Pearl Izumi has grown out of a small company set up in Tokyo, Japan over 50 years ago. The story goes that it was started by a father who wanted to make some decent kit for his son, who was a promising racer. Which father, which son and which kit all seem to be lost in the mists of time, but the company we recognise today as Pearl Izumi was established in the USA in 1981. Pearl Izumi USA now produces clothing, footwear and accessories for cycling, triathlon and distance running in around 14 countries outside Asia.
Pearl Izumi rose to prominence during the 80s by sponsoring the USA Men’s Cycling Team that took nine gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, as well as several professional race teams. Although the company is still involved in sponsoring high profile cycling events, such as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, it is still enjoying the benefits of that Olympic association today. They have also worked closely with two-time Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom to develop their footwear and apparel for triathletes.
While Pearl Izumi USA is now very much a western company and separate from their sister company in Japan, they still trade on the ‘best of East and West’ when it comes to their apparel. Whether that is true or not is fairly irrelevant really, because their gear is undeniably good quality. This is mid-to-high-end stuff, benefiting from extensive testing with top athletes and several decades of research and innovation.