Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions–May 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.
Elixir for the marathon?
Q: I’m currently training for what will be my eighth marathon. In all my other races, I have worn the Mizuno Wave Inspires which is my favorite training shoe. I am wondering whether you think the Wave Elixir would be suitable for me for a full marathon. I want to wear a lighter shoe for the races, but don’t want to sacrifice support entirely. Should I run the marathon in the Elixir? Kathy Catalono, Waltham, Massachusetts
A: Yes, I think you should try the Elixir 8 in several shorter runs and at least one long run before the marathon. If it works OK, I would absolutely wear it in the marathon. The Elixir is certainly lighter and more flexible than the Inspire which should give you a quicker heel-to-toe transition in the marathon. Plus, that weight savings will pay off in the marathon. Although it’s lighter, the Elixir still has some support so you will be on familiar ground. It’s a great marathon shoe. I’m like you: I train in the Inspire and can’t give up that support in the marathon and yet want a lighter, faster shoe. For me, that’s the Elixir. Hope it works as well for you as it does for me.
How many miles out of the Inspire?
Q: Hi Mr. Shoe Guy, I love the Mizuno Inspire 7. I do most of my running on a treadmill and have approximately 300 miles on my last pair. Recently, I’ve started experiencing shin pain. How long should my Inspires last? Could the Inspire’s cushioning be breaking down and be the cause of my sore shins? Patrick Gouker, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
A: Estimating the number of miles someone gets out of a pair of shoes is always difficult because there are so many variables involved such as your size, speed, biomechanics and predominant running surface. But generally speaking, a durable shoe such as the Inspire will get about 3-450 miles out of a pair. Some will get more miles than that; others less. The midsole cushioning of the Inspire is foam and it gradually does break down with the repetitive impact from running. My guess is you need a new pair of Inspire 9s before your shin splints get any worse.
Q: I am a huge fan of the Wave Precision and have used many pairs of it. It has great durability for a lightweight performance trainer and I race and train in it. I’m sad to hear Mizuno is discontinuing such a great shoe. I have heard a little bit about the new Wave Sayonara and I’m curious whether you think it will be an effective replacement for the Precision? Michael Edmonson, Glendale, Arizona
A: Michael, you are correct: The Wave Precision will soon be discontinued and in July, the Wave Sayonara will make its debut. Mizuno shoe techs and designers have been working on the Sayonara for more than two years and I’m confident it will be an even better lightweight performance trainer-racer than the Precision. The Sayonara will be 1.5 ounces lighter than the Precision and will have an smoother ride. The Sayonara’s upper will be more comfortable with a snugger fit through the heel and midfoot. In addition, the outsole will offer better traction and durability. An effective replacement for the Precision? Absolutely. The Sayonara will be a terrific go-fast shoe for training or racing.
Q: I’ve just finished my final pair of the Wave Renegade which I loved for its support and durability. I know it’s been gone from the Mizuno line for a couple of years, but now I need a new shoe. I was put in the Wave Alchemy but didn’t find it as comfortable as the Renegade. Will there be a replacement for the Renegade coming out soon? Wendy Moskowitz, Chicago, Illinois
A: A direct replacement of the Renegade? No. But we believe we have a brand new support shoe coming out that’s much, much better. It will be called the Wave Paradox and it’s significantly lighter than the Renegade and has much better cushioning with comparable support. The Renegade was an extremely durable, supportive shoe, but the Paradox will have a much smoother, flexible ride. Look for it in January.
Orthotics with which Mizuno?
Q: I have a read quite a few of your shoe Q&A blogs and I’m a little confused on the issue of orthotics. I wear orthotics and always thought that if you do, it’s best to buy a neutral shoe because the orthotics provide all the correction you should need. I know you have frequently recommended support shoes for orthotic-wearers, but won’t that lead to overcorrection? In the past, I have worn a neutral shoe like the Brooks Dyad, but had pain while running. I’m thinking of going with the Wave Inspire or Wave Elixir. Do you think I should switch to a more support shoe like either one of those two? Evan Schwerner, Shrub Oak, New York
A: Evan, I wish there was a single absolute answer to this question but there isn’t. There are different types of orthotics that correct for different things so there simply isn’t a blanket statement of whether orthotic-wearers should go with neutral or support shoes. Some runners who wear orthotics do better in neutral shoes, while others select support shoes. If you wear support shoes, can you overcorrect? Yes, some will but not everyone does. Personally, I have worn orthotics for many years and have found support shoes work best for me. Orthotics put my feet in a neutral position and I have found the extra support a shoe like the Mizuno Wave Inspire provides me a safer, more comfortable ride than most neutral shoes. But that’s me. I can also wear some neutral shoes and find the Wave Enigma extremely well-cushioned and has adequate support for me. If neutral shoes haven’t worked for you in the past, I would recommend switching to the Wave Inspire. It’s light, well-cushioned and has a moderate amount of support that probably won’t overcorrect you.