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The Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 is a versatile trail running shoe designed for a neutral foot motion.



When the miles on the trails become long, slip on the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2. Designed with the ultramarathon runner in mind, this trail shoe provides the cushioning and protection for the longest of trail runs, without sacrificing a smooth and uninterrupted transition. A grippy outsole ensures traction over a variety of surfaces, while a seamless and supple upper delivers an excellent fit, reducing friction on the foot for lasting comfort, no matter how many miles you have to go.

Model Number:

Weight: 10.5 oz (size 9)

Stack Height: Heel (27mm), Forefoot (17mm)

Available Widths: D=Medium

How It Fits (based on width D) 

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium
  • Toe-Box Height: Low
  • Arch Structure: Medium
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Curved
  • 1:1 Energy Foam in the forefoot cushions the foot on impact and returns energy back to the runner for a resilient ride.
  • 1:1 Energy Foam heel crash pad cushions the foot on impact and returns energy back to the runner for a resilient ride.
  • E:Motion is a EVA foam that offers a ideal balance of cushioning and support.
  • Dynamic Offset is a new midsole shape that works with the foot as you travel through the gait cycle, delivering a smooth responsive ride. 
  • Carbon Rubber Trail Outsole provides multidirectional traction and durability.
  • Flow Line follows the patten of the gait cycle.
  • ESS Rock Plate consists of hardened foam that protects the foot from sharp rocks and stone bruising.
  • Seamless Upper improves next-to-foot comfort, offering a supple, sock-like fit that moves with the foot.
  • Bonded Toe Cap protects the foot from hazards on the trail.
  • SBR Tongue resists water absorption without sacrificing comfort or breathability.
  • Ortholite Sockliner provides amazing step-in comfort and long-lasting cushioning.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: This is seriously the best shoe I've run in, enough cushion for high mileage and more than enough tread for muddy/technical trails--Norther California (auburn area) has been hit with lots of rain lately and they have performed so good; they dry rather you're self a favor and try these bad boys out!!
From: Frank, Fair Oaks, CA, USA. December 12th 2014

Comments: Do yourself a favor - don't over-think it . . . if you want to be happy on long-distance trail runs, just buy these shoes. It's one thing to be comfortable out of the box, but how does it feel after 20 hours on the trail, and how do your feet look the next day? In my case, these N2s are incredibly comfortable start to finish, and my feed aren't chewed up with blisters, burns, and black nails after long events like I was used to with other brands. But, if pain and misery is what you're about absolutely don't buy these shoes.
From: Tom, Parker, CO, USA. July 30th 2014

Comments: The N2 Trail are a very comfy right out of the box shoes. I found them a bit sloppy until tied down pretty tightly. Pearl Izummi's claim of a 4mm drop is way off. If they're 4mm I'm 3 apples tall. The Running Warehouse measurement of 10mm is much more accurate. I typically run in 4-6mm and their offset is much higher. I'm not sure I'm sold on the shoe, I've ran two insanely steep desert runs in Arizona, and two 21 & 25k technical hilly runs back home. While nothing felt wrong, nothing felt right either. They're squishier than I hoped for, and the rocker is pretty much not noticeable to me. I'll keep trying them, but after 4 runs I'm neither happy or sad with the PI's. I think they'll just be another shoe in the repertoire.
From: Ron, Ottawa, Canada. June 10th 2014

Comments: This is my first round with the new orange color. I previously had the green colored model. For myself, the new orange version has a slightly different feel: Previously, I wore a size 11 in the N2 trail shoe.... with the new orange color units size 11 feels a 1/2 to 1 size too big. My feet had too much lateral and front/back movement. I would also say that the midsole density feels a bit more firm. When measured on the floor, the new size 11 orange units are about an 1/8th - 3/16 longer than the older size 11 green units. I ended up ordering a pair of 10.5 orange units and have yet to take them out yet..... toe box starts to get narrower... I have spent up to 14 hours in absolute foot comfort with the older green units and I'm thinking this new batch has lost its magic. This all could be mental on my part.
From: Gus, Central Coast, Calif. 2/12/14

