Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions—December 2011
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on December 6, 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. If we pick your question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy to answer, we’ll send you a beautiful Mizuno DryScience T-shirt.
Lightweight support shoe?
Q: I’m currently in the final stretch of my training for my first marathon. I ran a 20-mile race last weekend and don’t think I was wearing the proper shoe because they hurt after the run. I am a slight overpronator and want a lighter, but supportive shoe for the marathon. Which Mizuno would you recommend? Sgt. Shawn Rose, San Antonio, Texas
A: I would definitely suggest the Mizuno Wave Elixir. It’s relatively light, very flexible and yet offers just the right amount of support. For many runners, the Wave Elixir is a daily training shoe, but plenty of recreational racers use it as their primary race day shoe. It is a terrific marathon shoe for runners who want a lighter shoe than their day-to-day trainer, but can’t give up support and cushioning.
Low heel heights
Q: I’m convinced I need a new training shoe. I have very flat feet and weigh about 180 pounds and have been using a model of shoe which has very low heel heights. The problem is that ever since I started wearing them, my arches have been very sore after every run. Do you have a good, moderately supportive trainer for me? David Murphy, Chicago, Illinois
A: Yes, we have a great shoe for you. But first let me say it is entirely possible (probable, really) that running shoes with lower heel heights might not be the best way for you to go. If you overpronate, have flat feet and are a big guy, you are better suited for a stability shoe with conventional heel heights (approximately 12 mm). The lower heel heights on some of the new shoes work OK for some runners, but many other runners are not suited for these shoes and are getting arch, calf, hip and hamstring pain. I would recommend two Mizuno stability shoes for you: The Wave Inspire and the Wave Alchemy. Both are supportive, very durable, have good cushioning and would be more protective for you than a lightweight shoe with low heel heights. Try them both the recommended Mizunos on and go with the one which fits and feels the best.
Are stability shoes best for me?
Q: I got your email from the thread on Runner’s World so I hope you can help me. Even though I am a neutral runner, I have been wearing the Nike Structure Triax 14s. Stability shoes just seem to work better for me, but I haven’t liked the Structures on long runs. My ideal shoe would be a Mizuno stability shoe, but one that is lighter than the Structure. Do you have a shoe for me? Marc Zale, Chicago, Illinois
A: Definitely. I would recommend two shoes that are lighter, more flexible and just as stable as the Structure Triax: The Mizuno Wave Inspire and the Wave Elixir. The Inspire is the heavier of the two Mizunos, but it’s lighter, better cushioned and more supportive than the Structure. Quite simply, it is one of the best stability shoes on the market. The Elixir isn’t quite as cushioned or supportive as the Inspire, but it has a very responsive midsole and outstanding flexibility. If you want a conventional training shoe, go with the Wave Inspire. If you want a stability shoe with an emphasis on lightness, the Elixir is your shoe.
Best neutral, cushioned Mizuno?
Q: I’m hoping you could point me in the right direction. I started running in 1994 and a few years later, got very serious and ran five miles a day about four days a week. But it was about this time I began having knee problems while wearing support shoes. I was directed to a specialty running store and was told that I shouldn’t be wearing support shoes, but should be in neutral shoes. That’s when I first started wearing Mizunos and since then I have worn the Mercury, Creation and Wave Rider. The Mizunos just seem to fit my feet better and give me a little spring in my step. Recently, I went through the Mizuno Precision Fit test on your web site and it recommended the Wave Prophecy, Wave Creation, Wave Enigma and Wave Rider. For sake of information, I am 39 years old, 22 percent body fat, about 150 pounds, run eight-minute pace and have a medium to high arch. Which of these shoes would be the best one for me? Corey Halm, Pleasanton, California
A: The simple answer is the one which fits and feels the best on your feet. All the shoes you mention are from our neutral, cushioned category of shoes, but they are all very different. My guess is you should probably stick with either the Creation or Rider since you have had success with both shoes. (The new Wave Rider 15 is outstanding and the Wave Creation 13—out in December—is also exceptional.) I would also add that the Wave Enigma might be a great option. It has a softer midsole than either the Rider or the Creation and has a terrific upper fit.
Companion shoe for the Nirvana
Q: Recently, I’ve started doing longer runs in my Wave Nirvana 7. I like the shoe and it seems to be working fine for me. I like its support and cushioning, but I’m looking to throw another Mizuno shoe into the mix in order to rotate. I have been looking at the Creation and I’m wondering whether you think the two shoes would work well together for me. Or is there another option? James Francis, Cambridge, Massachusetts
A: The Wave Creation could be a good choice for you to rotate with the Nirvana, but the Creation isn’t as supportive. It has good arch support and great cushioning, but you might need a more supportive shoe to go along with the Nirvana. In that case, I would recommend the Wave Enigma. It is also a neutral, cushioned shoe (like the Creation), but it offers a more stable ride which might be what you need on the days when you don’t wear your Nirvanas. Both the Enigma and Nirvana weigh approximately the same, fit very similarly, but the Enigma has a much cushier ride.