Disclaimer: I received the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Anytime I talk to a runner shoes seem to be a main topic of conversation. Shoes are obviously the most important piece of equipment for any runner. Even now with heart rate monitors, and GPS watches, and all the synthetic fibers, a good pair of shoes is all that you really need to start a running journey. Bride admits that I have too many pairs of running shoes and I would have to agree that to the average person I probably do. Currently I am rotating four pairs of running shoes (from four different brands), although all will be retired before my next marathon in October.
Knowing my loving relationship with shoes you can imagine how excited I was when I was selected to test out Mizuno’s newest Wave Enigma 5. I have not worn Mizuno shoes before to run in and I was excited to see what this company had to offer. I have heard great reviews of the strides they have made in their construction and presentation in recent years but have never had the opportunity to feel for myself what advances they have made.
I waited eagerly for the shoes to arrive because I knew that I was going out of town and I wanted them before I left. I had read and seen the first reports of the shoes and was excited to get my hands on my pair. Asteically the shoes are great. Their blue color pops and although I like bright running outfits as much as the next runner, I appreciate them creating an attention getting shoe without neon colors.
Fit and Feel:
I first wore these shoes the same way I wear all of my running shoes…like regular shoes. I wore them while I traveled on Friday. I have found this is a great way to see how they fit, you can feel any hot spots that could cause havoc if they weren’t found until out on a run, and you can get a feel for the foot strike without having a big chance for blisters. The shoe fit is great. They hugged my foot like a sock and I could tell that they would be able to expand my my foot did while I ran. The toe box provided plenty of room for movement to cut down on the chances I would get any black toenails during long runs. There were no hot spots and I was confident that in the next couple of days, when I first would run with them, I would have no problems.
I almost always run in a neutral shoe and have never had any real issues with my feet. These shoes provide a lot of support that I don’t always feel in other neutral shoes and I believe that support, while not feeling significantly heavier, allowed less fatigue while getting in my miles. As with most new shoes they had a lot of pop but the sole of these shoes was thicker than other shoes I wear and will continue to provide pop well after other shoes would have stopped. The bones of this shoe are meant to withstand the pounding that it will take from the ground and will allow your foot to have more comfort because of its support.
I ran three times in the shoe for a total of almost 17 miles over the last five days. I tried to vary the terrain I ran on, the road, some hills, and around a track, so I could get a complete feel for how the shoe will react to conditions. I found that the shoe performs very well. I landed naturally and was able to run at high speeds, slow jogs and marathon pace without feeling the shoe was causing me to change my landing position. The weight of the shoe was not an issue and I don’t believe that its weight would effect anyone else who wears standard running shoes in the market. It is heavier than some of the light weight racers but most of the popular shoes fit into the middle weight category like I would put this one in.
CONS: Let me start with some of the few cons that I found.
-Oddly I found the shoe strings that came with the shoe to be too long. I put some of my own shoe strings in them because when I would tie the standard stings the loops would come up and hit my leg when I ran. I worked to adjust the length of the bows, and even double knot it (which I never do) and still had the problem.
-I felt that the thicker sole on the bottom of the shoe effected how high I had to pick up my foot when I ran. Specifically when I would run up hill there were multiple times that I would scuff the ground because I felt like I had to lift my foot just a little bit higher than I was used to.
-I never ran with the shoes in very wet conditions, but feeling and working with the fabric, I do not think it would hold up very well in wet conditions. If I used these in wet conditions I would be prepared to have wet feet.
-Comfort is key to any shoe that you will be wearing for hours and hours on a marathon course. These shoes provide that in droves. The Wave Enigma fit my foot like a glove yet I felt the shoe provided plenty of room for my foot to move around throughout the run.
-When your foot hits the ground the shoe that you are wearing should react and the Wave Enigma does exactly that. The structure allows for a great push off and landing without taking much extra energy.
From a runner who has not worn Mizunos before, I was impressed with these shoes and will definitely continue to wear them as I train in the weeks ahead. They are a great pair of shoes that balance the needs of a runner’s comfort with his/her need to increase endurance and speed. A shoe can effect how well you run and the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 does just that, it makes you run better.