Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers your Footwear Questions - July 2011
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on July 5, 2011
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. He'll pick five questions a month to answer and if he picks your question, we'll send you a beautiful Mizuno tech T-shirt.
Correct socks for the Prophecy?
Q: I've been running in the Mizuno Wave Prophecy and really enjoy it. Where I live, it's very hot and humid and I’m wondering whether good socks would make a difference? Thanks for your help! Ron, Jacksonville, Florida
A: Definitely. High quality running socks made specifically for running will make a big difference in your comfort level. Look for running socks that are made with a blend of polyesters and nylon for comfort and coolness. Never wear cotton socks. Also the best summer running socks are usually thin, rather than the thicker versions. Although there is no running sock that specifically matches up with the Prophecy, make certain you buy a technical, lightweight running sock.
Waver Nirvana or Wave Inspire?
Q: I'm currently running in the Wave Nirvana 7 and my only real complaint with it is the heaviness (especially on longer runs). I know the Wave Inspire is also a support shoe and a tad lighter, but is any support lost due to the Wave plate not going all the way through the forefoot? On my non-running days, I also work out in a “barefoot” shoe which leads me to my second question. If I wanted to run in a Mizuno shoe with low heel-toe differential but still get some support, which shoe would you recommend? Sounds like I am asking for a lot--lighter weight, low heel-toe differential, supportive. Thanks. Nathan, Columbia, South Carolina
A: Good questions Nate. You’re right. The Wave Inspire is not as supportive as the Wave Nirvana, but the Inspire has plenty of support. Yes, the Nirvana is about a full ounce heavier than the Inspire, but the weight is not a big issue. (BTW, the new Wave Nirvana 8—out in January—will be a full ounce lighter than the 7.) As for a lightweight Mizuno support shoe with a lower heel-toe differential, the Wave Elixir is the shoe you’re looking for. It’s light, moderately supportive and has a low-to-the-ground 12 mm difference. Great shoe.
Neutral shoe for orthotic-wearer
Q: What is your best choice for a stable, firmer neutral shoe for orthotic wearers/midfoot striker? Brad, New Orleans, Louisiana
A: The Mizuno Wave Rider would fit the bill. It’s neutral, firm and has a proven track record over the year. But I must add neutral shoes are not designed to be stable. That's why they are neutral. (Runners with efficient gaits—neutral runners—don’t want or need added support.) The Wave Rider does have some have inherent stability because of its last and Wave plate, but it is not a stability shoe. Having said that, the Wave Rider does work well with orthotics, but if you want a bit more support, try either the Wave Nexus or Wave Inspire.
Elixir sizing with orthotics
Q: Hey MSG, someone told me you run in the Wave Elixir and use custom orthotics. Is that true? If it is, do you use the same shoe size as your normal street shoes? Any other tips for wearing Elixirs with orthotics? Chelsea, Alburtis, Pennsylania
A: Yes, I do wear orthotics with my Elixirs and they fit very well. Shoe size is difficult to say because it differs from runner to runner. Orthotics differ and so do runners’ feet. Generally, I go up a full size over my dress shoes, but what fits me might not fit you. Best advice is to try a pair of Elixirs on in the store with your orthotics (remove the insole first) to find the best size for you. The only tip I have for wearing Elixirs with orthotics is whenever I first pull on a new pair of shoes, I always sprinkle some foot powder or baby powder in the bottom of the shoe, underneath my orthotics. This prevents the Elixirs (or any shoe for that matter) from squeaking because I remove the insole. Bottom line, my orthotics work great with the Elixir and I use that combination of lightweight cushioning and support in all my races from road miles through the marathon.
Q: My chiropractor/podiatrist tells me I overpronate and need more support than the Elixir provides. I really like the Elixir and don’t have any knee pain with them, but have hip issues and the thinking is I need more support. Do you agree? Janet, Los Altos, California
A: I do. The Wave Elixir is a terrific lightweight trainer/racer, but it is too light for some runners and not as supportive as the Wave Inspire or Wave Alchemy. I can’t say with any assurance that either the Inspire or Alchemy will clear up your hip problems, but it seems reasonable to think that more support and cushioning might help. I suggest you try on both the Inspire and Alchemy and go with the one that fits and feels the best. Both will be a bit heavier than the Elixir. The Alchemy is more supportive than the Inspire and also slightly heavier.
Trail shoe for Rider fan
Q: I picked up the Wave Rider 14 and find it is a very comfortable, long-distance shoe. I pretty much tried everything else and the Wave Rider is the winner! I love running trails. Is there a trail version of the Wave Rider? Bill, Eugene, Oregon
A: Glad you like the Wave Rider 14. The Rider doesn't have an exact trail version, but the Wave Ascend is a trail shoe which has approximately the same weight and level of cushioning. It’s a very popular all-terrain shoe with Rider and Elixir fans.