The Transitions are our favourite shoe in the Pearl Izumi line up, not only because they’re tri specific shoes, but because of the way they feel and run. They were developed with input from former Hawaiian Ironman champion Tim DeBoom and the tri influences are obvious.
The breathable mesh uppers offer plenty of foot support and the tongue is part of a single seamless sock liner. These help to hold the foot along with the elastic laces that come as standard. We found this combination holds the feet better than shoes with regular tongues and elastic laces. If more support is desired the elastic laces could be swapped for regular laces, especially if you’re looking at running longer distances in them. The combination of the single sock liners and a large heel loops make for a fast entry and exit.
Inside the Transitions are comfortable and we had no issues with or without socks. We also liked the dual density insole that is more forgiving in the forefoot. Fortunately Pearl added drainage holes in the midsole and these line up with those in the insoles so water is quickly dispelled. The sole is 10mm at the forefoot and 1 9mm at the heel, and is flexible in the forefoot making for a responsive ride. This is by no means a pure minimalist shoe, but offers a good a halfway house between a regular shoe and a racing flat. This means they work well whether you’re a heel striker or mid/forefoot runner.
At just 220g they offer considerable cushioning and foot support making them great for both racing and training. The only downer is they don’t come cheap.