Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions, June 2013

June 06, 2013 Posted By: Bob "Wish" Wischnia

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. (Please include your address.) 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.

L/W Trainer?

Q: Hi Shoe Guy. First, great blog. I really enjoy the helpful advice you give to runners. You have written a lot about certain pairings of shoes and I’m hoping you can give me some specific advice. For the past three years, I have been training in the Wave Riders and absolutely love them. I am training this summer for my first marathon—Chicago in October—and want to add a lighter shoe into my rotation for intervals, tempo runs and a few shorter races. I’ve been looking at the Precision/Sayonara, Ronin and Evo Levitas, but honestly I am confused which would be the best for me. I need a versatile shoe which can handle all I’ll throw at it, but need something lighter than the Riders. Any suggestions? Michael Drazer, Hebron, Indiana

A: Thanks for the love. Really appreciate it. I am also training through the summer for Chicago and just like you, need a lighter shoe (I usually wear Wave Inspires or Wave Enigmas) for faster runs and short, build-up races. Based on what I know about you, my advice is to go with the brand-new Wave Sayonara. It will be out in early July and it will be the ideal companion shoe for the Wave Rider. It’s certainly lighter than the Rider (and the Precision for that matter) and has a smoother ride. The Sayonara has a slightly lower heel height than either the Rider or Precision, but you should find it much faster. My guess is you’ll like it so much, I expect you’ll wear it in Chicago.

Blister Issue

Q: I am wondering if you know why the tip of my second toe on my right foot always seems to have a blister. After long runs in my Wave Riders, this blister will extend under the nail. I am a forefoot runner and do a lot of hills. I have gone up in shoe size and I’m still having the same issue. Any ideas? Courtney Ahrenholtz, Leander, Texas

A: There are all sorts of causes of blisters, but from your description it is entirely possible (likely?) that your second toe is longer than the big (or great) toe. If that’s the case, that second toe is absorbing the brunt of the punishment that the feet take. Especially if you’re a forefoot runner. Even though you have gone up a shoe size, it may not give your troublesome toe enough room. You might try a few of things. Try making a small slit in the toebox to allow more room for the longest toe. Another thought is to wrap the long toe in some type of athletic tape or Moleskin before you run. That may prevent some of the blistering. One other idea: Sprinkle some foot or baby powder into your socks and the shoe before running. That will lubricate the feet and might cut down on the friction which causes the blisters.

Plantar Cures?

Q:I have been battling plantar fasciitis for the last year. I am a heel striker with a high arch, run about 25 miles a week and wear the Wave Precision. Is this the right shoe for me? Kathleen Borgeson, Otsego, New York

A: Probably not. While plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, lack of shoe stability (and subsequent overpronation) is definitely a primary cause. The Wave Precision is a terrific shoe, but I would recommend a more supportive shoe such as the Wave Inspire to stabilize your lower feet better. Would also suggest icing your feet after running and doing some foot strengthening exercises to alleviate the pain.

A RacerAnd Trainer for the Marathon

Q: My wife and I both ran the Boston Marathon in 3:13 wearing Brooks Pure Cadence shoes, but I am a little bowlegged and overpronate a bit. I don’t feel the Cadence shoes are for either one of us. At the Boston Expo, we tried on some Mizunos that felt good and someone made mention of a new lightweight shoe which he said would be perfect for racing and training. I never did catch the name of the shoe. Can you help? I want a light shoe I can train in every day and still race 5 and 10-K’s in as well as the marathon. David Murphy, Orlando, Florida

A: You bet I can help. The new shoe you are referring to is the Mizuno Wave Sayonara which will be out in early July. It’s certainly lighter than conventional trainers (8.1 ounces for men’s size 9), but the Sayonara has plenty of cushioning and is stable enough for daily training. Quite simply, the Sayonara is a fast shoe, but it’s a fast shoe for daily use—or racing.

Enigma Issue

Q: I really like the cushioning and ride of the Wave Enigma, but it’s a little too heavy for my taste. Can you recommend another Mizuno with similar cushioning which is lighter? Chuck Hogan, Santa Barbara, California

A: My recommendation? I would strongly recommend the Wave Enigma 3. The new Enigma, out in early July, is practically a brand-new shoe. It’s a full ounce lighter than the Enigma 2 without a loss of any of that superb cushioning which makes the Enigma such a great shoe. We’re using a new midsole material (called “U4ic”; get it, Euphoric) which is substantially lighter than the Enigma 2 had. In addition, this new Enigma has a more comfortable fit and it will be a touch more supportive, even though it’s still a neutral shoe. I’m a big Enigma fan so trust me on this one: The new Enigma is more performance-oriented and vastly improved.

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