MIzuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

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While, I don’t like to stay loyal to a single shoe or even a brand, I have always relied on Mizuno Wave Riders to get me through marathons. I started out first with the Waverider 15s back in 2012 and ran my first marathon in 3:24. After stocking up on the 15s for thousands of miles, I eventually ran out and upgraded to the 16s. As always I stocked up well enough that I actually never upgraded to the 17s, but my supply was starting to to run low. So when I had an opportunity to test out the Mizuno Waver Rider 18s through Fitfluential, I was okay with bypassing 17s straight to the 18s.

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First, let’s just look at the design, the colors and style. While sometimes I do get attached to a certain color (cough gold waverider 15s cough), I do appreciate how every year, the people at Mizuno mix it up, letting you spice up your running shoes a bit so you never get sick of them, even if you do continue running in virtually the same shoe every year. Although I run about 2500 miles a year and probably go through 6 pairs a years, so I appreciate the color changes and options! So keep it coming!

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Now back to the technical aspect of the shoe. Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe, for runners with a neutral stride. 

Neutral runners tend to have the following:

  • A higher arch that does not pronate, or an arch that collapses in very slightly.
  • Runners who usually show wear the outside corner of the heel, and in the center of the forefoot or the outside of the forefoot.
  • Like some cushion but don’t need it
  • Runners who do not need lot of stability features.

The great part about being a neutral runner is that you can pretty much run in any shoe and thus we tend to have less injuries. Great shoes like Wave Riders help us stay that way.

The Mizuno #WaveRider18 incorporates several key Mizuno technologies:

Mizuno Wave Technology® the reason behind a stable and “harmonious” ride from landing to toe-off.
Mizuno’s U4ic midsole, which delivers optimal shock attenuation, resiliency, and responsiveness in a lightweight shoe – weighing in at only 7.8 oz. (Women’s)
Dynamotion Fit™ which helps relive the stress our feet place on footwear – thus eliminating distortion and increasing durability.

Differences between the models

If you’re used to running in the Waver Rider 17s, you’ll notice these shoes are a little more heavy since they are 7.8oz (women size 7) vs. 7.2 oz (women size 7). Besides the weight, I cannot give more feedback. When I compared in with my 17s, I initially thought they were heavier, however, my 16s are 8 oz (women size 7)  vs. the 7.8 oz of the 18s. So technology is getting lighter! For those who complained (and I heard some) the toe box for the 18s is a lot bigger. Also, the shoes although a little lighter, definitely have more cushion for support. The backs of the shoes are also a little stiffer through the whole heel, vs. just half the heel in the 16s. I spent a week going between the 16s and 18s on my 6-8 mile runs and basically noticed little difference in my stride and effort.

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A worry for the future…

As mentioned before, I have noticed that the  18s compared to my 15s and 16s are wider in the toe box, a little more cushion and a little stiffer. Which for now was okay. I only noticed a small amount of difference and it didn’t effect my run too much. However, I am really hoping that Mizuno does not going into an even more cushion direct in the upcoming years. I like the support and yet lightness that Mizunoe Wave Riders offer and hope they stay that way.

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However, in the current time, Mizuno Waver Rider 18s is a great neutral shoe for short, long and everything in between runs. I even use them on easy trails, despite the weird comments I get from the true and proper trail runners.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is on sale now nationwide for $119.00!

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Fit Gear for the New Year – Koss Headphones Review

This post is sponsored by Koss and Fitfluential. All opinions are my own.

I haven’t had the greatest start to the new year. I got a sinus/ear infection. I lost my phone and I went through two pairs of headphones within a week. Luckily, Amazon has pretty good customer service, so I was able to get a refund, but I still had a problem. I had no headphones. For 4 out of the 6 days I run, I tend to be on a treadmill. If the weather is bad, the number could be 6 out of the 6 days. Treadmill running without headphones is like trying to cut something with a butter knife. Can you do it? Yea, but it’s so dull, why bother.

Luckily, I think things are turning around! I had a chance to try out some Koss Headphones! The people from Koss sent me two different styles, the fit buds and the fit clips. These headphones are designed by women, for women. Koss’s female designers teamed up with Gold Medalist Dana Torres to create them, with active women in mind. They come in fun colors and are reasonably priced.

Koss In Ear Blue

The Fit buds are 33% smaller than any earbud Koss has ever created. Both the buds and clips are sweat resistant and come in three different sizes of ear cushions included for the perfect fit.

To be honest, I couldn’t get the fit buds to fit into my ears perfectly. I have never been able to fit any type of earbud into my ear. I don’t think it’s them it’s me; because everyone else in my house loved the fit buds. Maybe my ears come from a special alien life force? They did work well enough on my bike trainer, but when I started running, my ears were just too small. Or I like to pretend I’m too fast for ear buds to keep up with me.

Ipad FItbuds

The fit clips; however, I’m obsessed with. After switching to the smallest ear cushion, they fit perfectly into my ear. They even block out some sound so I can focus on my teen dramas and need for speed instead of my own huffing and puffing of the treadmill clunking.

I even took them on my 20 miler to make sure I can wear them during RnR NOLA Marathon! They passed the test.

Ipod SUnday

Who needs a smartphone when you got an Ipod with a 2003 playlist?!

Besides the fit and lovely color, I noticed a few more differences between Koss and my other headphones (Phillips and Sony both around the same price range as these) that I used.

1. I don’t get static shock anymore. I’m not sure if that’s because they’re sweatproof, but my other 2 brands of headphones would static shock me once in a while just to trip me up. Or maybe it’s because I sweat like a beast. Hard running = hard sweating.

2. The wires seemed to be coated to last better. Since I run and hold my phone, I tend to twist the wires in all sorts of directions until the metal wires are poking and breaking through the casing. So far, the headphone wires seemed to be sturdier and holding up.

3. While they still seem to tangle up just like my others; the untangling process seems to be easier and faster then my old headphones. I think it has to do the with wire casing.

I’m officially converted to Koss. The headphones have been added to my nightly ritual where I pack a fresh set of running clothes, my Iphone (Ipod for now), socks and headphones to not forget anything the next morning.

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You can purchase your own Koss Fit Series headphones at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Kmart, and Sears for $29.99.

What’s your latest and greatest fit gear of 2014 so far? Koss Fit Clip headphones. I love the color and the fit.

What kinda headphones are you currently using? After having a Sony and Phillips (each about $20) break on me in one week, I’m using the Koss fit clips.