Mizuno Shoe Guy answers questions about minimalist shoes and more
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on June 8, 2011
Universe for minimalist fan
Q: MSG—I’ve gone the minimalist route, but feel like I need a little bit more padding for half marathons and marathons. Would the Wave Universe be a good racing shoe for a light guy (135 pounds) like me? Matt, Portland, Oregon.
A: Yes, it would. Believe it or not, the Wave Universe is the lightest shoe of all the minimalist shoes on the market. It’s even lighter at 3.8 ounces (size 9) than the so-called “barefoot” shoes. The Universe has proven to be a very popular shoe with the minimalist crowd because even though it’s not a lot of shoe, it still offers some level of cushioning. Although the Wave Universe is designed primarily as a road-racing flat, many minimalists have switched to it as a daily training shoe. BTW: The Wave Universe 4 is coming out in early July.
Trail walking recommendation
Q: I’m 72 years old and even though I don’t run anymore, I still do a lot of trail walking and need a shoe with great cushioning. What would you recommend for me? George H., Provo, Utah
A: I would recommend the Mizuno Wave Creation and/or the Wave Cabrakan. The Creation has exceptional cushioning and arch support and is one of the most comfortable shoes on the market. It’s one of our best running shoes, but it’s also terrific for walking or light day hiking. The Wave Cabrakan is a trail-specific shoe which also has very good cushioning. Unlike the Creation, the Cabrakan has a water-resistant upper, added durability and protection in the toe area to protect you from rocks or roots. Plus, if you’re hiking on soft trails or trails with snow, the Cabrakan has added traction in the forefoot.
Prophecy or Creation?
Q: Mizuno Shoe Guy, I weigh about 150 pounds and, according to Mizuno’s Fit Precision Test on your website, I should be in either the Wave Prophecy, Wave Creation or Wave Rider. The Rider has been a great shoe for me and I’ve put over 400 miles on them, but I would like to move up to a shoe with a little bit more arch support. Would the Creation or Prophecy help with that? Mike B., San Diego, California
A: You bet they both would. Both the Wave Prophecy and Wave Creation have our Infinity Wave which has proven to provide the best arch support in running. The new Wave Prophecy just came out in May, but the Creation has a dozen years of great success. The Rider, Prophecy and Creation are designed primarily for runners with efficient gaits who don’t need a lot of medial support, but the Prophecy and Creation are markedly different than the Rider. As I said, both have much better arch support and cushioning than the Wave Rider. Plus, both the Creation and Prophecy are more durable and each shoe has an extremely comfortable upper. The most significant difference between the Prophecy and the Creation (and Rider) is the ride. The Prophecy’s is a unique, almost propulsive ride that must be tried. My advice: Try on both the Creation and Prophecy and go with the one which fits and feels the best.
Rotating Creation with Rider
Q: Currently, I’m wearing the Mizuno Wave Rider, but I’m curious whether the Wave Creation 12 would work for someone like me who has battled plantar fasciitis in the past. I really like the Wave Rider and would like to hear how it compares with the Creation. If you think the Creation would help me, can I safely rotate it with my Wave Riders? Dawn K., Farmington, Connecticut
A: You can definitely safely rotate the Wave Creation with the Wave Rider. Actually, I would recommend it. The Creation and Rider are both designed primarily for runners with neutral, efficient gaits (runners who don’t need a lot of medial support). The difference between the two shoes is even though the Creation is slightly heavier than the Rider, it has better cushioning and much better arch support due to its Infinity Wave. I also find the Creation to have a much more comfortable upper than the Rider, but the greatest difference is the Creation has great arch support. Will it help with your plantar? It might be exactly what you need to add to your shoe rotation. Hope so.
Prophecy for more cushioning
Q: I currently wear the Asics Nimbus 12, but I’m looking to make a change. For a runner who needs a lot of cushioning, do you think the Wave Prophecy would be a good fit for me? Travis W., Boerne, Texas
A:Absolutely. I haven’t worn the Nimbus in several years so I don’t know much about how it fits, but I do know the fit of the Wave Prophecy with its Dynamotion Fit is outstanding. The upper is incredible. The major difference between the Nimbus (or any shoe for that matter) and the Wave Prophecy is its ride. The Prophecy is built with a full-length Infinity Wave (there’s almost no midsole foam) and there’s a distinct propulsive effect you get with each foot strike. The Infinity Wave actually propels you forward, rather than absorbing energy. It’s an amazing feel.
Elixir or Inspire?
Q: Hi MSG. Last year you helped me immensely by recommending the Wave Alchemy 10. Since wearing it, I’ve been able to overcome injuries, run consistently and drop some weight in no small part to getting in the right pair of shoes. Thanks! Now I want to run faster. I’m going to stick with the Alchemy, but want to add a lighter, faster shoe such as either the Wave Inspire or Wave Elixir. What advice can you give me? Justin F., McLean, Virginia
A: Glad to hear the good news that you’ve had great success with the Alchemy. I love that shoe too and actually rotate it with both the Wave Inspire and Wave Elixir which are definitely lighter than the Alchemy. The Inspire is closer to the Alchemy in terms of support and cushioning, but the Elixir is—by far—the lightest and quickest shoe of the three. I’m also a huge fan of the Elixir, but I don’t wear it every day. Typically, I use the Elixir on my faster days (usually Thursday when I do tempo runs) and I wear the Elixir in every race (from 5-Ks through the marathon). I race a lot and the Elixir gives me a true weight savings and a faster heel-to-toe transition, yet it also provides just enough cushioning and support to get me through my races without any issue. I think it works best as a second shoe for most runners and is an ideal companion shoe for the Alchemy. The Inspire would also give you a bit of weight savings, but it is much more of a conventional daily training shoe than the Elixir is. Having said that, I know plenty of Elixir fans who use it every day and it holds up well.