Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions — June 2014
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.
Riders with orthotics?
Q: I am an overpronator who wears orthotics. I really like the Wave Rider 17s and just bought my second pair, but want to make sure this is the right shoe for me. Some people have told me I should be running in a neutral shoe like the Wave Rider because I wear orthotics and others have said the Wave Inspire. Which is it? Sudha Kitty, Toronto, Ontario
A: Unfortunately, there isn’t a single right answer for every overpronator who wears orthotics. An orthotic places your foot in a neutral position which it—hopefully–maintains throughout the gait cycle. Some orthotic wearers do well in neutral shoes as they don’t need any more correction than their orthotics provide. But, many other orthotic wearers (including me), do better in support shoes for a variety of reasons. The midsoles tend to be firmer than neutral, cushioned shoes (thus, providing a better platform which allows the orthotics to work well) and the Fan Wave of the Inspire also functions better with orthotics than the Rider’s more neutral Wave. In my opinion, I would stick with the Wave Rider if you are running well in it and are not having injury issues. If you feel you could use more support, try the Wave Inspire 10 which works great with orthotics.
Q: I have worn the Wave Nirvana for several years and loved its support, fit and durability. But when I went to my local running store last week, I was told it has been discontinued. First, is this true? And if so, what would you advise I switch to? Daniel Hernandez, Chandler, Arizona
A: Daniel, it is true that the Wave Nirvana was discontinued late last year. I agree with you that the Nirvana was a terrific shoe with exceptional support. But, you and I are in luck. In January, Mizuno introduced a new support shoe—it’s called the Wave Paradox—which is absolutely a much better shoe than even our beloved Nirvana. The Paradox is lighter, has a more cushioned midsole (it isn’t as firm), a great fit—and it’s just as supportive as the Nirvana was. In my opinion, the major difference between the two shoes is the ride. The Nirvana, like many ultra-supportive shoes, had a bit of a clunky ride. But, the Paradox doesn’t. Its upper is much more streamlined (and comfortable) than the Nirvana and with the lighter, overall weight, has a vastly superior ride than the Nirvana had.
Hitogami as a daily trainer?
Q: Call me crazy, but I have always preferred to train in racing shoes. I used to do all my races and train everyday in the Wave Ronins, but they might have been a little too light for daily training. As soon as the Wave Hitogami came out, I bought a pair and found them to be a great racing flat. But I have been reluctant to train in them. Do you think the Hitogami would make a better training shoe for me than the Ronin was? Rudy White, Spring Valley, California
A: Yes, I do. The Hitogami is a bit heavier than the Ronin, but it is designed to be much more of a tempo/racing shoe than the Ronin which was primarily a road-racing flat. I do know a few people who trained in the Ronin, but the Hitogami is an ideal lightweight racer-trainer. As I said, the Hitogami is a little heavier, but it has much better cushioning than the Ronin, is slightly more stable and has a very smooth ride. Some wear the Hitogami every day, while others only use it for faster workout days and/or racing.
Replacement for Wave Inspire 7
Q: I have been wearing the Wave Inspire 7 for several years and, until recently, was lucky enough to find more pairs online. But my luck has come to an end. Which Mizuno shoe would be the best replacement for the Inspire 7? Monica Sanderson, Newton, Massachusetts
A: Glad you liked the Inspire 7 Monica, but the current version—the Wave Inspire 10—is a superior shoe in every important aspect. First of all, it simply fits better with a snugger, more comfortable upper. Secondly, it’s considerably lighter than the 7 was (more than an ounce lighter) and it’s even more supportive. Plus, the cushioning is better. Hope you agree.
Race day shoe suggestion
Q: I am a long-time Mizuno fan who normally wears the Inspire for training. I also race a lot, but I find most of the racing shoes too light and lacking in cushioning and support for the marathon. Until recently, I have always raced in the Elixir but I’m now wondering what I should wear in my fall marathon. I realize the Inspire is lighter and know I could wear it, but I prefer wearing a special, lighter shoe for my major races. What would you suggest now that the Elixir has been discontinued? David Fee, Westport, Connecticut
A: I would definitely suggest the Wave Sayonara. The Sayonara is lighter than the departed Elixir was, but it’s just as supportive and has better flexibility. It’s designed as a lightweight training shoe but plenty of racers, who need more support and cushioning than conventional road flats provide, are using it. BTW: Good luck in your fall marathon.