So earlier this year I was approached by Pearl Izumi and asked if I would like to review a pair of their shoes…err hell yeah I replied! After perusing their website and a bit of dialog with their representative I opted for a pair or SyncroInfinity road shoes, here’s the pitch:
STABILITY. The SYNCROINFINITY is an excellent shoe for runners needing a stability shoe with maximum cushioning. The perfect shoe for runners who require a supportive, stable shoe for training and racing. •High Rebound SKYDEX® forefoot propulsion pad •SKYDEX® Heel crash pad •New Syncro Stability Frame - Stability Tuned Suspension System •Deep Rearfoot channel slows overpronation •High performance dual density EVA insole •PI Carbon Rubber Outsole for durability •Weight - Size 10 12.8oz/363g
I was attracted to these as the offer cushioning and stability and while I am no Clydesdale nor am I heavy on my feet I am striving to shift to being more of a mid or forefoot striker and the SKYDEX sounded like it had received some serious R&D dollars which would hopefully help me out in this effort; forefoot striking is more efficient and economical and the catalyst for less injuries.
And so here’s the reality: I was immediately impressed with the quality, well built, solid and slick. I mooched about them for a couple of days just walking about and the like before running in them to make sure there was not going to be any problems. The first thing I noticed was the lining was completely smooth with no seams and therefore minimal in any areas that could rub and/or blister. The lacing is very snug; it connect through to the sole of the shoe holding and supporting your foot very nicely, as it should for a stability shoe, initially the heel felt a little tight but that soon dissipated after an hour or two and I put it down to them being brand new and not formed to my feet. The toe box is nice and roomy (like my Asics Kayano 15s) and overall the fit was good, I sized up half a size from my day to day shoes.
I now have over 60 miles (approx 17% shelf life) on them with the longest run of 10 miles and I feel qualified to report on the ride. One observation is that the shoe is warm, that is my feet tend to get a little toasty in them, this I have to assume is due to the extra layer of fabric used to create the seamless liner; it could be a good thing in the colder months but in the summer may cause problems. Overall the stability is good and the cushioning is supportive…to a point and here is where they are a let down; the sole cushioning while good is not as good as the Kayano’s I reviewed both shoes websites and as best I can tell the SyncroInfinity uses a cellular shaped foam called SkyDex compared to the Kayanos which uses a SoLyte Foam and Gel insert and that gel would seem to be what makes all the difference. I would understand it more if the SyncroInfinity was substantially cheaper but it's within $10 of the Asics
In conclusion a good shoe, well built and with some nice features but if you looking for a fully cushioned forefoot and stable ride they might not be the shoe for you. So, sorry PI I am sticking to Asics for now.