Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions—January, 2013
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on January 7, 2013
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.
Elixir 8 Differences
Q: I found your address on the Runner's World Shoe Forum so I hope this is OK to direct a personal question. Shoes are tough on my tender feet and I have been through many shoes. I am a 145-pound woman who runs marathons and does some racewalking as well. Several years ago, I found the Wave Elixir 3 and loved them. I stocked up on all the Elixirs 3 I could find and until the Elixir 7 came out. Then, the Elixir 7 proved to be an even better shoe and never had any heel blisters with them. I realize the Elixir 7 has been replaced with the Elixir 8, but I am not sure how different the shoe is from the 7. Should I run out and try to buy as many Elixir 7s as I can or should I go with the 8?Casey Oesterlein, Redlands, California
A: Go with the new Elixir 8. If you liked the 7, you'll love the Elixir 8. The cushioning, outsole and flexibility of the Elixir 8 is exactly the same as the 7 so you'll be on familiar ground. The only differences are the overlays on the forefoot have been removed, the heel is a bit snugger and the shoe is a little more responsive (i.e, quicker). The most noticeable distinction though is the weight. The Elixir 8 is approximately a half ounce lighter than the 7 was. If you like the Elixir as much as I do, this is a great shoe which just got better.
Wave Rider Fan
Q:First of all, let me wish everyone at Mizuno a Happy New Year. I am 42 years old and run about 10 kilometers five times a week. I have been wearing the Wave Rider for many years, but tried the Wave Creation and to be honest, I didn't like it as much. Then, I switched to the Wave Nirvana but I don't think I need that much support. Should I go back to the Wave Rider or try to adapt to the Nirvana?
Fernando Salazar Gamero, Santiago, Chile
A: Stick with the Wave Rider. I'm a big believer in sticking with a shoe which works, rather than switching around. The Nirvana (which incidentally has been discontinued)is much more supportive than the Wave Rider and it seems evident you don't need that much support. The newest Wave Rider is the 16 which still provides that great cushioning and smooth, light ride.
Rotate Inspire With Alchemy?
Q: I currently wear the Wave Alchemy and love the shoe. But I want to rotate the Alchemy with another shoe. My brother has had several pair of the Inspire and really likes them. He suggests that would be the perfect shoe to rotate with the Alchemy. Do you agree? Jeff Charleston, New Lenox, Illinois
A: Absolutely. The Wave Inspire 9 is the ideal companion shoe to rotate with the Alchemy. The Inspire is lighter and more flexible than the Alchemy and even though it's supportive, it isn't quite as supportive as the Alchemy. Still, the Inspire is ideal to add to your shoe rotation for shorter, quicker runs, while still using the Alchemy for slower, maintenance runs.
Ronins as Daily Trainer?
Q: First off, I love my Mizuno running shoes. When I started wearing Mizuno three years ago, the random leg pain that had been bothering me disappeared. I wear the Wave Inspires as my daily training shoe and use the Wave Ronin for races. But the more I wear the Ronin, the more I realize I'd rather it use it every day. They feel amazing. I love them so much I owe them a nice dinner and night on the town. My questions are is it feasible to transition to the Ronins for daily wear if I give them a sufficient adjustment period? And how many miles can I reasonably expect out of them, considering I am not a heavy heel striker? BTW: I want to say thanks to your Mizuno rep who came to our local Fleet Feet and got me excited about racing again. Brandon Cantrell, Huntsville, Alabama
A: That rep you reference is our man Patrick Fellows who can get anybody jacked up about racing. In fact, next time he's in town you can take him out for dinner, rather than your Ronins. But thanks for the great comments. They made my day. The Wave Ronin is primarily a very light, flexible road racing shoe which currently weighs in at 6.9 ounces for a men's size 9. Even though it is designed as racing shoe, plenty of runners who prefer a light shoe with lower heel heights (9 mm)train in the Ronin on a daily basis. It certainly won't be as durable as an Inspire, but it has decent durability for a racing shoe. Switching to the Ronin from the Inspire as a daily shoe should definitely be done gradually. I would suggest using the Ronin just one or two days a week at first and if everything is going well after a few weeks, incorporate it into all your runs. The only caveat is you may want to keep the Inspire in your shoe rotation, possibly as a long-run shoe for the better protection. How many miles can you expect out of the Ronin? Hard to say, but I think 300 miles is a good approximation. Again, you won't get as many miles out of the Ronin as the Inspire. Once you get over 250, monitor the shoe wear carefully.
How Many Miles Out of the Alchemy?
Q: Shoe Guy, thanks for all your help. I am a relatively new runner who, prior to May, had never run farther than 10 feet. But since I starting running, I am 55 pounds lighter and just completed my third 10-K in 58:03. I know I am not fast, but I haven't been last in any of my races either. My goal for 2013 is to run a half marathon and in 2014, a full marathon. I have been wearing the Wave Alchemy because of its great support and they work very well for me. I have close to 500 miles on them and my question is when should I get another pair of Alchemys? Also, should I consider a separate shoe for my races in 2013? Jeffrey Smith, Newburgh, Indiana
A: Congratulations on starting running and racing and your weight loss. That's terrific. I'm thrilled the Wave Alchemy has worked out so well, but you definitely need to get another pair. Most running shoes have a maximum shoe life of about 500 miles—some runners get more, some less—but it is much better to buy a new shoe a little early, rather than too late when it loses cushioning and support. Do you need a second, different pair of shoes for racing? At this point in your running, I would say no you don't. Your training shoes are fine for racing. As you get faster and drop a few more pounds, you might consider a lighter pair of training shoes for racing, such as the Wave Inspire which will still provide you plenty of support.