Product Review: Hello Mizuno

By Toni Carey (@toni_carey, @blackgirlsrun) If you know anything about me, you know I'm a huge fan of Brooks. I've tried other brands and they just never seemed to stand up to my beloved Brooks Ghosts. Trying new shoes is scary. No one wants to drop $100 on shoes for them to ultimately fail the test. But when the folks at Mizuno insisted I try their new Wave Rider 15, I was up for the challenge. While Ashley consistently raved about the awesomeness of Mizuno, I was still apprehensive. The technology: First of all, Mizuno is very well-known among veteran runners. I definitely think it's one of those brands that doesn't get nearly enough attention or props for their products and their impact on the running shoe world. (Let's just clear this up now, Nike isn't the only running shoe brand.......*blank stare*) Mizuno's Wave technology is legend, wait for it, dary and nothing new to the running scene. As a matter of fact, Mizuno is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Wave Rider, one of its most celebrated shoes. The Wave Rider 15 features many of the same attributes from the previous 14 generations, it also has SmoothRide Engineering, which introduces large flex grooves and flex controllers, designed to mimic the natural movement of the foot. Curbside appeal: These are probably the sexiest running shoes I've ever owned. Mizuno hooked me up with the white-dark shadow (0098) (pictured above), but other options include lemon-dark shadow-aquarius (3298) and bleached aqua-sun orange-dark shadow (5G2Y).   Claim to fame: The Wave Rider 15 features Mizuno's new and improved Smooth Ride Engineering. According to Rod Foley, Mizuno's director of marketing for athletic footwear, "The new SmoothRide Engineering is one of the most revolutionary Mizuno technologies ever introduced into our high performance footwear line." The sacrifice: The suggested retail price is $114.99. Ouch! My take: My first test drive in them was rough. I experienced quite a bit of discomfort mid-sole on right foot. The first time I thought it was a fluke, but the discomfort continued until my third or fourth run. I still haven't figured out if it was the shoe, my foot or that the Brooks gods didn't want me to like the shoes. Nonetheless, once I got over the weirdness, I absolutely fell in love with the shoe. I've never run in anything like them. The SmoothRide technology is AH-MAZING and I literally feel like I could run for days. If you are looking for stability with cushion, this is the shoe for you. I actually feel like I have an extra spring in my step. The verdict: Even though I experienced some akwardness during the first few runs, I'm sold. Usually, I find SOMETHING wrong with my running shoes and grow tired of the "newness" after the first 5-10 runs, but I haven't gotten to that point yet. And from what I hear, that time isn't anywhere near. I'm so glad I finally got a chance to try Mizuno. I can't wait to try some of their other products. Bonus: Need a formal introduction to Mizuno? Check out this video to meet the brand and to be inspired.



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