After putting a great 600+ miles on my Nike Free Run 2s, and getting my tax return back, I decided it was time for new kicks. These kicks ended up being the Mizuno Wave Rider 16s, and let me tell you, they are great! Being on a budget and all, I got these amazing shoes for the price of $115. They’re not the cheapest things in the world, but for being as great as they are, they aren’t up in the $200s! The colors I got the shoes in, orange, violet and white, are somewhat rare; rare as in on the Mizuno website the color was not a selection, and neither did I ever come across it ever in any Google Image searches or videos. It wasn’t until I was at the Boulder Running Company, that the lady presented the shoes, exclaiming that she didn’t have the lovely blue ones in stock for my size. I expected to see the far less stunning white or red versions, but instead was taken aback by the purple, white, and orange! How queer! I thought. I didn’t know these shoes came in that color! They were not prettier than the blue and pink ones, but they were much more appealing than the white and red.
Having been a size 8 – 8.5 since forever, I was shocked to find that my size in Mizuno was 9. So…I’d say that they run a little small. Upon sliding my foot into the shoes, I was surprised by the ‘hug’ of the shoe. The shoe gripped the middle of my foot the most, left a comfortable fit in the heel, and ample space in the toe box. They were very, very comfortable. Also, once I stood and started to walk around, I was shocked to find that the heel was very very soft!…in a firm way! Every time I took a step, it felt like I was walking on a firm pillow! Looking at this shoe in pictures, you might observe how odd the drop is on the heel compared to the toe. In the heel, the space between the ground and your foot is 1.5 inches. So, if you wear these shoes, you’ll be 1.5 inches taller! That’s a lot of cushioning, and boy do you feel it! When the lady had me jump up on the treadmill and start running, I could tell that these shoes were very much made for midfoot and forefoot strikers. I’m a midfoot striker, and these shoes jammed so well with my style, it was like I was floating! I don’t know how else to describe it! It felt so light…the steps were so right…it was so good. If you’re a heel striker, these shoes will not work for you. If you’re a heel striker wanting to become a midfoot striker, these will definitely help you. You know how Newton running shoes have those lugs to help you with midfoot form? Well that’s what these shoes feel like except without the lugs; they were just made for that kind of running style. Also, did I mention that they were really light? Well, they are! Another beautiful wonderful plus! The Wave Riders come in at 8.2 ounces, that’s pretty dang light!
The only downside I can think of would be the flexibility. These shoes were definitely not made for flexibility enhancement, but they’re also not terribly stiff. I would call them neutral. That’s really the only downside I can think of…So, back to the good stuff; these shoes have a great deal of mesh towards the front of the shoe, which makes the shoe incredibly breathable. Did I mention the bouncy step? These shoes have an amazing feel when running in them! When you run (midfoot that is), you just bounce. On my run today, I noticed that my calf muscles felt much less abused; these shoes have great shock absorbency in addition to its midfoot design. Also, if you’re used to running in a “barefoot-feel” shoe, let me just say that these are way different! The Nike Free Run 2s are supposed to imitate the barefoot feel, so the feel is a bit raw. Slipping these babies on was a real luxury. I ain’t going “barefoot” again! The smooth ride in these is like no other. And, last but not least, these shoes are very nice looking. One thing I loved about the Nike Free Run 2 was its look. The shoes looked so good, it was half the reason I loved them! The Wave Riders are sexy in a lovely sophisticated way! I don’t mean to hate, but if an Asics shoe fit me like heaven, I still wouldn’t get them because I just hate the way they look. I can’t get a shoe that I think is ugly, the Wave Rider 16s look professional and very nice :) All in alls, I love this shoe!