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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Transitioning into Racing Flats & Skechers GOMeb Speed 2 Review & Giveaway

My evolution of running shoes started with Converse and ended in Skechers GOMeb Speed 2 shoes. How did I ever get here? Why was I ever running in Converse?

Well in college, I was still in my teen angst anarchy RAH RAH RAH phase and everyone knows that the only way you can rage against the man is with a pair of Chuck Taylors. Nevermind the fact that you’re raging against the machine in a brand owned by Nike at that time. Let’s ignore that part altogether.

So when a friend asked me to go for a run on the Charles my senior year of college, I put on the only pair of shoes I had at the time. It didn’t get me very far, but I did make it out the door.

I will not get into an argument about minimalist vs. maximalist shoes since I am not an expert on everyone. However, I know that for me personally, I’ve found great benefits in alternating between racing flats and my more cushy shoes. The cushy shoes, I’ve been using for long runs and marathon racing, while for treadmill and shorter races, I’ve been using my lighter Skechers.

I know, Skechers? Who even knew they had running shoes before Meb won the Boston Marathon this year.

Actually, I have to confess I did. I first got introduced to Skechers when I won 2nd place at the Malden 10K in 2013. So for about a year, I’ve been playing around with these guys as people gave me weird looks when I told them they’re Skechers. I don’t know why, but runners can be so judgmental sometimes.

Skechers Go Run 2

So when I saw Meb win the Boston Marathon in almost the same pair of shoes as I was training in, I felt vindicated at last! If a professional elite runner not only wins a race, but also achieves a life time PR, the first thing you look at are his shoes! Suddenly, my running friends had an interest in what I had to say about Skechers.

Okay to be honest, Meb was actually running in a model that won’t be available until Fall 2014, but he used to run in my shoes.

How did Skechers go from the crazy Spice Girl platform shoes, to Meb? Well, from what I heard. A bunch of smart people from some of the other large running shoe brands had some ideas, but change is always hard to push. Skechers Performance Division on the other hand was looking for a way to become more competitive in the running shoe part of the business, so they took these individuals with their new bright ideas and let them go for it!

So when I had the opportunity to test out the Skechers GoSpeed Meb 2, I couldn’t wait!

When you take them out of the box the first thing you notice is that they are incredibly light.

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I thought the bottoms looked super funny, but I think that’s what keeps them so light and bouncey

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The Good

  • Super light at 5.6 oz while still being supportive
  • Independent circular GOimpulse sensors for a more responsive running experience
  • M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
  • New printed nearly seamless mesh fabric upper – A little cold for me in the winter, but feels great in the hot humid summer
  • Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
  • Dupont Hytrel™ Stability plate in midfoot for a supportive and secure run
  • Seamless interior with microfiber lining maximizes comfort
  • 4 mm drop

And they’re just so pretty!

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The Bad

  • They run a half size too big. Not completely a bad, but just be aware when trying to figure out your size. I usually run in a size 7, but it ended up being too big. I then tried a size 6. It fit, but would feel tight once my feet swelled in the heat. Finally I tried a size 6.5 and it fit perfectly! Skechers was kind enough to work with me until we found a size that works for me.
  • Shoe laces kept untying until I triple knotted. I didn’t have this issue on my old pair, so maybe it was just a fluke
  • Nothing else, I absolutely love this shoe. I wouldn’t use it on a trail or gravel road, but a paved road or treadmill feels great!

Transitioning to the GoSpeed & Benefits

The first time I put on minimal shoes, I ran 2 miles before my legs felt awful and my calves wanted to die. Yes, the girl who runs 20 miles on a whim, felt drained by 2 miles.

I actually put the shoes away for about 2 weeks before I tried to give them a second chance. The second time around, it didn’t feel as bad. I got through 2 miles. The next time 3 miles. Since I run both outside and on the treadmill, I kept these for treadmill runs. Eventually, I was running my hour long runs without any problems. I can’t even imagine doing tempo runs in my heavier shoes anymore.

