Mizuno Women's Run Shoes: The Full Monty

I'll admit it: I play favorites. And one of my favorite sponsors for the 2013 season is Mizuno

For the past decade, I'd run in Asics. Asics everything: GT 2000, Gel Kayano (Models 12-18; see how loyal I am?!?!), Gel Nimbus, Gel Cumulus, and, finally, the Gel DS Racer. I probably should have invested more in Asics stocks given my commitment to the brand. 

I loved my Asics and never wanted to part with them. But after battling a hamstring injury for 2 years, I was willing to try anything different (except aqua-jogging). 

Mizuno's sponsorship of the Snapple Tri Team couldn't have come at a better time!

I've ran in and fell in love with the five models of Mizuno running shoes that clutter my closet. It's like a rainbow of running happiness everytime I look at my shoe closet! 

Here's the run-down with links to Mizuno's site: 

Not different colored shoes, Silly! Both Bart and I have the Sayonaras,
so thought I'd show the gender discriminating colors of these great shoes :) 
If I could choose just one shoe to train, race, do everything in, I'd pick the Sayonara. As a former (and sometimes current, when I'm lazy or tired) heel-striker, I needed to go with a lower heel-toe drop to train myself to mid-foot strike. 

  • The Sayonara has a 10mm drop - perfect for me in the transition from a 12- or 14-mm drop! 
  • Lightweight. 7.1 oz. Meant for the neutral runner. That means severe pronators or supinators would NOT enjoy this shoe and in fact might risk injury. I actually run with Superfeet insoles in all my running shoes, which is supposed to provide more heel stability and help with my very slight pronation. 
  • Roomy toe box and forefoot. Just what I need!!! 
  • Grippies on the bottom toebox of the shoe are PERFECT - you can feel the grab even when running on pavement! 
  • Have heard fellow teammates complain that the Sayonaras aren't as well-ventilated as other running shoes. I personally haven't run into this problem, but heavy feet-sweaters, be forewarned! 
  • Wears more quickly than other training shoes (like the Precision, which the Sayonara replaces), but no shoe is meant to last forever!
  • Pricey at $120 retail. 

This is happiness in a running shoe.
  • Yellow. Enough said. 
  • Use these for racing half-marathons or shorter. Absolutely feel like I'm flying when I lace these babies up! 
  • Only weigh in at 5.8 oz, but amazingly my feet have never felt like there's not enough support/cushion/oomph to the shoe despite it's extremely light weight. 
  • Same heel drop as Sayonaras at 10mm - so when I switch between the two, my feet aren't confused. 
  • Same wonderful grippies on the sole as the Sayonaras - except there are more of them! Even on the road, I feel like these have awesome traction. 
  • Roomy all around for my extra-wide feet. 
Ran my way to a half-marathon PR in the Ronins!
I told my parents, "Just look for the bright yellow shoes and Snapple visor!" 
  • Lasts less than 150 miles. I went through my first pair FAST. 
  • I'd imagine that anyone who severely pronates/supinates or is a heavier runner would need more support than the Ronins offer. 
  • On the more expensive side at $105 retail, given these shoes have a much shorter lifespan than normal.

3. Wave Precision 

The bad news: the Wave Precision has been discontinued by Mizuno. Thousands were angry, taking to the streets in riot. Just joking. But I would have if Mizuno would not have followed up with this: 

The good news: It was replaced by the Wave Sayonara. 

People (especially runners) don't like change. We're used to rhythm and monotony. But the Wave Sayonara somehow successfully improved on the best lightweight trainer (yes, that would be the Precision) and came out with a running shoe that's like a Cervelo frame: something that, quite frankly, can just switch colors every year but nothing - absolutely nothing - about the shoe's biology needs to change. 

So! You can't buy the Precision anymore and even if you find it on Amazon or Zappos, you really should be buying the Sayonara. 

The Wave Riders took off in sales after Wendy Davis made them famous. Calling these shoes a "symbol of the talisman of feminism and political voice" (that's seriously what the Daily Beast called them) is a poetic exaggeration that makes me puke a little, but I shan't take away from the awesomeness of both Wendy Davis and of Mizuno Wave Riders. 

Not my favorite running shoes, so please find other shoe reviews if you are looking for a rosier picture:

  • A favorite among runners! Flexible for nearly all runner types - it's a neutral shoe but due to its internal forefoot overlay and structured support in the heel and midfoot, it works well for pronators and heavier runners. 
  • Great for any distance. 
  • Lifetime is 3-4 times that of the Sayonara or Ronin!
  • Standard 12mm heel drop 
  • Well-priced at $115 retail and will last the standard 500 miles. 
  • Too bulky. Keep in mind that I love the lightness of the Sayonaras and the Ronins, so the extra ounce on the Wave Riders made a huge difference to me. Wave Riders weigh in at 8.2 oz but feel like they weigh twice as much as the Ronins.
  • Less flexible overall - my foot craves that "in a glove" feeling I get from the Sayonara and Ronins, so I'm a bit spoiled and feel like I'm wearing a box when I put these on. 
Snapple Tri Girls sporting our Mizuno Wave Riders! 

Man, these are the lightest imaginable. Like nothing. Like air!!!

  • 6.2 oz. 
  • Designed to help someone transforming to a midfoot strike (me!!)  - Mizuno reps stressed that this is NOT a minimalist shoe. Instead, it's a shoe meant to encourage your foot to mid-foot strike by providing more cushion in the forefoot, a 0mm drop, and a wider toebox. 
  • I've only used this shoe for shorter workouts 3 miles or less. To be honest, the weight and lack of structure - you can bend this shoe in half!! - scared me, but after running in this shoe, I'm quite in love. Would NOT recommend these for any longer training runs, but I've worn them in a 5K race and they hold up FINE! 
  • I believe that these have successfully helped me to become less of a heel striker. 
  • Great air ventilation on these as well - I've worn them sockless!
  • NOT for longer distances or heavier runners!
  • Almost no support
  • Pricey at $120. 
That's it! I love our sponsorship with Mizuno. For the first time in 3 years, I'm running injury free and getting compliments at races constantly on how bright my shoes are! 

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