My History with Mizuno and a Possible Break-up

Yesterday’s Run: 4.95 miles and I can’t remember my time (it was somewhere around 47 minutes on the treadmill)

Ahh, insomnia! I haven’t had a bout of this in a while, but today, it’s hit me hard. I went to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour (for me), only to wake up to one of the dog’s howling (was afraid there was a break-in), only to find out that there was nobody here, or lurking in my basement. Note to self: bring the baseball bat upstairs and hide it so that if someone does break in through the basement, they don’t hit ME with it!

Of course, when you’re wide awake, worried that you might have an intruder in your house, you find yourself pondering other things, too. Like what your next pair of running shoes will be.

Here’s the deal: my husband bought me a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s for Christmas. I have been in love with Mizunos since I bought my first pair of them about five years ago. My first pair were the Mizuno Wave Inspire 6’s:

I absolutely loved these shoes. Prior to buying them, I had some major blisters from my New Balance sneakers, which had always been my go-to pair of shoes, ever since my high school cross-country days. But something obviously changed, and they weren’t working for me. So I went to a specialty running store, had the manager watch me run in what seemed like a million pairs of shoes, and kept going back to the Mizunos. In this first pair of Mizunos, I ran five to eight miles without breaking them in and didn’t get blisters, injured, nothing. Of course, they eventually got worn down, and I had to buy a new pair of shoes…

…the Mizuno Wave Inspire 7’s. I bought these at Dick’s Sporting Goods instead of going back to the place where I purchased my first Mizunos, mainly because I bought my first ones in New Hampshire, and I was living in Massachusetts (still am!). Other than Dick’s, there wasn’t a specialty running store within a 40-mile radius that carried my beloved Mizunos. The only thing is, I hated this pair. They were completely different from the 6’s. I should have gone back to that store in New Hampshire, because they probably would have told me that the new Mizunos wouldn’t work well for me. I didn’t develop plantar fasciitis until I started wearing these! So when that crappy pair of sneakers wasn’t even completely finished (I was finished with them!), I went back to New Hampshire and entertained the idea of buying a different brand of sneakers. Of course, by then, the 8’s were out…

I still have this pair and use them as walking shoes. They still aren’t even completely worn out! I absolutely loved them, and actually thought about buying three more pair like it because I was so afraid that they’d do another horrible re-design again! Unfortunately, I’m not rich, so I didn’t have an extra $300 to spend. By the time I was getting ready to rotate in a new pair of running shoes, I got a little lazy and ended up buying these babies from Famous Footwear:

The Mizuno Wave Creation 13’s. Although they weren’t the Wave Inspires, I had done a bunch of research on them and they had gotten mostly positive reviews. They were a pretty stable pair of sneakers for me, and got me through a LOT of miles! In hindsight, I probably should have retired them a little sooner and possibly could have avoided injury. I was still wearing these for my long runs when JP bought me my next pair of sneakers for Christmas:

The Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. Now these are a great pair of sneakers. I love the amount of cushioning in them, and I haven’t gotten any blisters while wearing them. If you’re looking for a neutral sneaker, these will work beautifully for you. They’ve actually worked really well for me, up until my injury, but the one problem I have (which I do believe contributed to my knee injury) is the fact that I have extremely high arches, am a heel striker, and an overpronator, so I really need more of a stability shoe with more support. Since I’m starting to increase my mileage more, I know I am going to have to find a new pair of sneaks that can do this for me. The only thing is, I’m not sure if they’ll be Mizunos.
I’ve been reading the reviews of the Wave Inspire 10s, and after not only looking at the reviews, but seeing them at Dick’s, I’m not so sure about them. It seems like a lot of people who loved the 9’s, hate the 10’s. Some people who loved the 9’s and read the bad reviews, decided to try the Wave Paradox:

Some people really love this sneaker, but from the reviews I read, it appears that the Wave Inspire lovers didn’t seem so inspired by them.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I’ve pondered all my options, and here’s the list that I made:

• Scour DSW and Famous Footwear to see if they carry the Wave Inspire 9’s and stock up on them
• Go back to New Hampshire and try on a million different pairs of shoes, and decide that I’m one of the few who love the Wave Inspire 10’s and buy them
• Go back to New Hampshire and try on a million different pairs of shoes, and ask the manager for her expert advice and buy a completely different pair of sneakers (I’ve been making comparisons to Brooks, although I am intrigued by Hokas, which are available at a specialty running store very close to me)
• Go to a random athletic store and after being diligent in doing a bunch of research on different shoes, try some on myself, run around the track a TON and choose a pair based on my own observations (I know the employees there are clueless – the last time I went to get a pair of sneakers for JP, the guy had no idea what minimalist running shoes were).

This is what I’ll probably do: Go to a specialty running store and see what they suggest (unless I can find a pair of the Wave Inspire 9’s) . I don’t have a ton of money to spend on a pair of sneakers that may or may not work, so I am going to get my money’s worth!

Anyone else ever make the switch from Mizuno to another brand? If so what did you buy?

Have any advice you’d like to share/suggestions you like to make to me? Let me know in a comment below!


20 thoughts on “My History with Mizuno and a Possible Break-up

  1. Montana

    I’ve never tried Mizuno but I too am a heel striker with a high arch. I’ve always used Asics and find they work well for me. My current love affair is with Salomon but those are more specific to trail runners. I’ll probably do the same thing you do…think about trying a different pair and then end up with the same ones. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Brooks for stability and cushion though.

