While we’re well aware that brands come in and out of categories all the time, this is one we didn’t see coming. Pearl Izumi announced yesterday that they’re exiting the run category entirely – both in apparel and running shoes – in order to more fully focus on their origins in the cycling apparel and footwear world. This is of particular note to us here at Gearist since we’ve long held that the ride of their shoes, both on trail and road, is one of – if not the – smoothest in the game. See the full announcement below:

Louisville, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2016) – Over 60 years ago, Pearl Izumi founder and cyclist Kinji Shimizu redefined cycling apparel by researching new fabrics and immersing himself in studying the body in motion on a bike. His obsession to perfect performance cycling apparel began to help his son succeed as a bike racer. Shimizu’s approach built the foundation of Pearl Izumi.

Pearl Izumi today announces a commitment to building on its legacy of innovation. As part of this “all in” commitment to cycling apparel and footwear the decision has been made to exit the Run business and focus completely on its core cycling business effective January of 2017.

“Over the past 13 years, our Run team has designed award-winning product and gained a loyal consumer following. This is a tough decision, but it’s time to recommit to our core,” said Mike O’Connor, Pearl Izumi’s President.

The move is intended to focus Pearl Izumi on one thing: being the best at performance cycling, mountain bike and tri apparel, shoes and accessories.

“We want to sincerely thank our Run customers, sales reps, retailers, distributors, and Champion Team who have not only helped shape the Pearl Izumi brand but have been vocal ambassadors for our gear,” said Chuck Sanson, Director of Run for Pearl Izumi.

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