  • Start out slow – My speed was about 30 seconds slower per mile
  • Start out less time – You can do mileage or time. I started with 20 minutes, moved to 30 minutes and now I’m up to two hours with these shoes
  • Alternate shoes – I found that running in flats puts a little more impact on my skeletal mass, so I use other shoes for recovery and trail runs.
  • Racing flats initiate quicker turnover and studies demonstrate that lighter shoes reduce energy costs up to 3 percent! So a marathon that typically takes me 3:30 to do can be cut to 3:24! When seconds mean a PR, I’ll take a few minutes
  • Closer connection to the ground and form. If my running form starts to fall apart, I feel it right away and make sure I correct my running posture.

Overall, as it’s getting hotter and hotter each day in Boston, I’m falling more in love with the shoes.

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And because they’re so awesome, I get to give a pair to one of my readers! Entry will be open until Saturday. Sorry, US residents only.

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Reebok One Cushion Shoe Review & Giveaway

To help me train for the Tufts 10K, Reebok sent me a pair of their new Reebok One Cushion shoe which I’m loving more and more with each run!

The Reebok ONE Cushion is part of a whole new collection Reebok is in the middle of launching that I’m super excited about! I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for the future but first a little bit about the Reebok One Cushion.

Reebok One Cushion

The first thing I noticed about the shoes is that they’re bright (don’t worry, they do have more muted colors but I love me some neon in my life after wearing the black, grey and neutrals to work)! A nice wake up for when it’s cold outside and the sun has barely peaked out yet. They looked a little bulky but they’re actually quite light at 7.7 oz for women and 9.9 for men (similar to my Waverider 16s for reference). The shoe also runs wide enough for those that need it but narrow enough for tiny feet like mine. I wear a size 7 usually and I could have gone down half a size but it wasn’t major deal if I didn’t since my feet tend to swell up a bit after 3 hours of running. My foot first felt loose in the shoe but after I tightened my shoe laces, I was ready to hop, skip and most importantly run!

One Series

The Reebok ONE Cushion is built-in three zones. All of them fused together to get you anywhere and everywhere faster and injury free no matter where or how the foot lands when you run – of heel, middle, toe. The three-foam midsole, decoupled outsole, and stable lateral arch area is designed to maximize comfort and performance. Although the shoe is “cushioned” as the name implies, I found greater flexibility than expected and is perfect for anyone that craves a more natural fit in a neutral trainer. It responded quite well to my unique run like a duck gait cycle instead of trying control it.

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More specifically Reebok One Cushion is broken down into three functional zones:

  1. The Contact Zone – cushions the foot and absorbs shock upon landing
  2. The Midstance Zone – lightweight foam that encourages a smooth midfoot transition off of the heel
  3. Propulsive Zone – a high-rebound foam that gives runners a high level of responsiveness during toe-off.

Reebok One Zone Function

You would think that with three zones, the shoes might feel funky with one part being too soft, another too hard, until you’re more discontent than Goldy Locks, but it was quite the opposite. All three zones are seamlessly integrated together where you don’t notice any discomfort at all as you run besides a smooth run!

Reebok One Zone Fusion

I found them to work great for my short treadmill speed workouts such as the one I did when I only had 20 minutes to spare in between working:

Tufts 10K trianing

or my longer medium range (8-10 miles outside)

Reebok One Morning Run

The only hiccup I had with the shoes were the shoelaces. They kept untying so I had to triple tie them to make sure they don’t come undone.

Reebok One Cushion 2

Overall it’s a great neutral shoe that has happily joined into my normal shoe rotation program (I use different shoes because I believe it makes my shoes last longer.)

And because I loved the Reebok One Cushion shoes so much, I asked if they would mind giving a pair out to one of my readers, which they kindly agreed to! To enter: visit Reebok One Cushion website to learn even more about the shoe and comment back here on which color you would pick if you won. Additional chances to enter will option up afterwards. Contest will run through midnight on Friday night. U.S. residents only.

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*Disclaimer: I was provided with these running shoes by Reebok, free of charge through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. I was not compensated for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!