Thursday, September 5, 2013

Product review: Mizuno Wave Rider 16

In the summer of 2010 I made a big-girl decision and for the first time bought running shoes at a dedicated running store in Warner Robins, Georgia: Run Fit Sports

Before that, I bought all my "running" shoes online or at close-out sales, without much thought beyond price and color scheme.  I suffered shredded ankles and horrendous blisters for my naivete.

As evidenced in the header picture, for the past three years the only running shoes I wear are Mizuno Wave Riders (the 13s, 14s, 15s and now 16s), for no other reason than the perfect-for-me fit.  I do my best to buy them on sale or to buy older versions.  

I never thought any new shoe would supplant my love for the Wave Rider 15 until D gave me the brand new Wave Rider 16 for my recent birthday.

So I have a completely non-technical and biased review for you!

I love anything orange, err, apricot?!

I ran 5 miles in them so far and I love the semi-soft smooth ride already.  As compared to the Wave Rider 15, I feel that they are lighter,  constructed of a more flexible sole, and with great arch support but maintaining the same roomy toebox that I love.  The heel seems identical.  Sizing is true to older versions of the Wave Rider.  I feel weightless in these puppies!  

I am "meh" on the colors available, but I am about to buy another pair to have in reserve...I must really love them!  For Wave Rider fans, the 16 will not disappoint you...it pains to me to admit that I enjoy the 16-level ride more than the Wave Rider 15.  

My only concern is the revamped construction of the upper - it's a stretchy mesh fabric now without the buttressing leather framework as in previous Wave Riders.  As I walk I can see my toes pressing through.  If it holds for the next several hundred miles, I'm fine with it and it surely is the reason the Wave Rider 16 is noticeably lighter, even to my uncalibrated legs.

Purchased from Running Warehouse for ~$104.00 (aka more than I've ever spent on a running shoe!).  Love their 2-day free shipping policy.

Other colors include a pink-ish variant and white/purple.  I like the bold men's color options better.

Any other Wave Rider fans??  Who else has transitioned to the 16?