Let me preface this gear review by saying that I have been a runner for just over 5 years. When I first learned to run, I was fitted into a Mizuno Wave Rider and honestly, it is the road shoe that I keep coming back to, time and again. Yes, there have been changes over the years, and yes, change is good BUT, when the manufacturer makes a minor change in the shoe (for the better?), seems to be when I look to other brands for a change! I know the challenge in the industry is to get lighter and more comfortable all the while, maintaining the support that we come to expect from our particular brand of shoe and I get it, but sometimes I feel like they should not “mess” with a good thing! In any event, I really like how all the lines of shoes are evolving to be more flashier and fun instead of plain, boring old white or grey. You are not supposed to buy your shoe based on its looks, but let’s face it, the look is what draws us to a particular shoe and what gets people talking!
Anyway, I want to talk about 2 different shoes today (and not the tried, tested and true [to me!] Wave Riders which are still my favourite).
I am a completely neutral runner who has orthotics but does not really need them if the shoe fits right!
6.9oz, touted as a performance shoe for a neutral runner. If you are interested in the technology- I will leave that up to the professionals… visit the Mizuno website for more information!
I purchased a men’s shoe in the Ronin’s due to the fit. My foot is quite wide and the men’s version felt a lot more comfortable than the ladies. I originally bought these shoes because I wanted to do a faster half marathon and a few faster 10ks and had heard these shoes were great. A lot of my friends use these shoes as their “racing” shoes. I have yet to wear them in a race, just because I haven’t had any goal races at those distances but also because they do take a lot to get used to. 10k is the most I can do with the Ronin’s at this point, because after that they begin to feel uncomfortable or/ I will really feel it in my ankles and lower legs the next day. I can definitely feel the difference a “performance” shoe makes on the track or during speed intervals on my treadmill. They are lighter and more sleek and feel like they help to propel you forward in a way. If you are looking for a performance shoe that is still similar to your current Mizuno’s- the Ronin’s are a good bet.
7.1oz, highly touted as a performance shoe for a neutral runner and brought in to replace the Mizuno Precisions as the company seems to be cutting back on having many styles of shoes and focusing a few core shoes.
I too, have previously worn the Precisions, which I used for a triathlon season and loved! I was told that the Precisions were nestled on a spectrum in between the traditional neutral running shoe for training and a high performance flat for racing. I was disappointed when the Precisions were no longer available, even though I do understand and like Mizuno’s new philosophy on focusing on a few core shoes. So, I was excited when I heard of the debut of the Sayonara’s, which seemingly had the same tag line as the Precisions: lightweight, high performance feel in an everyday training shoe. Well, lucky for me, I got to try the Sayonara’s in a “try before you buy” event at Running Free. I laced up and used them for a typical 13k tempo run. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed- probably more because I genuinely thought these were going to be my next pair of shoes! My left ball of foot was numb within the first 3k and while that went away, my right foot became numb around 6k and stayed that way for the duration of the run, causing me to alter my gait with a sluggish right foot. This kind of numbness was very new to me but very disturbing. I know that I should give a shoe more than one run to decide if I like it but given my past history of being able to go back and forth between a few different styles of Mizuno’s without any problems, my next shoe purchase was once again, the Wave Rider 16.