Kit review: Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing shoes
I will try anything to run faster. Well, except hard core drugs, that is. So when I was asked to choose pair of running shoes to test I went for lightweight racing trainers. Many friends swear by these for top speeds in shorter running events and I am very keen at the moment to run a fast 5k. (I’m training for a sprint triathlon, which features a beastly 5k at the end).
Lightweight race trainers are not normally recommended for running lots of miles in training. This is because they usually offer less support and bounce. They are specifically scaled down in weight with the goal of helping you to achieve a quicker pace.
There are many, many different types of race shoes being sold by almost every brand. I chose the Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing shoes because Mizuno are generally a slimmer fit (I have long, narrow feet) and because they “look” fast. It’s probably the go-faster flame effect that makes me think of speed when I look at these shoes.
The UK size 8.5 are only a little on the wide side for me but if you have an average width they will be perfect.
Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing shoes
The shoes feel super lightweight. It’s actually like wearing a pair of light slippers. If you usually wear an averagely supportive and bouncy pair of trainers the Mizuno race shoes will feel very light and pretty flat underfoot but over a short race distance the key to speed is minimal construction.
Weighing just 108g these are, in fact, some of the lightest running shoes on sale. This is what Mizuno say: “The G3 Sole underfoot helps to reduce weight as much as possible, replacing standard rubber with a new hardened moulded, traction-focused outsole, ensuring you strike a superb balance between propulsion and protection. The upper is incredibly light and allows for superb breathability and the overlays are more than a fashion feature as they also help secure the shoe to your foot like a second skin, enhancing the fit and the ride.”
What I think about the Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing shoes
Aside from being slightly wide for my very narrow foot I found the shoes laced up tightly and felt pretty snug. They were oddly flat and “not there” but this was my first go in racing trainers so I took this as normal. I ran with these trainers for one of my reps sessions. The training session involved lots of 1k and 2k reps, aimed at making me faster over a full 5k distance. I need to be faster so if a pair of trainers can knock valuable seconds from my 5k distance I would be very happy to swap my normal trainers for Mizuno racing trainers during a triathlon.
At first it felt odd running in a shoe that doesn’t have bounce but at the same time it felt liberating. It was like running in socks over grass. My feet felt light and flighty. And certainly I did run every 1k and 2k rep faster than I have gone before. I wonder if some of this was psychological but I am willing to give the shoes just credit.
By the end of the session, which totalled more than 10k, my calves were aching and this could have been due to less foot support or it might have been because I was running faster. My feet also ached a little but I would expect this in such “low construction” shoes and because my feet and body are not familiar with the shoes.
I will definitely be using these shoes again on race day. Over short distances they can help you to feel faster and I expect I will go faster. Running only 5k I do not think I need full support trainers and so I’ll be happy to pack these when I head off for my qualifier sprint triathlons.
In summary, the Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing shoes do what they say they will. They are comfortable over short distances and feel light enough to make you run in a more light footed way. I’ve still got a long way to go to achieve that ultimate sub-20 minute 5k but I’m getting there.
Thanks to sportsshoes.com for sending me the Mizuno trainers to try.