Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions—October 2011
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on October 10, 2011
Q: I have been training for a late fall marathon using the Wave Creation and Wave Rider. I am planning to use the Creation which has a little over 100 miles on them in my fall marathon. Should I get a new pair for the marathon? Diana Giacalone, St. Charles, Missouri
A: It depends. If your Creations have between 100 and 200 miles on them, you should be good to go. But substantially any more miles than that and it would be a good idea to get a new pair about two weeks before your marathon. Why? It is much better to wear a “fresh” pair with as few as miles as possible on them in the race, rather than wearing a worn-down pair. In the latter miles of the marathon, any pair of running shoes will lose some cushioning (the Wave Creation less so because of its full-length Wave Plate) from the pounding they take. A worn-out shoe will feel flat after 2-3 of hours of running. A shoe which has few miles on it will have better cushioning and will do a better job when you need it most in the last hour of the race. You’ve invested so much time and energy in this marathon, it’s better to wear a shoe with as much cushioning as possible for the race.
Q: I’m running my first marathon this November in New York City. My goal is to break four hours. I’m a big guy and have been training in the Wave Alchemy which I like a lot. But it’s heavy. Would it make sense for me to get a much lighter pair of racing shoes like the Wave Ronins for the marathon? Franklin Applewhite, Westboro, Massachusetts
A: No, it wouldn’t. For a big runner whose primary goal is finishing, the best advice is to wear your regular training shoes. Just make sure they aren’t worn out. If they are, get a new pair of the Wave Alchemy at least two weeks before NYC. Why racing shoes are not a good idea for a marathon rookie like you is because racers such as the Wave Ronin are extremely light and flexible. They are designed primarily for experienced, fast racers who don’t need a lot of support or cushioning. But someone like you does. Stick with training shoes for the time being and good luck at New York City.
Q: I love the Wave Nirvana, but have heard great things about the new Wave Enigma? I don’t need a ton of support. Do you think I could rotate the Enigma with my Nirvanas? Brad Irwin, Plano, Texas
A: Yes I do. The Nirvana is one of most supportive shoes on the market and even though the Enigma isn’t as supportive, it’s still a fairly stable shoe which works for a wide spectrum of the running population. Although both shoes weigh about the same, the Enigma has a much more cushioned road feel to it. I, too, am a big fan of the Nirvana but when the Enigma came out this summer I quickly slipped it into my regular shoe rotation with great results.
Q: I’ve been a big Wave Rider fan for many years. There’s been great buzz about the special Wave Rider 15 which is coming out soon. I can hardly wait. What’s the difference between it and the regular Wave Rider 15? Ben Johnson, Miami, Ohio
A: Upper colors. That’s the only difference. The 15th anniversary Wave Rider 15 has a beautiful ruby red upper color for both men and women, but other than that it’s technically identical to the Wave Rider 15. The special limited edition Wave Rider 15 which will be out in November will only be available for a short period. Once a store sells its allotment there won’t be any more available for that store. The “regular” Wave Rider 15, which is lighter and more flexible than the 14 (and fits more like the Wave Rider 13) will be out in December. (Some stores in New York City will have the Wave Rider 15 in early November.)
Q: I recently start running in the Wave Prophecy and Wave Enigma. I really love both shoes for different reasons. The Prophecy fits me like a glove, but I like the ride of the Enigma a bit more. I’m just an average runner, but I’m wondering whether I should stick with one pair or if it’s a good idea to alternate between the Prophecy and Enigma on a daily basis? Meredith Mitchell, Santa Cruz, California
A: Alternate. There’s no downside whatsoever to rotating between two models you enjoy and which fit well. What I would suggest is determine for yourself which shoe works best for you on certain types of runs (i.e., long runs, recovery runs, tempo runs etc.) and rotate between the Prophecy and Enigma based on which type of run you have planned for that day.
Do you have a shoe-related question? If you do, send it to Mizuno Shoe Guy (Shoeguy@Mizunousa.com). He’ll try and answer every question, but if he picks your question to answer in his blog, we’ll send you a beautiful Mizuno technical T-shirt.