Thursday, July 05, 2012

Ridin' the Wave

What better way to celebrate America week than to post about another retail consumer product?  This one with a Japanese name!
Like many across the blogscape, I was also sent a free pair of Mizuno shoes.  I’ve never run in Mizuno and, frankly, have never even tried a pair on.  I have a hard time even pronouncing the name of the shoe company which is why I’ve shied away from them in the past.  I don’t want to look like a fool when someone says, “Hey, what brand of shoes are those?”  I have to go into a lame Snoop Dogg impersonation and say, “It’s the Miz-izzle, my schmizzle”, and hope I don’t get smacked in the mouth.  It’s the same reason I won’t eat ‘hors d’oevres’ either.  I end up calling someone a whore before I can figure out the last part of the word.

But Mizuno sent me free shoes so I’m talking about them and now you’re reading about them.  It’s all a part of their rather expansive Mezamashii Run Project that has them giving away thousands of free shoes.  If you think I had to go to the web site and double or triple check how to spell “Mezamashii”, you would be wrong.  I checked four times.  It’s a Japanese word and it means brilliant” or “eye opening”.  In exchange for the free shoes, I expected to have to paint a fence or wax a car or, at the very least, catch a fly with some chopsticks.  Yes, my world view of Japanese culture was informed largely from The Karate Kid (along with a sprinkle of Michael Keaton’s Gung-Ho…oh, and who can forget “The Donger needs food!”) 

I started my running hobby in Adidas Response until I wised up and realized I was the only guy at a race wearing Adidas.  That’s as embarrassing as wearing cargo shorts to a 10k (and we all know who did that.)  Eventually, I switched to Asics and have been running in the GT series for about 8 years now.  I’ve liked them well enough which is why I’ve never really checked into another brand or style.  But free is free and I’m nothing if not a product hors d’oevres.

They even let me select my own style.  Of course, I selected the gaudiest pair of red shoes I could find.  Maybe part of me wants to be Dorothy with the little red ruby shoes?  That would go a long way towards explaining all of the ridiculing I took in high school.  I chose one of their more recognizable products, the Wave Riders.  I figure, if those aren’t any good, what’s the point of looking any further?
Mizuno Wave Rider 15th Anniversary edition

They sat in the box for nearly two weeks before I was brave enough to try them out.  I’m a nervous Nitmos that way.  Change doesn’t come easy for me.  I still have The Bangles on my iPod.  Then, I took them out and walked around for a bit.  My knees didn’t buckle.  My hamstring didn’t tear.  So, I took them out for a 6 mile run.  They felt different.  They aren’t my Asics.  They had less of a platform, round feeling in the toe box.  It’s more pointed with more of the cushioning seeming to fall at the mid foot.  My first mile was a bit strange.  I felt like I was walking like an Egyptian.

But after I got over the ‘It’s just different’ feeling of having another shoe on my foot, I settled in for a comfortable run.  The shoes fit well.  They felt smooth carrying me down the sidewalks.  I think I have pretty decent running form – mainly a mid foot striker but with a touch of under pronation – and the design of the shoe seemed to match my tendencies.  They are a tad lighter than my Asics but also a bit stiffer.  If you are running straight, as most runners do, they are perfectly flexible and fine.  I noticed on turns, however, that I can almost feel the twist of the shoe fighting back against me.  After their running life cycle is complete, I’m not sure I’d be able to transition these shoes to my every day/play soccer in the yard shoes due to this lack of sideways flexibility.

However, as running shoes, I was surprisingly impressed.  In fact, my Asics are basically worn through and need to be replaced but I’ve been in no hurry to do so since the Mizuno Wave Rider 15’s are filling in quite nicely.

It even has me considering actually spending my own money on a pair which, ultimately, was probably part of their devilish plan.  The evaluation continues…

And here’s the part that you are probably MOST interested in:  You can get a free pair too!  MaybeGo here to apply for an invite to be part of the Mezamashii Run Project and the recipient of a free pair of Miz-izzles.  You can be a product hors d’oevres too!

Nitmos-san say, Konnichiwa bitches and

幸福の小道 (Happy trails)


B. Kramer said...

I wonder if I've missed my window for selecting my free pair. I got the invite like the rest of you clowns, signed up online, but then balked at the rest of the process when it said I had to actually call and actually talk to someone about my shoe choice. I don't want to talk to people.

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

Viper - you should call. It was painless - even for an oddball blogger who prefers text over talk. I had to speak to a human being for less than 2 minutes. ;)

Nitmos - I ran in the Wave Riders for years... I almost asked for a new red pair, too, just so I could have fancy feet! But I decided to try a new style, just to see how they ride... Mine should arrive next week. Until then I'll have to live vicariously through your post.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Is this two "fine folks" posts in a row? Sell out.

Deb said...

I'd be a product hors d'oevres for free shoes, too. I'd even tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. I want free shoes! Pimp me out, already!!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth said...

I haven't tried a new brand of shoe in almost 6 years...I am the same as you...underpronate, mid to forefoot strike, and quite content with asics GT 2110. I can (and do) put 1,000 miles my GTs and wear them until the treads are completely smooth and I do not suffer any ill effects. So after reading your post, I thought well if you like the miz-zizzles, maybe I will like the miz-izzles. So the fine folks at mizzizzlezzuno should be happy with you that you encouraged someone to try their shoes ... of course I won't be BUYING a pair. I will only try a pair if they send a pair to me for free. so maybe they won't be happy ?!?

Razz said...

Hope they're better than the 14s. Those did a number on mah pretty toes.