I chose the Mizuno Wave Ronin as my shoe, and since I now have over 30 miles on them in runs of varying lengths, I feel like I can review honestly them.
Appearance: Awesome. The red/white isn't necessarily a color combo I would gravitate towards, but in person, the look pretty cool. They actually match a lot of my running gear (which usually only happens by accident when I train, yet is methodically planned on race days). I don't know if it shows in the picture, but the laces have a little sparkle woven in them, too!
Initial feel: Like putting on a shoe made for my foot. They felt great. Very light.
First run: (Monday) Here's where my brutal honesty comes in. These shoes felt TERRIBLE! I took our giant dog for a 2 mile run, and I felt way too aware of the wave-plate technology Mizuno uses. It was like there was a sheet of concrete in the sole, especially in the left. They felt like they were sliding on my feet, and overall, it was like having a loose slipper with a concrete sole and trying to run in them. I was really sad, for I had high hopes. In full disclosure, the dog weighs 107 lbs, and the initial half mile has a steep downhill curve, then a gradual downhill (which means the last half mile is the reverse). I can home making a face akin to McKayla Maroney.
Second run: Because I'm not a quitter, I wore them to our running group on Tuesday. It coincided with the day I started teaching Zumba at a second location, so I only had time to run the 5K course. It started out on the road, then is mostly a trail made of crushed asphalt that winds around the base.
The shoes felt a lot better. I didn't feel the wave plate, and the shoes felt more at home on my feet (no slipping, no sliding). I don't know that it was quite a mezamashii (brilliant) run yet, but it was a good run. I was happy with the shoe. I told my husband I thought they'd be great for 5Ks and 10Ks, but I didn't know about anything longer.
Third and Fourth runs: I wore them again the following Tuesday and Thursday, and each time, they felt a little bit better. If these shoes had a brain, I would say they were learning my foot strike, learning my speed, and adjusting. How else can you explain a shoe feeling better with each run?
Fifth run: 10 miles. The distance test. Saturday was the most magical run I've had in a very long time. Running at dusk, on a quite trail, in chilly but not freezing temperatures, and with shoes that I never even though about? Magical. I did my long run on the base so I'd be near my husband in case of emergency. Everything, from the sparkle on the laces to the fit on my foot, everything was perfect. There are no words to capture how perfect everything was. But, I do believe Mezamashii is as close as it gets.
So thank you, Mizuno, for granting me these shoes. I am in love. I hope to put many more miles on them.
Sometimes, a girl just needs a new pair of shoes to get through trying times. These shoes are sure helping!
I'll keep rotating these with my other shoes during training, and can't wait to wear them at my last attempt at a PR for 2012- New Year's Eve. 5K is the only standard race distance that I haven't PR'd in this year, so we'll see if I can change that!
DISCLAIMER: I was given these shoes as a part of Mizuno Running's Mezamashii Project. The opinions expressed are my own, and I was not compensated in any manner beyond the shoes.
If you are newer to running, or used to running in a more cushioned shoe, proceed slowly and with caution before logging too many miles in what Mizuno calls a racing flat.