Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions – December 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. (Include your address.) If we pick your question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy to answer, we’ll send you a beautiful Mizuno DryScience T-shirt.
Nirvana fan seeks alternative
Q: I have been wearing the Wave Nirvana since I was fitted for it three years ago. Every six months I order a new pair on line, but I can’t find the Nirvana anymore. What gives? Mizuno shoes are the only shoes I’ve found that are comfortable and allow me to run pain free. Can you recommend and equally perfect shoe to replace the Nirvana? Kevin Soukup, South Korea
A: Unfortunately Kevin, we don’t make the Wave Nirvana anymore. Fortunately though, we have two exceptional replacements for it. First, is the Mizuno Wave Inspire. It isn’t quite as supportive as the Nirvana was, but very close. Plus, the Inspire is much lighter than the Nirvana and has much better cushioning and a smoother ride. The other replacement for the Nirvana is the brand-new Wave Paradox which will be out in January. The Paradox is just what it says it is. That is, it’s extremely supportive (just like the Nirvana), but is much lighter and has better cushioning than conventional maximum support shoes. I liked the Nirvana too, but the Paradox is simply a much better shoe. Hope you like it too.
Switch from Inspire?
Q: I’m a 5-9, 200-pound guy who started running about a year ago. I didn’t know which shoe to wear so I went to numerous running stores to get my gait analyzed and each store recommended a stability shoe. After trying on several different stability shoes, I settled on the Mizuno Wave Inspire which has worked very well for me. But after wearing three pairs of Inspires, I’ve noticed the wear pattern is always on the outside. Internet searches indicates I am a supinator who is wearing the wrong type of shoe. Do you think I should go with a neutral shoe? William Wang, Sunnyvale, California
A: No, I don’t think you should switch. First, the stores you visited all came to the same conclusion that you need added support. Secondly, you chose a terrific stability shoe—the Wave Inspire—which evidently has performed well for you. Third, wear patterns can be helpful but aren’t always indicative of any specific gait. The gait analysis you received is much more reliable. Finally, I’m a big believer in sticking with what works. In your case, the Inspire seems like it’s the perfect shoe for you and I can’t see any advantage to switching to a more neutral shoe.
Different feet, different gait
Q: I recently went to a very good running store and went through an extensive fitting process. I was told by the shoe tech that I have medium to high arches. My left foot/leg is totally neutral, but my right foot shows mild to moderation overpronation. Should I go with the new Wave Inspire 10 or would it provide too much stability on my neutral side? Or, would it be better to wear the Wave Rider and add an insole on the right side? As you can see, I’m totally confused on the best, safest shoe to wear. Can you help? Michelle Gray, Flower Mound, Texas
A: Michelle, I’ve heard of this condition, but never actually seen it. Nevertheless, I think it’s always best to err on the side of support. It is much more likely that a moderately supportive shoe such as the Wave Inspire won’t cause problems with the neutral side, while still providing much needed support for the overpronating foot. The inverse would not be true. That is, wearing a neutral shoe on the foot which needs support might result in issues. So go with the new Inspire 10.
Enigma 3 availability
Q: I love the Wave Enigma and have worn the first two versions of it. It’s the best shoe I have ever worn. But, I live in a very remote part of the world and have to shop for shoes on the internet. Now, I can’t find the Enigma 3, even on the Mizuno web site. What happened to my favorite shoe? Sivakumar Venkataraman, Brunei
A: What happened with the Enigma 3 is we decided to sell it only at running specialty stores and not at major sporting goods stores or on the internet. The Enigma is now on the Mizuno web site, but instead of selling it direct to customers, we are directing people to the closest store which sells the Enigma 3. Admittedly, it can be difficult to find a store in some sections of the country selling it and finding it in Brunei might be impossible. Nor is it available anywhere that I am aware of on the internet. You might have to wait to buy it on your next trip to Jakarta or Singapore.
Q: I read your article on racing shoes on your website and I’m still not clear whether I should wear racing shoes and if I should, which one. My background is I have been running for about a year and I’m training for my first marathon in the spring. I have been wearing the Wave Alchemy and like its support and cushioning, but it’s quite heavy—too heavy for the marathon. My marathon goal is to break 3 ½ hours. Should I get a racing shoe for the marathon and if so which one would you recommend? Maria Sanchez, Mesa, Arizona
A: Tough question Maria, but for your first marathon I wouldn’t suggest a racing shoe at all. At this point in your running, a racing shoe is too light and doesn’t offer enough support or cushioning. Although a 3:30 marathon is certainly a lofty and commendable goal, a racing shoe will probably not be advantageous at that speed. But, I agree the Alchemy is heavy and not the best marathon shoe for you. Instead of a racing shoe, I recommend two shoes—Mizuno’s Wave Sayonara or the Wave Inspire. Both shoes are much lighter and more flexible than the Alchemy and will feel better for racing. The Sayonara is the lighter of the two shoes and even though it offers some support and cushioning, it isn’t as supportive or as cushioned as the Inspire. My advice is try both shoes on at a store which has a treadmill where you can really offer each shoe a good test run. Whichever shoe you decide to go with, buy it at least two months before the marathon so you can do several tempo runs with that shoe and at least one long run to make sure it fits and performs well for you. And, good luck!