While I do have many running shoes, most of them are actually “retired” because they did their job protecting my feet on one of the many runs I do and they simply reached their expected end of life. I have been a big fan of the Nike Pegasus running shoe for many years, but with the 29th incarnation of the Nike Pegasus I was not too happy. It seemed like I just did not get the same mileage from the shoe anymore compared to the older models that I had before. I do not remember, but I think my love affair with the Nike Pegasus running shoe start with model #23. The Nike Pegasus 29 did not make me too happy even though I had a total of 4 or 5 pairs, but as I increased my running last year it became apparent that we have to part ways now.
So, I was looking for a new
love affair running shoe and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 caught my interest. It was just released a few months ago and I have heard good things about it. In addition the shoe looks really sexy and less boring than the Nike Pegasus. But especially the reduced weight and a new midsole of the Wave Rider 17 made me curious and I decided to try out this shoe next. I checked out some other shoes as well – especially the Asics Gel Kayano, but the price tag on that shoe scared me away at least for now. Having done my initial homework, I reviewed the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 here, but that review is more about the specifications of the shoe and related information, while this review now is based on the actual shoe and real-life usage.
I bought the shoe online at Roadrunner Sports and since I am a VIP member with them I received a 10% discount and free shipping when ordering the Mizuno Wave Rider. I had tried to get it locally, but all stores I went to were either still trying to sell the older model of the Wave Rider or did not even carry this specific model. I did place my order last weekend and the shoes arrived this week. The timing was perfect because I wanted to try them out before my long run (marathon training) on the weekend. The first thing I noticed upon unboxing were the really long shoe laces. Not sure why you would use such long shoe laces in the first place, but I am sure MacGyver would come up with some useful ideas.
The shoes felt a bit stiff at first, but I did expect that – I had heard about it in another review that I read a few days earlier. I went for a run of about 7 miles and did not notice the stiffness anymore when I was done. I came home and my 8 year old son noticed the new shoes right away. He is a sneaker addict and we always have discussions about our sports shoes in one way or the other (think of a kid that wants new shoes more often than I do even though he has way too many pairs he hasn’t really used yet).
Weekend Long Run – Marathon Training
Well, I am in another training cycle for running a marathon and so every Saturday I am heading out for a long training run. Nothing different this Saturday accordingly and so it was me and the road. The weather was supposed to turn snowy in the afternoon, but at around 8.00 AM there was blue sky and (surprise) no wind. We had lots of wind lately and today was supposed to be windy again, but I was hoping the winds would stay away until the afternoon when the storm was supposed to move in (hint: I was wrong). I laced up, loaded my Fitletic Hydration Belt with 4 bottles of Gatorade and 4 strips of Gatorade Chews and off I went.
The Mizuno Wave Rider felt good on my feet. When I bought them online the Roadrunner Sports website suggested to buy them a half size from the norm and so I had ordered them in size 11. I had done the same with Nike Pegasus 29 at one point, but they were too big and I felt like my feet were swimming in the Pegasus at size 11. The Mizuno Wave Rider 17 does not give me the same feeling – my feet felt like they were one with the shoe which is always a good sign.
I went my usual route that I have for my long runs. I designed this route in a way that I have many options to shorten or expand a run depending on how I feel. If you are a runner you know what I mean – each run is different and sometimes we need to cut it short and sometimes we feel unstoppable and then you need to have the option to expand the run, but in a way that you can still make it home properly. I have many cut-off points where I can make a turn and adjust the distance easily. Well, today turned out to be different, because I was just about 2-3 miles out there, when the winds came. First it was Ok, but then the winds got stronger and sometimes the wind gusts were really strong. My route usually has a stretch of about 4-5 miles where I am in the wide open and it is not fun to run there when it is windy. I decided to switch things up and rather pick a different route (along a busy street) where I was hoping to be a bit more protected from the winds. I was wrong, I was very wrong – the winds still found me and I had forgotten about the rolling hill setup of that stretch and so facing winds with lots of uphill running does not make a good combination.
Be a Snow Here or how the Mizuno Wave Rider behaves on Snow and Ice
I had never run in this area of town and it was actually in a different county. The bus stops I passed had signs about being a snow hero. They county wanted to “motivate” people to clean their drive-ways and sidewalks in front of their houses from snow and ice to make it more safe to be out there. Well, I wish they would expand that thinking and walk the talk because where I was running (public sidewalks) I encountered a lot of ice and snow. But have no fear, the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 did great on the ice and snow. I was very surprised at first and then I was impressed. I never felt unsecure on the snow or the ice and the traction was good. On that 2-3 mile stretch I was on probably one mile of sidewalk was in bad shape and so I think it is accurate to say that the Wave Rider made a great impression for sure. I am not sure how things will look on a real snow run, but at least for today’s conditions it outperformed my expectations.
I approached mile 14 and 15 of my long run and the Nike Pegasus 29 running shoe often felt soft and a bit weaker when approaching that type of distance. I do not know if the material simply becomes more soft from the pounding or with the feet warming up, but I was happy that I did not get the same softness or weak feeling in the Wave Rider. The shoes still felt very strong and performed just fine. My average pace slipped a bit at this point because of the winds and some nasty wind gusts. Running against the wind had taken a bit of a toll on my strength and with some of the wind gusts I almost had the feeling I was running backwards. The outside temperatures were in the low 50s, but the wind certainly made it feel colder – I even wore a thin pair of running gloves for extended parts of my run because my hands felt cold and the wind would go up the sleeves of my Nike DRI-Fit jacket. However, my feet were just fine even though the upper part of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 is made from mesh, but running for an extended amount of time warms your feet anyway. I am sure I will encounter some colder temperatures over the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see how this pair of shoes is going to hold up then.
I arrived back home having run 18.18 miles (no misprint). This was my second run with the Mizuno Waver Rider 17. Usually I try to have a few more shorter runs with a shoe before taking it out for a long run, but I was so excited about being able to try out a completely different pair of shoes that I took the risk. Each runner is different and some people really have to break-in their new shoes before using them on long runs. Fortunately I do not have that need and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 did not disappoint me. The shoes felt strong and supportive at the end of this 18 mile run. I am very happy with the Wave Rider 17 so far and hope that this new love affair can continue. It will be interesting to see how many miles I will get out of the Mizuno shoes. They are slightly more expensive than the Nike Pegasus running shoes and marathon training builds up miles fast. I see myself going through at least 3 pairs of these before it is summer.