Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions–July
by the Mizuno Shoe Guy
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.
Shin splints dilemma
Q: Hi there. I’ve been struggling with shin splints for a long time. Recently, I had an analysis of my gait done on a treadmill and ended up buying the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9. I’m very happy with the Inspire and apparently it gave me the support I was lacking. I have not had any shin splints since wearing the Inspire, but now I’m in need of a new pair and would like to get the latest Inspire model. Does the Wave Inspire 10 offer similar support as the Inspire 9 did? Or should I try and find an Inspire 9 somewhere on the internet? Irina Koegl, Kimberley, British Columbia
A: Great to hear that the Inspire helped with your shin splints which, as anyone who has suffered with the injury knows, can be very painful. Rest assured, the Inspire 10 is not only as supportive as the Inspire 9 was, it is about 25 percent more supportive. The Inspire 10 is also lighter and more flexible than the 9 and, in my humble opinion, it is a much better lightweight support shoe. I would definitely pick up a pair of 10s, rather than trying to locate some Inspire 9s on the internet.
Q: I absolutely loved the Wave Elixir, but can’t find it anymore and I’m wondering whether it has been discontinued. If so, which shoe would you recommend as a good replacement for someone who needs a lightweight shoe with plenty of support? Carrie Fox, Chicago, Illinois
A: Your suspicion is correct: The Wave Elixir was discontinued last year. But don’t despair. We have two very good replacements—the Wave Inspire 10 and the Wave Sayonara. The Inspire is a long-established lightweight support shoe which is approximately the same weight as the departed Elixir. But the Inspire is much more supportive and has better cushioning. The other possibility is the Wave Sayonara which is lighter than either the Inspire or the Elixir was. It isn’t as supportive as the Inspire, but it has similar support to the Elixir. Which would be the best shoe for you? If you need plenty of support, I would go with the Inspire 10.
Trail runner needs support
Q: For most of my running, I stick to the roads and have loved both the Wave Inspire 9 and 10. But I want to start running on the trails that are in such abundance in New Zealand. I am a moderate overpronator and wear orthotics. Most of the trail shoes I’ve read about seem to be minimalist in style and therefore, less supportive than road shoes. To be frank, I’m skeptical of that style. What would you advise for a runner like me who needs some support in a trail shoe and doesn’t want a minimalist shoe? Also, should I keep my orthotics in trail shoes? Gracie MacKinlay, Auckland, New Zealand
A: I also have been fortunate to run in New Zealand (mainly, on the South Island) and the running and sheep tracks are not only in abundance, they are spectacular. Most of the trails I have experienced Down Under are soft and the added traction of trail shoes makes a big difference, especially in the hillier terrain. I agree with you that the minimalist trail shoes lack support (and traction), but the brand new Mizuno Wave Kazan is lacking in neither. With similar support and cushioning of our road shoes, you’ll be on familiar ground with the Kazan. Plus, it has outstanding traction with its X-Stud outsole. I would absolutely highly recommend the Kazan and would also advise using your orthotics in your trail shoes.
Q: I have been a Mizuno girl for quite a while. I currently wear the Wave Inspire and like it, but I’m having a problem. For some reason, my socks feel like they are bunched at the toes. When I stop and check, the socks seem fine but eventually my forefoot becomes uncomfortable and my toes feel numb. Do you have any good ideas how to fix this? Kelley Winslow, Malta, New York
A: Kelley, I don’t want to alarm you, but your symptoms are indicative of either a Morton’s Toe or a neuroma. Both conditions are serious and in order to get a proper diagnosis, you must see a podiatrist. Simply switching shoes won’t help at this point if there is numbness in the toes. There are numerous causes of these painful foot conditions and often there are medical remedies that can get you back to running within a month or so. Again, I urge you to visit a podiatrist, preferably a sports-oriented podiatrist who treats runners.
Q: I’m not a big guy, but have always done best in the most supportive shoes you make. I’ve been with Mizuno for a long time and done well in the Legend, Nirvana and the Alchemy. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the new Wave Paradox and I’m curious whether you think it is as supportive as the prior models I liked so much. What’s your take? Jim Sandoz, Woodside, California
A: I’m not a big guy either and have always felt most comfortable in the same maximum support shoes you mention. But, without a doubt, the Wave Paradox is the best maximum support shoe Mizuno has ever made and it’s one of the best I have ever worn. Compared with the other three support shoes you mention, the Wave Paradox is lighter, has much better cushioning and flexibility and has a more comfortable upper. As for support, the Wave Paradox is just as supportive as those golden oldies. Those shoes were extremely supportive, but their heel-to-toe transition was a little clunky for me. Not so with the Paradox which has a much smoother ride. I can’t urge you enough to try on a pair.