Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shoe Review, Mizuno Wave Inspire 7

By Brent
I have learned, as with the Brooks Ravenna, just because it looks good and feels okay walking around the house, means NOTHING compared to running in a shoe. Being signed up for another half marathon again I knew I needed to check my mileage in my current line up of shoes. I logged onto active.com where I have for the past year logged all my mileage running, biking or swimming (year to date, 0 miles!). The line up looked as follows...

Brooks Ravenna, 1,XXX miles due to being my everyday walk around shoe.

Asics Nimbus, 408.45 miles, semi retired

Asics GT-2140, 489.29 miles, retired
Asics DS Trianer 14, 260.49 miles, active but aging

So knowing that a bigger fella like myself is going to flatten a shoe out quicker than say, Usain Bolt, I knew that one aging pair of shoes wasn't going to do the trick. LET THE SHOPPING BEGIN!!!

I have said before, with size 15 feet, I don't have the same luxury as most folks who walk into a store and point out the prettiest thing on the wall and try it out, so the best luck I have had so far is on runningwarehouse.com or roadrunnersports.com. Going through runningwarehouse.com I entered my specs and it shot out a fair amount of shoes to choose from. I also appreciate that there is no shipping and handling, 2 day air standard freight, and return label already shipped with the shoe, and almost every time, the best price you can find anywhere!

One option that popped out was the Mizuno Wave Inspire 7. I have wanted Mizuno for quite some time. I was pleased with the $85 price and they had my size in stock. The other perk was that the shipping time line worked out perfect for a family vacation we were taking that weekend down to see my uncle, and Boston Marathon runner, and I could use his True treadmill and not have to touch mine.

"Is True the best brand treadmill?" you ask. I don't have a clue. I know they have gotten good reviews from runners world magazine, but for me, my height makes me love it more than mine. I have to turn the treadmill 90 degrees, slide an acoustic drop ceiling tile to the side and run very steady with in a span of 24" front to back and 16" center to center.

So the Mizuno's arrived and I put them on. The only feeling better than a new pair of sneakers is a new pair of socks. As I walked around I thought they felt good. Not a noticeable amount of cushion, but still a good feeling shoe. snug on the heal, roomy in the toe. Very solid. I felt good about this one.

The family made its trip south and Saturday night was the big event. I got all dressed out and put on the Mizuno Wave Inspire 7 and began the walk. A slow, boring 3.5 mph walk. As I walked I did feel a disturbing amount of rub on the very back of the right heel about the sock line. So after a half mile walk I stopped and moved my socks, which were a no show sock, but were now pulled up rather high and looked fairly dumb. Either way, I wondered if maybe it was just this type of sock. So I got back on and walked another quarter mile and wasn't pleased with how things were panning out. I wondered if speed was the issue so I pressed the preset speed button on the True (wishing that I myself had one) and tried them out at 5 m.p.h. No better so after stopping and readjusting I hopped back on and tried out 8 m.p.h. No better. Another sock tweak, and another 5 m.p.h. lap and things were looking like my relationship with Mizzo was going to be null.
After 3.25 miles I decided that I will be sending the Mizuno back. After a side by side comparison the back of the Mizzo's do run up a good bit higher than my current Brooks or Asics and didn't have nearly the same ACL cut out section. I will be exchanging these and going back to my brand of choice, Asics and bringing in the GT-2160. What could possible go wrong?!?!
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  1. Good review. I use Mizuno Wave Inspire 6s and love them. When the 7 arrived in the shops I tried them on with high expectations. What a disappointment. I know exactly what you mean about the heel - the cut-out half covered my ankle bone! Feels more like a hiking bootie than a running shoe. Suffice to say I won't be replacing my Wave Inpsire 6s with 7s. Will probably go back to Asics.

  2. I just tried out my new Inspire 7s -- I was a big fan of the 5s and went straight to the 7s hoping that it would take that much longer for them to be phased out.

    I did a short 2.5 mile run in them and had the same issue that you did -- hot spots on the back and insides of both ankles by the ankle bone. Ouch! I will be running my 10K next Sunday in the old shoes and looking for another pair of new ones. The 7s are noticeably higher than my old 5s and just don't cut it for me.

  3. I have always used the Wave Runner line in the Mizuno running shoe, have used the Kayano 15 and 16, and the GT2160, have switched back to Mizuno, found the ASICS narrow and the heel area being very high off the ground. Bought the Wave Inspire 7's on Saturday, took them for a 3.45 mile run on Sunday, found the shoes hard at first, due to the cold and being brand new, after about 2 miles the shoes felt wonderful, had no issues in regards to the high back heel area and no hot spots, I wear POWERSOX and did not even realize that this has been an issue for some, the heel strike area was very confortable and look for these shoes to get even better with more mileage. The forefront padding is very noticeable, more noticeable than any ASICS shoe I have worn, shoe was very stable throughout the run and I had no real issues, and ran a personal best 9:02 for 3:45, in new shoes no less. And I love the colors, the yellow just screams fast......shoes are different from every runner, and not every shoe is the same fit for every runner, sometimes it just takes time to find that perfect fit for the shoe. Going out for 4 today, and looking forward to it.

  4. Thanks for the comments! Sometimes it feels good to get others that agree and you realize that you are not crazy. As for those of you that these shoes work out for... thats great, and I really am jealous. I really did want them to work out. If nothing else, I agree on one thing, they look fast. Mizuno did a very good job on the design of this shoe. I have never tried Powersox, but I will now be looking into it. I think the only feeling better than a fresh (but just broken in) shoe is a new pair of socks.. or "sox". Happy running!!!!

  5. Mizuno made some MAJOR changes to the Inspire 7s (and the rest of their line, based on what I have tried on - I work at a running store). As a longtime Mizuno wearer, I was sorely (literally, ha) disappointed by the increased height of the heel and the changed shape around the ankle. I hope that they bring back the old design.

  6. The rub you felt probably wasn't the shoes, it was the socks! New socks always need to be washed before first use. Otherwise the (initially somewhat rough) fibre of the socks causes disturbing rub and eventually blisters, esp. around the heel.

  7. I just got a pair of these, and I'm loving them so far. I personally have very narrow ankles, and I like that these give me additional support there. They don't slip and/or rub when I run, but I also have some Ironman Wigwam socks that have a heel tab on the back, and it's a great combo.