2012: Review of Mizuno Waverider 15

Waverider15The Acid Test: Would I buy another pair if stolen?

Answer: Yes.

I was kindly given a free pair of Waverider 15’s by the lovely people at Mizuno. So, on the one hand you could say that the review you are about to read is biased as it is ‘paid for’, on the other hand you could say that as I already have the shoes I can afford to be honest.

You’ll just have to trust me that I’m being honest. You’ll see most of my reviews are on the positive side of things but certainly not always.

I’ve worn many brands of running shoes; Brooks, New Balance, Asics, Nike, HiTec (!) and Saucony. I would say I’m most negative about the Nike ones and most positive about the Saucony and New Balance ones that I’ve worn. I’m sure my early Nike experiences were down to poor shoe choice for sport.

Why the Waverider 15? Well firstly I’ve been devoting much of 2012 to technique improvement across all triathlon disciplines. Running technique changes can be straightforward to introduce BUT can have very quick and serious injury implications. I found this with my move from a pronating heel striker to a incorrect forefoot striker back to a more correct mid-foot striker. All in the space of 6 months and 3 injuries!

So the Waverider 15 offered what seemed to be a nice choice for a mid-foot striker who’d sort of got the mid-foot striking thing sussed out. And so they were/are.

The first time I wore them I was pleasantly surprised about how much lighter they felt than my Saucony (Omni Grid 7/8/9) trainers. Maybe only 100g or so lighter but noticeably lighter both to hold and to wear. Strangely when I compared them to my race shoes they were equally heavier than the race shoe as the Saucony was heavier than the Waverider (I weighed them as I thought I was going mad). Yet the Waverider’s felt very similar in weight to the race shoes. Maybe it’s because a training shoe is ‘bigger’/bulkier and so somehow I was sensing the density? Dunno.

Anyway that 100g or so compared to my normal trainers does make a difference to my training. It helps with the faster runs AND the longer ones where that leg is being lifted (heel flicked) thousands of times.

However should I be using it for the longer run? Is it cushioned enough? For it is surely cushioning + weight (+ stability/wobble) that are important for the longer run? Well they are cushioned enough and they do feel pretty comfy. Maybe after 80 minutes they might feel a bit firmer or maybe that’s just me getting tired. They feel cushioned enough compared to many of my other (admittedly more used) pairs of shoes.

The stability is also fine. I have a slight issue here in that I probably got the wrong size of shoe and there is a slight wobble. I went for the 1 size over regular shoe size when really for me I think I prefer a more snug fit and I should have gone for the 0.5 size bigger. Anyway what’s done is done and it’s fine.

Aesthetics: If you like purple and green you’re fine! They do come in other colours of course.

Other reviews: The waverider history is a good one and the shoe has been praised over its various incarnations. From what I have read the 15 was less well received than earlier ones. However I thought they were pretty good and, if I had the right size, probably excellent for me.

Doesn’t of course mean they are right for YOU. But if you are usure what to go for and are down to a choice of a few pairs that you have tried on and the Waverider is one of those pairs…then IMHO buy the Waverider.

Some gumf:

Providing an ultra-dynamic, transitional ride from the heel impact to the toe off, the introduction of Mizuno’s new Smooth Ride forefoot flex control maximises the efficiency of the toe off phase for even more effotless miles. Other technical advances include an extended wave plate in the mid- foot all working in unison to deliver a shoe that is not only stable and secure but light and fast.

A shoe with an impressive reputation, this latest Wave Rider also includes Dynamotion Fit technology. Essentially this is a design and technical concept where a series of stratigically placed panels throughout the shoe enhance the fit and ensure that the shoe always works in harmony with your foot.

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