As my Wave Inspire 5 began to wear out a bit, I retired them a bit prematurely as they were not the best fit for me. Continuing with my venture into Mizuno shoes, the Wave Elixir 5 was my second pair of Mizuno, as there was still no Wave rider available at the store.
Significant and noticeable features of the shoes include the G3 outsole, the wave technology and the AP midsole. I have discussed the wave technology in my Wave Inspire 5 review, the Elixir utilizes wave patterns that offer less plush of a ride and much less stability. The G3 outsole material is designed to save weight, they are pieces of rubber that are stuck to the outsole; they look similar to the outsole featured on my last two pairs of Asics DS Trainer (7 and 9). The AP midsole provides a relatively cushioned ride, as I mentioned before, the Elixirs are not as plush as the Inspire. Mizuno also advertises that the “smooth ride” technology to be responsible for the ride quality; this design is supposed to disperse the foot’s acceleration equally. I cannot really attest to this claim, but a number of on line reviewers enjoy the “flexibility” that these shoes offer, which could be attributed to this technology. The company’s website also hypes the upper “air mesh” material; however I cannot say that these shoes are more ventilated relative to other brands.
Overall, I enjoy the Wave Elixir 5, cosmetically, the lime green and white motif is quite flashy, and perhaps not for everyone. Functionally, the shoe does not post the same problems I have with the Inspire; namely, the built up heel and excessive stability (for my needs). When looking at the inside of the heel of the Elixir, you would notice that there are fewer wave plates than the Inspire, the heel is also narrower and less built up. Because of these differences, I was able to run normally with them. The most striking feature of was the low weight; one might consider using these as light weight trainers. However, this positive comes at the expense of durability, despite the company’s claim that the G3 outsole being durable – they’re not. After two months of training, some of these pieces started to get ripped off from the shoes. Furthermore, in order to save weight, the outsole was built with less X10 material compares to the Inspire, which greatly affected the durability of my shoes; after around 8 weeks of use, I almost completely destroyed the outsole on the spots where feet strike (on the outside of the midfoot area). I also enjoy the ride quality of the shoes; they are not plush but responsive with a nice toe-off.
I feel that these shoes are ideal for low to moderate overpronators who are looking for either light weight trainers for intervals or those who want low weight even at the expense of durability. Runners looking for more stability and durability might want to check out the Wave Inspire 6 which is now lighter than the Inspire 5 that I reviewed.