Pearl Izumi Em Road N0 Review for Forefoot Running

If you are a minimalist forefoot runner looking for a lightly cushioned racing flat that you can wear for short runs, speed-work, tempo runs, racing, the marathon or the triathalon, you’ll enjoy my Pearl Izumi Em Road N0 review.

The thing about running shoes in general, is that you don’t want them to have too much cushioning, meaning the thinner, the better and the Em Road N0 is great for you because it’s the lightest, thinnest Pearl Izumi running shoe.

Pearl Izumi Em Road N0 Review for Forefoot Running

Pearl Izumi Em Road N0 Review for Forefoot Running

Here are things I love about this shoe: It feels and fits like a sock because the inner lining is seamless and the laces are elastic which makes the shoe easy to put on and take off, and it allows your foot to expand without constriction.  The rubber outsole plus the thin cushioned insole is very responsive, giving your leg a better rebound which works great with your forefoot strike because it adds more ‘spring’ to your stride.

These shoes are not zero drop, but they have a 1 mm heel-to-differential which is still acceptable for forefoot running because the heel is low enough to help you aim for the perfect forefoot strike.

As for the upper, it is nicely breathable, making the shoe a great choice for warmer months.

Other notable features of the Road N0:

  • feels great without socks
  • great for the track
  • weighs around 6 oz
  • minimalist design helps with form improvements
  • helps you get a better interaction with the ground
  • soft cushioning, with good compression, allowing you to connect with the ground without offsetting your balance or forefoot strike
  • great for running on the roads
  • holds up past 500 miles

The EM Road N0 is a great strategy for promoting a forefoot strike and I like that the sole provides lots of comfort for the long haul without losing good ground feel.

Unfortunately, the EM Road N0 has been discontinued and Pearl Izumi doesn’t offer any other minimalist running shoe. The very next best substitute to the EM Road N0 is the Altra Escalante which I’ve thoroughly reviewed here!

Enjoy this review? You’ll love my other reviews and recommendations on the minimalist running shoes best suited for forefoot running.

More From Run Forefoot:

Running barefoot makes treadmill running a lot easier as compared with running in shoes.

Tips and tricks to reduce hamstring soreness when forefoot running.

What is calcaneal nerve pain and how runners can get it and prevent it.

Midfoot strike not good enough for reducing impact as compared with forefoot strike running.

Footwear brands that manufacture barefoot like running shoes for forefoot running.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!