Recently, I was thumbing through the latest Runner’s World magazine (because runners do that sometimes,) and came across the Vimazi Pace-Tuned running shoes in the list of “2023’s Best New Running Shoes”. There are many brands I am used to seeing on this list, but this was something completely different.
I had never heard of Vimazi before I was approached to review a pair of their shoes. This company is making their first round debut on the running scene, though they have made running shoes at other brands for 25 years. The founders have taken everything they learned from that as well as their experiences running marathons for decades and come out with this great technology. The shoes have also been tested on the roads for the Boston, London, Portland, and San Antonio Marathons.
There are two things about these shoes that make them stand out. The first is that this is a Pacific Northwest-based running shoe startup founded by industry veterans and lifelong marathoners, and who doesn’t want to stand behind going local and our runner people? And secondly, a pace-tuned running shoe? What does THAT mean and where do I sign up to try that?
We were sent the Vimazi Z60 and Z50. In addition to these, there are the Z20, the Z30, the Z40, and the Z70. They all look a little different to the eye, with the women’s Z60 in the “flame” color and the blue Z50. The Z60 was black with streaks of hot orange along the sides, and the Z50 was mostly black with blue zebra stripes. We stood out in these and received many comments from others we encountered. They look different than any of our other running shoes currently.
The Z60 is meant for the specific pace group of an 8:30 to a 10:30 minute mile and the Z50 a 7:15 to 8:45. Every one of the Z series are catered to a different speed, and these were the ones I felt represented my pace the best currently.
The Z40 (6:15 to 7:45 min/mi) and the Z70 (10:00-12:30 min/mi) are also available, with the Z20 (4:30 to 5:30 min/mi) and Z30 (5:30-7:00 min/mi) slated for spring. Additional trail and walking shoes will be coming later.
Vimazi has patent-pending technology that was developed from studying the physics of running gait. These are marketed to have “less shock, more energy” and the cushioning lends to that.
The shoes have a roomy toebox and an exterior heel stabilizer that make them super comfy. The midsole has some great impact control and the forefoot has a FastPod that really helps aid in a very efficient push-off.
Whan makes Vimazi different in regards to how they are built is that they’ve tuned the densitites of the heel versus the forefoot on all models. They will then compress optimally to impact forces and the propulsion phases of the stride. That varies quite a bit depending on your pace, hence the need for a pace-tuned shoe. These shoes are meant to reduce the cumulative strain on your body and maximize the efficiency of your long run time after time.
Nikki: I did get these in a larger size than my normal shoe size, which is always what I do in running shoes, and these have a loose fit. The first time I put them on, they felt a little too wide, especially in the forefoot area. So I made an adjustment and tied the laces a bit tighter, especially near the mid foot, and that helped a lot. I feel it’s only worth mentioning if you are a runner who tends to buy your shoes a bit bigger than you typically need – like I do. Matt ordered these in my standard size and thought the fit was pretty good as well.
The shoes are comfortable, with a fair amount of cushion. They aren’t overly heavy, but there’s plenty of support.
A pace-tuned shoe is engineered to perform for you at the pace YOU run. Not the pace of a slower runner or a faster runner. Just a YOU runner. If we all run differently at different speeds, why shouldn’t there be a running shoe to take that into account in the design?
I can attest after three 6 mile runs, my feet felt good. There was plenty of cushion and support, and the shoes didn’t feel heavy on my feet. I can’t honestly tell if these shoes were better or worse due to the pace-tuned technology, but isn’t the mark of a GOOD shoe that you don’t really notice them while you run? Whatever the case, I don’t see anything stopping me from getting in more miles in these.