Paul Larkins gives his verdict after a long-term test of the Pearl Izumi Road N2 running shoe

Runners looking for the simple things in life – a shoe that responds well, is cushioned, is light and fits nicely – will be naturally drawn to this latest version of the N2 (which isn’t that different from v2). Essentially the Pearl Izumi Road N2 gets on with everything a neutral runner needs, thanks partly to the seamless upper, which, as it sounds, provides a great, sock-like fit. You’ll probably reserve these shoes for 10km type outings, but such is the (improved) cushioning, longer runs will also be order of the day. The shoe operates off an 8mm drop which means it provides a low profile, but the cushioning is so good that it feels a little more like a more traditional 12mm drop shoe, which is going to suit more runners. Interestingly, there is now some debate over the weight – it’s slightly heavier than the v2 model, but to be honest that didn’t really appear to be an issue. And for once – you’ll have to excuse us for being fashion-led on this one – these shoes look good! You can’t help but be impressed with the design, which has a certain art deco look about it. We’ll leave that aspect to you, but we think you’ll love the cushioning, enjoy the drive provided and revel in the fit. Wear them on the road for fast paced jaunts and even invite them to the odd marathon.

Price: £89.99