Trying shoes from a different brand than you normally buy is like going on a blind date. You are excited and nervous, but have no idea how it will turn out. After countless years of being comfortable in the same brand, it was interesting to lace up a pair of shoes from a company I have never tried. I have a few friends who have worn Mizunos and have never heard anything bad about them, which is a decent enough start. I am a creature of habit so to break it requires common elements that keep me from feeling too out of sorts. In shoes, I prefer lighter weight, with a narrow footspace and a decent amount of support. Pure minimalist shoes have not worked for me in the past and trainers are too heavy. At first glance, these ticked off all the boxes.
As a long time practical runner, I have worn shoes of all colors. Purple, bright orange, blue, etc. Dictated by trends, it is generally not a factor I worry about when picking footwear. Seeing as blue is my favorite color and I have a disturbing fondness for florescent hues, I immediately took a liking to these. I liked how light they are, and they did not seem to flex too much, as some lighter shoes do. The narrower heel strike area threw me off a little, as I have never seen anything like it.
Due to a recent calf issue, it took me a little to put some decent miles on these, and I did not get a chance to do any true speed work. The fit seemed perfect for it, especially as it formed over the top of the foot. The only issues I noticed was I had a little more room than I liked in the toe area, probably due to size discrepancy between brands, and I felt more prone to roll my ankle.
Mizuno advertises the Wave Technology in this shoe, claiming it helps find the balance between weight and shock absorption and I find that it does the job very well, on various surfaces. Billed as a shoe perfect for fast days, I agree the sense that I would be comfortable using these as trainers and racers. Keep in mind, I am a light, heel striker and what works for me may not work for you so I would recommend trying them on before purchase.
Speaking of purchase, the suggested retail for these is $99.99. Considering their double utility as race and training shoes plus their versatility over various surfaces like dirt and gravel, I would call that a deal. In this day and age of trendy running shoes, it’s nice to find a pair that gets it right, focusing on what works for the runners advantage.