Although I do not consider myself a runner, somehow I find myself running 15-20 miles every week.  In the past, I’ve always ran in cheap shoes.  However, as my knees mature, they seemed to tell me they may benefit from a better quality shoe.  This, in combination with a co-worker recommending Mizuno running shoes, resulted in me ordering a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider from Amazon. 

Mizuno Wave Rider 14Credit: Mizuno USA

The aforementioned pair of shoes was the Mizuno Wave Rider 14.  As a surfer, the name definitely appealed to me.  These shoes are advertised to have superior cushioning and a sole plate that helps transition you forward.  The first thing I noticed was how well they fit right out of the box, which was refreshing,  especially since a lot of shoes take some time to “break in”.   The “ride” of the Wave Rider was very soft yet supportive.  I ended up running around 5 miles on them the first day, and they felt great.  At the time, these were the best running shoes I had ever owned.  I used them mainly for “lunch break” runs at work, and also raced my first 10k in them (with a time of 40 minutes, which I was happy with.)  I actually kept the box, with the receipt, under my desk to track the number of miles on the shoes.  After around 7 months, or 500 miles on the shoes (sounds crazy, right), they still looked new, but didn’t feel as great as when they were newer.  I went to order another pair or running shoes, and was somehow drawn to the Mizuno Wave Enigma 9 (a step up from the Wave Rider series), and ordered them.

Mizuno Enigma 9Credit: Mizuno USA

The shoes arrived, in their crazy red, black and green colors.  I noticed one major difference in the Enigma 9 compared to the Wave Rider 14 and that was that the plate in the sole (Mizuno calls this the Parallel Wave Plate) extends past the heel cup and runs into the forefoot.   Another unique feature of the Enigma 9 is the suspension straps on the bottom of the shoe.  These two red straps are designed to optimize the heel to toe transition.  Have you ever sat in a $150,000 sports car at a car show, or at a dealer when waiting for your economy car to be serviced?  This fit, is a good representation of the Wave Enigma 9 on your foot.  It is firm and supported, yet with excellent cushioning.  I put a ton of miles on these shoes, and again kept the box and receipt under my desk.  One day, I looked at the receipt in the box and calculated the miles on the pair.  The shoes (and my legs) still felt great, so I was shocked so see that I’d put 950 miles on them!  After doing some research, the Wave Enigma is famous for its durability, cushioning, and “ride”.  I’ve since converted my first pair of Enigma 9’s to “yard shoes” and, although they still felt fine, ordered another pair.  My third pair of Mizuno’s (another Enigma 9) still has me loving my lunchtime runs.

Although a lot of you may not even know Mizuno makes running shoes (I still think baseball bats and gloves when the company is mentioned), if you are a neutral runner looking for a fast, yet cushy shoe, give one of these a try on your next lunch break.