Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions, July 2013

July 16, 2013 Posted By: Bob "Wish" Wischnia

Do you have a shoe-related question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy? Or a running shoe question, specific to Mizuno? 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.

Big Guy Shoe Decisions

Q: MSG, I ran my first 10-K last weekend in 68 minutes and hopefully, I will continue to run faster and for longer distances. My shoe store fitted me in the Mizuno Wave Inspire, size 15 and though I like the shoe and have been wearing it for a year, ordinarily I am a size 16. But the store doesn’t carry that size. I’m 51 years old, 6-3, 230 pounds, have flat feet and I’m wondering if there might be a better alternative for me. Other runners have recommended the Wave Alchemy for me. Should I switch to the Alchemy and if I do, should I get size 16? Robert Huber, Madison, Indiana

A: In a a word, yes! While the Wave Inspire is a very good support shoe, the Wave Alchemy is even more supportive and durable and is probably a better shoe for a big man like you with flat feet. Sorry to hear your store doesn’t carry size 16 (many stores don’t), but I would also strongly recommend when you get the Alchemy 12, you buy it in a size 16. Your store can special order it for you. Or, you can always buy it from www.Mizunousa.com. BTW: Congrats on your first 10-K.

Best shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

Q: I am not a runner, but I enjoy fitness walking. Unfortunately, I have been plagued with plantar fasciitis. Could you tell me which Mizuno would be best for walking with PF? Georgia Veith, Elmhust, Illinois

A: Georgia, as you know, plantar fasciitis is a tough injury to deal with. It can be chronic and even the absolute best running shoe for you won’t instantly cure it. PF can be caused by many different factors, but often lack of shoe support is a primary cause. I would suggest trying on three Mizuno running shoes: The Wave Inspire, Wave Creation and the Wave Enigma. The Inspire is the most supportive and lightest of the three, the Creation has the best arch support and very good cushioning, while the Enigma is light, well-cushioned and very comfortable. Try on all three and go with the one which fits and feels the best. Take each pair for a little walk around the store to get a feel for it. If I had to choose one of the three for you, I would suggest the Wave Creation as the best combination of cushioning and arch support. Plus, it’s very comfortable for walking.

Sayonara for the marathon?

Q: I am training for a fall marathon and need a lightweight stability shoe for training and racing. I have never worn Mizunos before, but I have heard so much about the Sayonara I want to try it. Do you think the Sayonara would be a good marathon shoe for me? Max Kim, Tokyo, Japan

A: Absolutely. The new Wave Sayonara is a performance-oriented lightweight trainer which will perfectly suit plenty of recreational racers like you as a race day shoe. The Sayonara is a go-fast shoe with a light midsole which brings the shoe’s overall weight to 8.1 ounces for men’s size 9 which is practically the same as racing shoes. But the Sayonara has better cushioning and a bit more support than traditional racers. Another big plus is the Sayonara’s gripping outsole which works well on wet pavement (such as at the aid stations in races). I suggest you get a pair now and use it for tempo runs and then if it works well for you, definitely use the Sayonara is your big marathon.

Nirvana fan

Q: I realize the Wave Nirvana has been discontinued in the U.S. Here, in the U.K., we still have the Nirvana 9 which I love but it, too, is being phased out. I’m very disappointed because the Nirvana keeps me running and my knees from hurting. What should I do? John Heaney, London, England

A: John, don’t despair. We have still have a couple of outstanding alternatives to the Nirvana and a new support shoe which will be even better. Unfortunately, the new shoe won’t be out until January, but until then I would recommend trying either the Wave Inspire or Wave Alchemy. Although they are a bit different from each other, both are excellent support shoes. The Inspire is the lighter of the two, but the Alchemy is more supportive and durable than the Inspire. Its support and durability is certainly comparable to the beloved Nirvana and probably your best bet.

Good Mizuno for day hiking?

Q: Ordinarily, I wear the Mizuno Wave Creation which works very well for me. It’s very comfortable and has just enough support. This summer I am going on trip to Zion, Bryce Canyon and other areas of Utah. We will not be backpacking, but will be going on day hikes every day while there. I have hiking boots, but find them too heavy and hot and would prefer a running shoe. Even though I love my Creations, I’m wondering if another Mizuno might be better for day hikes and yet still have enough support and cushioning for my knees. Norm Edison, Indianapolis, Indiana

A: The Creation might be OK, but if it’s a rocky trail, the outsole might catch a few rocks in the rearfoot. A better alternative for day hiking is the Mizuno Wave Ascend–a lightweight trail shoe. Although designed primarily for running, the Ascend is a terrific shoe for the type of day hikes you are planning to do. It’s well-cushioned and has an outsole which grips well on soft surface trails. Plus, the outsole is shaped differently than the Creation and won’t catch rocks and pebbles.

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