The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.
Finding the right pair of running shoes is not an easy task! As a relatively new runner myself, I knew, after my first 5K, that being properly fitted was the key to long-term success, so that’s what I did in the fall of 2010 – and I was fitted for my first “real” running shoes, the Saucony Ride 3’s.
Those shoes were good to me – in three pairs, I made it through lots of training runs, my first marathon (as well as my second, and third), and more – but then, the inevitable: the line was ‘updated’ and the Ride 4’s were a no-go for me. I had to find a new shoe – and that’s when the first changing of the guard occurred: Rides to (Wave)Rider!
I liked the fit and feel of the Waverider 15’s – which were the current iteration of the shoe at the time – and enjoyed around 360 miles on those first pair (the yellow) before switching to the limited edition ruby reds, which I won in a twitter chat! Score!
The Waveriders, at the time, were my shoe of choice for most runs, but even then, I knew that they weren’t perfect. For shorter (up to 6-7 miles) runs, they were great, but any longer, and my toes would squish my toes a bit and never really felt “broken in.” It wasn’t enough to blister, or be really painful, but it did make me think. On top of that, other running shoe brands that were coming onto the market were really pushing their lighter weight shoes, and though not “heavy” by any standards, these felt a little clunkier than I would have preferred – and long story short, I once again went back into the market and diversified my shoe collection, saving the Waveriders for rainy runs, since they, of all my shoes, seemed to have the best traction in slippery weather.
Since I was now rotating about 4 different running shoes in my repertoire (of various brands, types and classifications), when the opportunity presented itself to check out the latest Mizuno Waverider 17’s, I have to admit, I was intrigued. My friend Katie, a Mizuno enthusiast, had told me that the 16’s had addressed a lot of the issues I had with the 15’s, so in my mind, 17’s must be even more magical than the last ones…and honestly, after a few runs in them, I do believe this to be true.
From the initial unboxing, I knew that these shoes were different – for one, they were a lot lighter, and visually, they were a lot “simpler” than previous iterations. Gone were the heavier material overlays, and excessive mesh, and replaced by that was a much lower profile and “softer” feel.
Although I knew it was my job to review the shoe for what it was, I couldn’t stop comparing just how different these shoes were.
Each “con” that I had from the 15’s was a “pro” for the 17:
- Tightness over the top
The only concern I had, really, with this new shoe was this: would the flatter bottom of the 17 prove to be as effective as the grooved one in the 15 that I had come to rely on for running in wet weather? I’d have to wait until the next rainfall to figure that one out 😉
Comparisons aside, I can attest without an ounce of hesitation that these shoes are a fantastic choice for neutral runners – I was good to go, out of the box! On my 8-mile run today, I forgot that I was wearing a new pair of shoes, and only when I glanced down did I remember – that’s how comfortable they felt.
It seems that Mizuno has really taken the time to develop a solid model to add to their collection – one that has been known as innovative, reliable and popular since its debut in the late 1980’s. With the sleek updates, fun color palate, and reasonable price tag ($114.95 MSRP) I’d definitely recommend this model to neutral runners looking for the right balance of comfort and flexibility.
I look forward to rotating this pair into my training line-up, and will be sure to update this review should any extra notes or concerns pop up, but in the meantime, I’m happy to run more brilliantly with these bright additions.
What do you look for in a shoe?
Note: Although I usually would prefer to wait to write a shoe review until I’ve logged at least 100 miles on a pair of shoes, I’m in taper for the Space Coast Marathon now and plan to take a full 2-weeks off from running afterward, and by that time, these beauties will already be released!
Disclosure: I was provided the shoes to review by Fitfluential LLC and Mizuno, and upon completion of campaign materials, will receive compensation. All thoughts, opinions, long-winded stories and silly pictures, however – are my own.