I, for one, am glad to see that many running shoe companies are looking to make their footwear more sustainable. By and large, us runners here in the PNW are cognizant about the importance a clean air and a solid environment – or else it makes running difficult. So, by extension, having shoes and apparel companies looking to decrease their environmental impact can only be a good thing. The new Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is one such shoe.
Now, we will preface this for ANY review on a shoe billed this way – it’s still a work in progress. We anticipate that in a few years time, all reputable shoe companies will be old pros at creating shoes with minimal environmental impact, but we aren’t there quite yet. This shoe, while not perfect, is a great commitment and first start to a greener running future. Read more on the Mizuno New Collection here.
I love the look of this shoe. I know some (many?) PNW runners may not be as keen on a primarily white option – if only because that white can turn into grey and brown pretty quick in most Oregon seasons. However, I love the sleekness and freshness that a nice white shoe presents – if only for a short time.
There are some fading techniques on the log and outer midsole of the shoe – shifting from blue to white – giving it an almost unfinished look that some may find odd (I don’t). Even the sole gets in on the action with a smattering of blue and white. Honestly, I think this is a beautiful shoe.
I like the looks of the shoes even more because of the reasons behind it. The knit upper is constructed with recycled polyester (60% of the upper and midsole are recycled) and they moved away from utilizing much color to reduce water consumption from dye. The sockliner is made from castor oil and its lining is more than 90% recycled and even partially made with algae. Even the shoelaces are 100% recycled. The future is near.
I am a pretty standard Men’s size 12, but feel that my pair fit larger than that. I probably could have sized at least a half size down (11-11.5) to get a more true fit. Thus, the shoe felt a little more roomy than expected, especially near the toes, and I had some challenge getting the lockdown I desire.
I still have have pretty forgivable feet that can adapt to most running shoes decently. I am a pretty significant heel striker, and the 12mm drop fit the bill quite well. Sure, 12mm pretty significant, though it honestly didn’t feel as pronounced as I expected it to be.
Mizuno has utilized their Wave Plate in the midsole for a while and its a pretty steady and consistent ride. In the few Mizuno reviews I have done over the year, it has provided a nice ride and nothing “WOW!“-inducing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as consistency is often king. It’s just a solid ride when combining with their Enerzy Lite foam.
The outsole (outside of being awesome to look at) has more than enough coverage and grip to tackle the pavement. I found that it improved a little bit over a few runs as the rubber got into the groove of things.
Like I mentioned in my initial paragraph lead in to this post, this isn’t the perfect running shoe. I have really enjoyed it to be honest, but it’s not an every day trainer to me yet. I do, however, I have found myself wearing these A LOT out and about as a casual pair of shoes – so the duality of it is nice. It gets tons of positive comments and I am more than happy to discuss all the “green” in the shoe to accompany the literal blue. Paying $220 for an environmentally-conscious running shoe is a good investment for the earth.
However, we aren’t here to say that everyone has a spare quarter-grand available for footwear. We would expect that price would go down as the technology on this front improves, but for now we recognized that the price tag is a lot to swallow for a shoe that may not meet your everyday running needs.
This is still a really good shoe nonetheless and we anticipate wearing these until they fall apart. And we can’t say that for a lot of shoes.
Products & Price:
- Wave Neo Wind | $220
- Weight: 8.5 oz ( mens 9 )
- Drop: 12mm
Thank you to Mizuno for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.