magazines and, rightly so, was offended by them - to the point that I wouldn't look twice at any product once I realized it was made by Pearl Izumi.  They don't consider me a runner?  Fine.  I don't consider them worthy of my money.  There you have it.  Hope that ad campaign appealed to someone out there, because it certainly wasn't me.  Actually, no - I hope that even the famous runners - Kara Goucher, Dean Karnazes, Paula Radcliffe - were offended by those ads...I mean really, why would you want to exclude anyone from your sport?

So. I'm reviewing these Pearl Izumi  Streak II shoes that I received for free.  Still feel like I sold my soul for them, though.  But it's not like I ever would have tried them on, much less bought them, with the attitude I have toward that company.  And what if they were the magical shoes that did the trick in helping me to run better?  What if my ankle pain miraculously disappeared when I wore them?  (it didn't)  I was willing to give them a try.

The shoes came via UPS.  I didn't know what to expect - Scott at Outside PR had asked for my size, nothing more.  Imagine my delight to see these pink and white beauties:
Now, if you know me, you know that I was instantly captivated - I loved the colors, and the shoes would go with so many of my running outfits - woohoo!  I took a picture of them and sent it to Jeff, who was out of town.  His reply?  "Good thing they are pink or I would take them" - I'd say he's getting cocky since he absconded with my sunglasses!

I have to tell you that these shoes are shockingly lightweight.  So much so that I actually got out my kitchen scale and weighed them, and then compared the weight to my other running shoes.  Here's the stats:

Pearl Izumi Streak II - 6.8 ounces
Brooks Defyance 4 - 8.8 ounces
Newton Terra Momentus - 9.9 ounces

Back when I had my glorious two weeks of running, before I was so rudely denied by my orthopedist, I tried the shoes out on a few runs.  As I was just starting back up, there were no long runs, so I don't have that to reference, but I did try them on both the street and the track.  I liked them ok, but I definitely felt the ground through the sole.  Which, considering how minimalist these are, is normal.

I also wore them at the track for sprints during our speed work - they felt fine for the sprints that I managed to run.  I appreciate that I can put these on - a brand new pair of shoes, and run in them with no blisters or issues like that.  I usually wear a size 8.5 for my running shoes and these fit perfectly.

Pearl Izumi describes them as a racing shoe - "your new go-to PR shoe."  I might wear them in a 5K race, but I wouldn't expect the shoes to give me a new PR.  Still, when I finally get back to running, I'll wear these for shorter runs, and, of course, when I want to complete my running ensemble!  More examples of that below:
Super cute shoes - they also have a lot of reflection on them which will be nice when I run early in the morning.
I loved this outfit - and having pink/white and black running shoes that matched my skirt was the icing on the cake!  Paco still isn't too fond of the shoes, though - I had to hold him to keep him still for the picture!

When the shoes first arrived, I took them outside to get some pictures.  I always shoot several  - and died laughing when I uploaded them and saw this one:
Paco ALWAYS manages to get in the shot!
Kip had to check them out, too:
"Why you get so excited about shoes, lady?"

The Pearl Izumi Streak II shoes retail for $110.  Thanks to Scott at Outside PR for arranging the try out for me - hopefully I haven't blown doing any future reviews from him - but at least you know that when I review something, I'm completely honest!

FTC:  Really?  We gotta go there?  It's pretty obvious.  Free shoes, honest review.

11 comments:

  1. At first glance, I thought it said "Steak!"
    So I was like - "yessssss!"

    Shoes and steaks for taking a pounding!

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  2. I like it that your review is so honest. Most reviews are just about what the advertiser wants to hear so I appreciate it.

    I'm glued to my Brooks shoes, at this moment i can't imagine buying a different brand.

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  3. OH MY GOSH, hilarious caption with Paco! Love it! Hope you're having a ball in California!!

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  4. I love that you're honest about how crap you think their advertising is. And I love that you have pink shoes now!

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  5. I, for one, appreciate completely honest reviews. Companies should know that if they send you something for a review you have the ability and the power to say either your own truth or what the company might want to hear. Thank you for speaking your truth!

    Well now, what do I owe you for meeting my dare? Wait until I show Mr. Helen this... he's going to laugh his butt off!!

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  6. those are super cute. I have been matching stuff together recently and you popped into my mind! like I was getting dressed for coaching for my swim team, our colors are black and light blue and we have a hibiscus flower as our logo. my new running shoes are white with a lightish electric blue stripe and I have a light blue with black stripes of mesh for air baseball style running cap so I wore my lt blue team shirt and my black bermudas and thought....seriously ... I oughtta take a picture for Shelley. Now I kinda have shoe envy because I have a lot of hot pink too.

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  7. Paco is hilarious. He gives his opinion freely too. ;-)

    Nice looking shoes.I wear 8.5 too. You know.....in case you decide you don't like them or something.

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  8. Completely honest, and freakin' funny. My son gets "racing" shoes for his meets, both cross country and track, I guess they are lighter, makes me think of these.
    By the way, I just got a PINK cover for my NEW iphone!

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  9. LOVE the review and Paco's "comments"! So fun.

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  10. Omw the pic with Paco... hahahah

    I think Scott might read your blog..it is kind of evident that you like pink... :) But impressive that he got that detail right.

    So what did Helen dare you?

    I kinda figured Jeff might take the shoes anyway, haha, but wrong size I'm sure. Well you got him running, maybe now he will get his own blog! haha So that he can do his own reviews!

    Love the outfit you put together; but I REALLY love the photo you took looking down on your feet. It speaks volumes to me & really shows off the hard work and several years you have put in to improve/alter your food consumption & working out.

    Have fun with Barbara & Theresa! (I was proud of myself for thinking of her name the other night. ha)
    Chrissy

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