Comments: This is the best shoe in the world. It's cushioned enough for the long haul. They're light and responsive enough to run as fast as one would ever need to run in a trail ultra. It's comfy for shuffling along at 11:00 min pace in the later stages of the game. It's soft enough for road miles. The grip climbs well. The upper is bullet-proof. On flats, midfoot landing is fluid, and you can just roll along. On downhills, heel striking is a bouncy joy thanks to the extra material back there (although they feel relatively flat and low drop, despite what RW's stack-height measurements suggest). They look cool and subdued for casual wear. I'm not the lightest runner in the world, and tend to demolish shoes pretty quickly, yet I've got a good 400 miles of road and trail on these, and see no reason why I won't get at least another 100. They're not the cheapest shoes out there, but it seems that $100+ is the new normal for good running shoes.
From: Adam, Los Angeles

Comments: Exceptional shoe! Tried about everything in this category and feel like Pearl nailed it. Used this for the back half of a 100k and was so happy to have them on...The perfect mix of stability and comfort, and who doesnt love the rocker soul!! 10 out of 10 on this one!
From: Evan, Colorado Springs, CO

Comments: I love these shoes! I just finished my first 50k in these and these shoes performed flawlessly. With over 6k of elevation I had my fair share of ups and downs and not once did my feet bother me. The tread never let me slip in any conditions and it feels like you are running on puffy clouds. I am so glad to have had these on my feet for my race yesterday!
From: Eric, Nashville, TN, USA

Comments: It took me a few days to get the feel of this shoe since I'm not used to this much cushioning. I've mainly trained in the MT110 and it's been great for runs under 26miles. After I try going for long runs back to back though, I feel like I need something more. I'm training for 50 miles and beyond, so a little more cush between my foot and the trail can really make a difference on how my legs feel and recover. This shoe is super cush once you get used to the "Dynamic Offset". Much softer shoe than the Trail N1 from Pearl Izumi, and has a much more comfortable upper in my opinion. Also the fabric under the tongue is much nicer than what's found under the Trail N1 tongue. The sole of the shoe has a rocker feel to it and makes my time on the legs feel super smooth if I'm on the trails or the road. It might be overkill for shorter races, unless you just want the most plush ride from Pearl's Emotion trail line. One small problem I have with these though is the traction on wet surfaces. Especially wet rocks. Watch your step in these if you plan on getting wet and running on wet rocks or mossy rocks. They will slip up. I've heard that Pearl is working on a new outsole compound for future trail shoes, so we'll see. For ultras though it's hard to beat the ride. Overall I give it a solid A. Highly recommend.
From: Joe, Franklin, TN

Comments: I'm 5'9", 155lbs, and have a fully neutral foot plant. I've had these shoes for about 5 runs now - the longest being 2.5hrs. I think this is the best trail shoe I've ever had, with maybe one minor picky complaint. The toe box is roomy, soft, and easily flexible (in the motion of toeing off during climbs). For me, the midsection and heel feel good - not snug, not loose. The arch is low - I took out the insert to look at what was there, and there isn't much of a bump = awesome! The ride of this shoe is smooth. It seems to roll along. I'm a mild heel striker on the flats and this shoe transitions very, very smoothly from landing to toe off. What I like the most about this N2 version is: The cushioning = long haul, comfortable, controlled cushioning. The ease of toeing off while climbing - there is no faux protective overlay nonsense at the crucial joint/flexing points - just the sock-like upper main material. The rockered ride - this shoe glides on the flats, and on the down hills this shoe absolutely screams. I like the fact that there isn't much nonsense with this shoe - the overlays are quite minimal, flexible, and do their job. The inside of this shoe is perfect - feels like a sock. I hope I don't bring any bad karma to P.I, but the shoe feels like the offspring of the Montrail Fluid Flex and the Hoka Evo. My minor complaint: Although the heel feels fairly good and locked down, there's quite a bit of material back there. I notice that some shoes (Fluid Flex, Virrata) don't have any extra material in the heel zone - no padded shelves, and yet my heel stays locked down with no heel slip on climbs, and no achilles attachment irritation issues. So far so good with these units. GREAT SHOE! P.S: zero complaints with traction....
From: Gus, Central Coast, CA

Comments: After a bad experience I was a little leery of trying the EM Trail N2 but after a try-on I was sold, it felt so good. It was even better out on the trail and on the road. It is a little stiff during the first run but after about 15 miles it was great. Now with over 150 miles on the shoe (got it on 3 May) I got another pair they are that good. It is a great road to trail shoe and great on the trail. I really like the wide toe box which feels great. It is now my go-to shoe for trail running.
From: George, Manteca, CA, USA