Is the Mizuno Wave Rider really the right Running Shoe for me? I am not that sure anymore and I am ready to break up with this running shoe even though I just had it for 5 weeks.
A few weeks ago I bought my very first pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17 running shoes. I had read many positive reviews about the shoe and it seemed to be a great move up from the more basic Nike Pegasus running shoe that I have been using for many years in different versions. I was very excited about the Mizuno Wave Rider and could barely wait to try them out on a first run. Now I have fear that my love affair with the shoe is short-lived.
Well, take a look at the picture here (please note that on this picture my foot is NOT lined up properly with the shoe). The Mizuno Wave Rider felt a bit stiff right from the start and from what I am reading that stiffness is supposed to go away after 20-30 miles once the shoe is broken in. But what happened is that I am getting pressure against the top of my toes up to a point where it actually created a small puncture type of would on both the left foot and the right foot from the friction that happens when running. Initially it was not bad, but when you come home from a run and notice blood stains on your shoes and socks you know that something is not right. For my last long run (22 miles) I actually put (medical) tape on my toes to protect the top and overall that worked out Ok, but it is a fix, not really a solution.
Now I am not sure if it has to do with the size of the shoe and how the seams for the upper are located or if it is actually the stiffness of the shoe in general. The shoe seems properly sized for me and I verified this through Mizuno Customer Service. My foot size is probably between 10.5 and 11 depending on the manufacturer of the shoes I am wearing. It is really hard to tell if it is a sizing issue with the Wave Rider. None of the local stores had it in stock and so I bought it online at Roadrunner Sports. They’re recommendation was to upsize actually and with previous purchases they were usually right with that recommendation. Now I am kind of in a pickle as I do not want buy the Wave Rider a size smaller (=10.5) and the have a similar experience. The shoes are not cheap and while I can use the current pair as my normal day to day walking shoe, I still need a good shoe that I can train in.
Currently I am leaning towards going back to the Nike Pegasus running shoe as the shoe of choice. It certainly has its own bag of issues, but overall it is a solid running shoe and it comes in a bit cheaper from a pricing perspective. I have about 7 weeks left before I will run the first of three marathons this spring and time is a bit short to start experimenting with running shoes. I think this step makes sense and it should cover me until after the 3rd marathon just fine.
Road Runner Sports to the Rescue
I am a customer of Road Runner Sports for many years now and always loved their service and prices for running shoes. I am a V.I.P. member since my very first purchase back in 2008. The V.I.P. membership gets me preferred pricing, free shipping, and something I never thought I would use – a very generous return policy. If you don’t like the shoes you bought from them for whatever reason, you have up to 90 days to return them for in-store credit or a shoe exchange. I called them up this morning and it seems like I was way too concerned that I have to justify my request to return running shoes that I have been using for 5 weeks. I am not that type of guy that is looking for freebies by stressing return policies or stuff like that and it goes a bit beyond my nature asking for a return/refund if I used something. But all my worries were blown away by the friendly staff at the customer support line. After explained the situation she provided me with the available options and asked what my preference would be. Then she helped me to pick a replacement shoe (Nike Pegasus 30) and also explained what I would have to do to return the Mizuno Wave Rider to them. I was on the phone with Road Runner Sports Customer Support for maybe 10 minutes and then everything was settled. I found the return label on the original paperwork that came with the shoe, boxed it up nicely and then dropped it off at the post office. When I came home I found an email from Roadrunner Sports that my replacements shoes were already processed and would ship today.
I can honestly say that I am very impressed with Road Runner Sports and I am happy to be their customer. This incident was handled all the way to my satisfaction and the customer service rep also recommended to go with a shoe that I am familiar with for the rest of my marathon training and then once I ran my marathons pick a different shoe and “experiment” with that during off season. I really felt in good hands with them.
While I love to hunt for deals on shoes, electronics, and pretty much anything I buy I also give my business to companies and businesses that treat me well. These businesses get my return business even if it means to pay a little bit more than somewhere else. As an example, in 2004 I had eye infection and the eye doctor I was visiting back then made many mistakes and I switched doctors. The new eye doctor back then treated me very well and knew exactly what to do and things turned out good. I am using contact lenses for my vision and even though I could get those cheaper over the Internet I still buy them at my (new) eye doctor. I feel in good hands with him and so he gets my business. The same thing applies to Road Runner Sports. I bought shoes from them for the first time in 2008 and have been coming back ever since. The great customer support and the generous return policy are really worth it and so they will get more orders from me over time. And “Psst – their prices are very affordable even with the generous return policy in place.”