Along with the P.R.O. Fly Top and Split Short, Pearl Izumi sent me a pair of the Women's syncroFuel XC
trail shoes, new for Spring 2010. Designed for high performance trail racing and training, these trail shoes are incredibly light and responsive.
Weighing just 9.6 oz for the women's and 10.2 oz for the men's, the syncroFuel XC
is almost half the weight of your average trail shoe. I could really feel the difference as I used to run in North Face trail shoes that were twice the weight. You literally feel so light on your feet as you bound down the trail.
The high abrasion seamless race upper hugs your foot and is comprised of a 100% recycled polyester mid-foot mesh with a breathable forefoot mesh. With a half length stability frame (from the arch to the heel), these trail shoes offer mild pronation control. Unlike Newton or GoLite's new trail shoes with their natural last construction, the sycroFuel XC has a heel to toe offset of 12 mm so not a "barefoot" running shoe.
Pearl Izumi works with a company called SKYDEX that makes a patented cushioning and protective material that adds shock absorption and vibration dampening properties to the trail shoes. SKYDEX performs equally in hot and cold conditions, is durable over millions of impacts and is anti-bacterial. With SKYDEX cushioning (seen above) in the heel and the forefoot of the syncroFuel XC, these trail shoes are unbelievably comfortable from the minute you put them on.
One small detail I absolutely love, which may be a weird thing to notice or care about, is the shoelaces! They are thick, easy to handle and stay tied throughout your entire trail run. Sizing runs the same as a normal running shoe. The full carbon rubber outsole gives you great traction control and 360 degree reflectivity ensures you are visible on the trail even into the night.
For me, the combination of extreme lightness, comfort and responsiveness of these trail shoes can't be beat.