Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions--May
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on May 9, 2012
Do you have a shoe-related question? Or a running shoe question, specific to Mizuno for the Mizuno Shoe Guy? If you have a question you’d like him to answer, send it to Shoeguy@Mizunousa.com. If we pick your question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy to answer, we’ll send you a beautiful Mizuno DryScience T-shirt.
Q: Hi MSG. My name is Isabelle and I live in beautiful Quebec. When I started running a few years ago, I ran in the Elixir 3 and I loved it. It carried me through my first marathon. After having a baby, I am back on the roads again and need new shoes. Do you think the Wave Elixir 7 compares favorably to the Elixir 3? Isabelle Aubouy, Quebec City, Quebec
A: It’s not much of a secret that I have always loved the Wave Elixir from its earliest days as the Wave Maverick. Even so, the Wave Elixir 7 is—by far—the best version of this great lightweight trainer. The Elixir 7 absolutely compares very favorably to the Elixir 3. Simply put, it is a superior shoe to the Elixir 3 in every important area. The Elixir 7 is lighter, has better flexibility, a more comfortable upper and has a more resilient, durable midsole. I’m pretty certain that if you liked the Elixir 3, you’ll appreciate the Elixir 7 even more.
Wave Rider 14 Replacement
Q: I’m a big guy (6-1, 235 pounds) and the Wave Rider 14 has worked great for me. I really like the Mizuno brand and want to stick with it, but I can’t find any more Wave Rider 14s available. I have a wide foot (EE) and need to wear a similar shoe to the Wave Rider 14s. What would you suggest? John Webster, Hinsdale, Illinois
A: John, don’t despair. While it’s true that the Wave Rider 14 is no longer available, it was replaced with the Wave Rider 15 which is a definite upgrade over the 14. How so? The fit of the Wave Rider 15 has been improved (very similar to the Wave Rider 13), it’s a bit lighter and has a cushier ride. But the guts of the shoe remain the same which has pleased the many Wave Rider fans who have remained loyal to the shoe. And the Wave Rider is still available in a EE.
Wave Enigma or Wave Rider?
Q: Last week I was headed to the store to buy the Brooks Ghost, but decided to try on a pair of Mizunos instead and just loved the way the Mizunos felt on my feet. My local running store suggested going with either the Wave Rider or Wave Enigma, but the store guy didn’t really know which one would be better for me. I run about 25 miles per week and I’m 5-6 and weigh about 110 pounds. I have a neutral gait, but my ankles tend to turn inward a bit. What would you suggest? Sandra Mock, Hammond, Indiana
A: The Wave Rider and the Wave Enigma are both classified as shoes for runners who have a neutral gait (as you do), but they are very different shoes. The Rider is the lighter, more flexible of the two shoes, while the Enigma has better cushioning and even though it’s a neutral shoe, has surprisingly good support. It sounds like a little support might be what you’re looking for to keep your ankles stable so I would recommend the Enigma over the Rider.
Ronin or the Universe?
Q: Shoe Guy, I have been running in the Mizuno Wave Ronin 2 for six months and they have served me well through multiple marathons and half marathons as well as a 50-K trail race. But now is the time to retire them. I certainly want to get another pair of Ronin 2s, but it seems they are all gone. I have been looking at the Wave Universe and wonder if you feel it would be a comparable replacement for the Ronin? I am not a minimalist runner and if you feel the Universe isn’t comparable, what would you recommend instead? Ryan Stephens, Dahlonega, Georgia
A: That’s easy. I would definitely recommend the Wave Ronin 4 as the best, most comparable replacement for the Ronin 2. The Wave Universe is terrific, but, as you surmise, it is primarily a racing flat for runners who prefer the minimalist feel of an incredibly light (3.8 ounces) shoe. But since you liked the Ronin 2, I would definitely go with the 4. The Ronin 2 was a very good racing shoe, but the latest Ronin is about a half ounce lighter, has better forefoot flexibility and a more comfortable upper. And like the Ronin 2, the Ronin 4 has good forefoot traction which works very well on trails and/or wet roads.
Feet Fall ‘Asleep’
Q: I have a very high arch and on almost every run, my feet fall asleep. I have to stop every time this happens and untie my shoes, loosen the laces and start up again. In my last three half marathons, I have lost valuable time because I have had to stop. My street shoes are size 10, but I wear size 12 in the Wave Creations and have to wear thicker running socks for added cushioning. Any suggestions? Cyrus Mavalvala, San Diego, California
A: The first step I would take is ditch the thick socks and buy thinner running socks. (The thick socks take up too much volume in the shoes and don’t add any cushioning; the Wave Creation has plenty.) Secondly, I would make a conscious effort before starting a run or a race to laces the shoes properly. Clearly, you are tying them too tightly and you don’t need to crank them down that much that they cut off circulation to the foot. Instead, lace the shoes looser and double knot the laces so they don’t come untied. Or use a pair of lace locks but make certain you aren’t lacing them too snug. I would also suggest checking the sizing of the Creations. The size 12 may simply be too big for you.