  2. emmelineruns

    I can’t wear Mizunos, they feel super weird and painful on my foot just standing around. But I have had to switch shoes and brands entirely when my shoe was completely redesigned (why do they do that?) so I would advise making sure you get fitted for a new shoe as if you were never a Mizuno girl and if you get put back in the new Mizunos, great, but if something better works for your foot, that’s more important than the name on the shoe.

  3. Brianna @ I run He tris

    This is crazy, I wrote such a similar blog post for today!! I just made the switch over to Mizuno. You should go check out my post- spoiler alert: I recommend getting a proper fitting to see what works for you!

  4. Lily

    I’ve never had brand loyalty with shoes, I started with Saucony, tried Brooks, got some Asics, and now I’m in Mizuno Wave Creation 15. All my other shoes were stability shoes (because that’s what I was fitted for), but the last time I went to a running store, I was told I needed neutral shoes. So, who knows what I need. These Wave Creations feel good so far (knock on wood). When these wear out, I’m going to go to a bigger running store in Los Angeles that hopefully has some really experienced shoe people and they can tell me what I need. It’s so hard to know what shoes are perfect if you haven’t found them yet!

  5. Rachel

    I’m a Mizuno gal, through and through. I have been wearing Inspires but recently had an incident with PF as well, and was switched to Riders. I’m so glad I went to get re-fitted because I HATE the newest Inspires. They are ugly and so uncomfortable. I feel ya. Stock up on the ones you like. Try zappos! Good luck.

  6. Kathryn @ Dancing to Running

    I was worried about purchasing the Wave Inspire 10s after loving the 9s. When I heard that they were being discontinued, to say I was disappointed is an understatement. I ordered the 10s, and crossed my fingers that they would work out. Fortunately, I love them just as much as the 9s, but I also know that I’m in the minority. I’ve considered stocking up on them for when they’re discontinued in fear that I may not like the next version of them.

    I hope you quickly find a solution to your shoe problem!

    1. 262x2 Post author

      How long have you been wearing the 10s for? One of the big things I’ve heard is that they don’t last as long/aren’t as good quality as the 9s. I’m usually pretty good about being able to tell fairly quickly whether something will or won’t work for me, so if I try them in the store and they seem comfy,I may end up being someone in the minority that loves them…as long as they don’t fall apart on me in a month!

  7. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    I will come back and read any more comments that are left because I see myself possibly being in the same boat soon. I am still wearing Wave Rider 15s- don’t like the 16s, which means I prob won’t like the 17s. And pretty soon I won’t be able to find 15s on ebay anymore. I feel like Elaine from Seinfeld when they took her birth control off the market.

    1. 262x2 Post author

      Lol, so true! I was scouring the internet last night trying to find some Wave Inspire 9s. If you’re a size 6 or 12, you’re all set, but for the rest of us, we’re screwed!

  8. Amy Lauren

    I wear Mizuno and I recommend getting re-fitted every few years. I was first fitted for neutral shoes, then later fitted with stability. Ironically, my first pair of “real” running shoes was also the Inspire 6, just because they felt good in the store. I hated the 7’s (tried em on and didn’t buy). Now I’m wearing the Inspire 9’s and the Elixir’s (now discontinued). I also really liked the Precisions, which are also discontinued.

    I say get re-fitted. Your feet do change and they recommend it every few years. I go to the specialty stores and that’s their job so I just get them to fit me because I figure I’m there, why not? I would definitely consider another brand of shoe if I found one that worked for me though. Unless you’re sponsored by a shoe brand (and face it, we are regular runners and not), I have no shame in trying new things. You’ve got nothing to lose and it’s more about what works for you than brand or even special shoes. I have friends who run in Nike Free’s from the big box store and are still great runners *shrugs*.

  9. Betsy Moats (@WarriorBetsy)

    Quite the conundrum! I run in Altra’s and love them. Prior to that I ran in Brooks Pure line but they updated their model and I didn’t like it. I took that as an opportunity to transition to zero drop shoes. It was a great decision!

  10. overwhelmed heart

    Brooks did this to me with the Ravennas. I absolutely loved the 2s. Literally, my soulmate shoe. Then, duh duh duh, they did a complete redesign and everything since then has given me blisters. 😦 I tried Mizunos but they didn’t work for me either.

  11. Karen

    I feel your pain! I have never tried Mizuno, but I hate when something gets redesigned and it ruins it for you! I recently tried on Brooks GTS 14 and it’s more of a stability shoe, but for a long run I think they may be kick butt comfy. I have went through many a shoe looking for a long run fav. I LOVE Altras Torin the original, for short runs an treadmill runs they are cushy and light but I need more when I start going over 6 miles. The new Torin I ordered and disliked…so I ordered one more of the originals before they disappear.

  12. willrunforpizza

    I was fitted at a running store and was told I should be in Mizuno’s as well. This was a good 3 years ago though, so I don’t even know WHICH Mizuno’s they suggested because I had never worn them before. Three years later, I still have yet to try a pair of Mizuno’s. I had turned to Asics and loved those for years. I did get 2 pairs of Brooks last year and I do love them both! And I don’t think my knee injury was from the shoes either – it was from going from treadmill runs to outdoors, running more mileage, and starting speed workouts. I do want to eventually try some Mizuno’s though, but I will get another foot evaluation beforehand.

  13. Cat

    I am a loyal Saucony runner (but have also dealt with awful redesigns…the Guide 6 nearly crippled me). However I love the Guide 7! I have a high arch, moderate overpronation, heel striker. Good luck.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s