Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions–May 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.
Racing shoe for first marathon
Q: I will be running my first marathon this fall and wondering which shoe I should wear. I’m not fast, but want to run well and enjoy the race. I have used the Wave Inspire for many years and love it and some friends have suggest a racing shoe. But I don’t know whether I should use a different shoe for such a long race. Should I? Rachel Greenawald, King of Prussia, Pennsylania
A: Probably not. Considering it’s your first marathon, your primary goal is probably to finish. I definitely wouldn’t recommend wearing a racing shoe for your first time. Instead, I would stick with the shoe which has worked well for you—the Wave Inspire. It’s light, flexible, supportive and well-cushioned. That combination will work just fine in the marathon. One suggestion: About two or three weeks before the marathon, get a new pair of Inspires. You don’t want to go into the marathon with a worn out pair. Much better to run the marathon in a “fresh” pair than one with 2-300 miles on them. And good luck!
Good alternative to the Beast
Q: I have run in the Brooks Beast for several years, but it is too heavy and inflexible for me now. I’m 6-foot, 170 pounds so I am not a big guy, but I do like plenty of support. I just don’t want all the weight that comes with Beast-like support shoes. Does Mizuno have a shoe which would address my needs better than the Beast? Steve Hiedeman, Watertown, South Dakota
A: You bet we do. It’s called the Wave Paradox and it’s named that because it’s an anomaly in the world of support shoes that are usually awkward, heavy and inflexible. The Paradox is anything but that. It is significantly lighter than all comparable shoes, has exceptional cushioning, good flexibility and has a comfortable fitting upper. Plus, if you have a wide foot, the Paradox is available in wider widths for men (EE) and women (D). This is absolutely one of the best shoes on the market for lightweight support.
Racing shoe for cross-country
Q: During the spring and summer, I run a lot of road races to stay fit for cross-country. I got a pair of the Hitogami a few months ago and have really enjoyed it for speed work and races. The Hitogami fits me well and is super light. Our coach doesn’t let us wear spikes in cross-country and I’m wondering if you think the Hitogami would be good a race shoe for me this fall. Carlos Ruelas, Mountain View, California
A: Yes, the Hitogami should be a very good racing flat for you for fall cross-country, considering how well you have already done wearing it. If you can’t or don’t wear racing shoes specific to cross-country, the Hitogami is an ideal alternative. As you already know, it’s light, very flexible and has more cushioning than a conventional spike. It won’t have the same traction on soft surface courses as a pin or rubber spike will, but if the course is firm and hard, it won’t slip either.
Enigma: Hard to find
Q: I have worn the Wave Enigma since it first came out. I really liked the cushioning and protection it provides me. But, it’s very difficult to find. Most of the stores don’t seem to carry it and I can’t find it anywhere on the internet. What gives? Sandy O’Connor, Frisco, Texas
A: What gives is the Wave Enigma is only available at specialty running stores. That means it isn’t sold in major sporting good chains. Nor is it sold on the internet. I agree with you that the Enigma is a terrific neutral cushioned shoe and you are also right it can be hard to find. But any specialty running store which doesn’t carry it can always special order it for you without any additional cost.
New Mizuno trail shoes?
Q: I run about two miles to my local trails before I hit the soft surface. Because I run some on the roads and some on trails, the Wave Ascend has worked great for me. But, I can’t find it anymore and my LRS tells me Mizuno is coming out with new trail shoes this year. True? Ronald Lester, Portland, Oregon
A: That is correct. Mizuno is replacing the Wave Ascend—which is really more of an all-terrain shoe—with two trail-specific shoes in June. They are the Wave Hayate and Wave Kazan. Both have much, much better traction for soft surfaces than the Ascend did. In addition, both shoes are lighter and better cushioned than the Ascend. Of the two new shoes, the Hayate is the lighter of the two and has a lower heel height (9 mm).