2012: Review of Mizuno Waverider 16

Chrissie Wellington, leading woman at race, Fr...

Chrissie Wellington, leading woman at race, Frankfurt Ironman 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Acid Test: Would I buy another pair if stolen?

 

Answer: Yes.

 

10th of December and my new Mizuno Waverider 16s arrived on the doorstep. Well packed and security sealed against forgetful, pre-xmas delivery men no doubt.

 

With many more dark evenings ahead of my beautiful bright yellow 16s should significantly aid my night visibility. The cars will see me coming a mile off!

 

First things first. I like the aesthetics. The shoe looks better made and more substantial to me than the 15 – not necessarily a good thing if that affects weight and flex. But I’ll return to that. The lace area, toe and heel all look solid and well stitched. Maybe it’s just that the detail is more clear than compared to my dark-purple 15s!?

 

I’m not so keen on the logo at the side and another noticeable difference is the breathable mesh which is a large holed gauze covered with a fine mesh. Noticeably different to the previous model. Turning it upside down the undercarriage looks pretty similar including a large section of the sole at the heel end cut away a bit like a hoof. Reduces weight and adds grip I guess.

 

Mizuno Corp.

Mizuno Corp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Unlike my 15s I think with this pair I managed to get the right size. They fit ME nicely. A not-too snug fit but snug enough for me to like it and not too tight over the top of my wide foot. I often have little toe sticking out problems but these are OK. They feel comfy to walk around in but the ride definitely feels less cushioned than the 15.   Still all this is irrelevant as we have to take to the road TO ASSESS THEIR TRUE PURPOSE.

 

You can read the technical specs and manufacturer’s feature/benefits <here>. And below is a Mizuno video.

 

 

Right, i’ve now returned from two runs with these. The first on my own for over an hour on an icy London series of roads at night. The second was, honestly, with Chrissie Wellington tri-athlete extraordinaire (not that we’re friends or anything like that nor that it makes a difference to how good the shoes are). The seconds was on trail and some grass and to be fair to me I did beat her but I don’t think she was really trying THAT hard :-).

 

Firstly I noticed that these do NOT feel lighter than the 15s. However they ARE lighter than the 15s. So they should make me go faster as far as the physics go but maybe not as far as the psychology goes. Either way I’m not using them for serious racing (just parkruns and training) so it won’t make any difference.

 

I found the shoes very stable. Much more so than my (probably ill-fitting) 15s. The cushioning was easily sufficient for the length of runs that I do (max 90 mins). If anything I would say the firmness gave a better feeling of energy release (ie the cushioning didn’t seem to absorb the energy and make me slower without returning the energy…if that makes sense).

 

Over a few short intervals they were at a reasonable speed the fit and comfort and energy return was as good as any other.

 

Over the ice they were grippy enough but I obviously ran with care.

 

For my type of training these are ideal. I run mid-foot to fore-foot and these are fine for that. If you are a heel striker or regularly run >2 hours per session then my review won’t help you.

 

If you are looking for an Xmas present for your nearest and dearest then you can’t go far wrong with this excellent shoe. At £80-£90 a pair, click <here> for a link to that, they are not cheap but they are priced comparably to competing models.

 

Remember that Mizuno see themselves and position themselves as leading-edge innovators. Along with other brands I would say that they deserve that position. These ARE a great pair of shoes from a great manufacturer; the only caveat is that shoes are a personal thing. So you might want to go and try a pair on for size before buying on ama zon 🙂

 

PS: Several months on I return to this review. I saw an ad for the shoes saying they were the best Mizuno had ever made of this type – or words to that effect. I have to say I now agree. Certainly one of the best pairs of shoes I’ve ever had.