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Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

It’s been a long, long, long, time since I ran in a Mizuno shoe. Typically I like softer brands, while Mizuno is more firm. The last shoe I ran in was the Mizuno Wave Engima. 

The Waveknit R2 is a specialized version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. Similar to the Nike Pegasus and Nike Pegasus Turbo (Both Nikes, just slightly different). The Waveknit R2 isn’t a “faster” shoe, but it does have a different knit upper to it. I’ve found the knit upper to be more forgiving to wider feet like mine. If you like the Waverider and want something different, try the Waveknit. You’re getting the same bottom of a shoe but a fun change to the top.

Several years ago, the Mizuno Waverider went through a few drastic changes. It lost several people. Since then, our Mizuno rep has told me that they won’t be making any “big changes” to the shoe and will keep it relatively consistent from year to year.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Fit:

While I haven’t run in the Mizuno Wave Rider in several years, a significant issue people had last year was how “breathable” the upper was.  It isn’t an issue in the Waveknit, and we haven’t had it as an issue with the Wave Rider 22 either.

By nature, Mizuno is one of the more narrow brands for the last few years. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and the 11 fits and felt the best. The knit is more forgiving than the traditional upper, and there are no seems. If you have wider feet, you will appreciate the knit being so forgiving.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Ride:

As mentioned, Mizuno is much more firm and responsive brand. Mizuno technology uses a wave plate which disperses energy. This year, it’s softer than previous versions. The softness allows you to roll through from heel to toe without the shoe feeling clunky.

How did they soften it up? The sole is made up of a mix of two different foams.  Essentially a soft and firm foam. The soft foam is found right under the heel to add a more cushioned feeling and to reduce impact.

The signature wave plate keeps Mizuno on the firmer side and more responsive. It’s known to be a firm, everyday trainer, and that is exactly where it fits in for me. I have used it for most running from everyday runs to recovery, and long runs. The best sport for me is long runs, or a daily run. For recovery runs, I prefer something with more cushion.

Just something to note, I did notice was when running on a rocky or gravel road was the amount of rocks that got stuck in the shoe.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Conclusion:

The Mizuno Waveknit R2 is a great shoe if you are looking for a neutral trainer to add to your rotation. It is more firm than several brands but worth trying on.

If you have run in the Wave Rider and are looking for a slight change, the Waveknit R2 is the way to go. Since the bottom is the same in both the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2, you’re getting the same technology but a different upper. Personally, I like the fit of the R2 better because it allows for more space for those of us with wider feet. From previous versions of the Waverider, the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2 will feel softer, but it’s not a drastic change.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about tying your shoe.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Mizuno before?

Do you like white running shoes?

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Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

One of the most popular shoes from Altra has become the Altra Escalante. If you are looking to try Altra and don’t know where to start, the Escalante is usually a good first step.

Altra is well known for their zero drop. I wrote about zero drop in the newsletter a few weeks ago.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Upper:

The Altra Escalante 1.5 has a very breathable upper. Altra is well known for a wide toe box, and there is plenty of space if you have bunions or a wider forefront. Altra mentions their shoes are “foot shaped,” but they aren’t wide.  I met the founder, Golden, at the Runners World Festival a few years ago, and Altra is adamant about their shoes being “foot shaped” and not wide.

One thing to make note is while any Altra shoe has a wider toe box, many brands come in wide, and other brands create a wider shoe. So yes, the regular width of Altra is relatively wide, it’s not the widest thing out there (and doesn’t come in wide). I wear anywhere from 10-11 wide and found the men’s size 9 to be the best fit for my feet.  Hopefully that makes sense: basically, Altra has a wider toe box than many brands, but it isn’t the widest shoe out there.

The upper is entirely knit and completely seamless, and as such, it feels more like a thick sock than a shoe.  There isn’t much structure to the shoe.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Ride:

If you like to feel the ground when you run, the Escalante is a great option. It’s light, but responsive. For me, it has a place as a workout or “faster” shoe. I wouldn’t personally do higher mileage or easy runs in it.

With a zero drop, you’ll have the same amount of cushion in the front and back. It will take some time to get used too. Like transitioning into racing flats, your calves might be sore.

Conclusion:

I like the Altra Escalante for shorter and speed workouts. It’s too lightweight for me to get away for training. I like how seamless the upper is and the amount of extra room my foot has. In all, I will keep using the shoe for workouts and speed work. If you are looking to try a zero drop shoe and don’t know where to start the Altra Escalante is a good option.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 17, New Balance 1080, Hoka Mach 2

Speed Work: Reebok Float ride Runfast Pro, Nike Fly

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Floatride

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever tried a zero drop shoe?

What is your current favorite shoe? 

On Cloudswift

On Cloudswift

The On Cloudswift is a brand new shoe from On. For those not familiar with On, it was created in 2010 and based in Switzerland. It’s lightweight but well cushioned.

The On Cloudswift uses a slightly different material called Helion. Compared to other models from On, the Helion provides more energy return as well as durability. Helion is extremely light but provides a big energy return.  As a brand, On is light yet responsive.  Helion is also more durable to temperature changes and On claims it to be a “superfoam”.

The On Cloudswift has a slightly different shape to the Clouds. They are more diagonal than horizontal. You probably don’t notice much of a difference.

On cloudswift shoe review

Fit:

On Running shoes are narrow. This has typically been a problem for me, and I find myself more comfortable in a men’s shoe (because they don’t make wides). I’m usually between a women’s 10-11 wide.  This is the first On shoe that a woman 10.5 fits well, and I wouldn’t need to go into a wide.

Of any of the On models, it has the widest toe box.

On cloudswift shoe review

The white elephant in the room is how stylish the brand looks. It’s a great option for someone who wants a “stylish running shoe” for walking around and living day to day life. Do I think you need a stylish shoe for running? No. But if you want a shoe with a lot of cushion that doesn’t “look” like a running shoe, this is one for you.

Ride:

The brand, On, is light by nature.  The cushioning system uses empty pods, “clouds” that compress where you need them.  Obviously, a hollow pod doesn’t weigh a lot.  The On Cloudswift has minimum rubber which can also weight a shoe down.

The downside is the less rubber, the less durability.  Even with the lack of rubber, I’ve found it to grip the ground well enough to run on rainy days.

On cloudswift shoe review

Even though there is plenty of cushioning, it’s still light and responsive.  Both the firm plastic, speedboard, allow for a smooth and responsive transition. For me, it’s best as a workout shoe. I prefer it for shorter intervals.

I appreciate the versatility of the shoe, and if I needed a shoe in a pinch, I wouldn’t be afraid to take it on an hour run (there are plenty of racing flats I would not).

Summary:

In all, I like the On Cloudswift. For me, it’s a great workout shoe.  If you have a wider foot, it’s one of the first options I would recommend.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach 2, Brooks Glycerin 17, New Balance 1080v9

Long Runs/Tempo Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Workouts: Nike Fly, On Cloudswift, Nike LT Streak LT 4

Races: Nike Fly

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:
Have you tried On?
Do you like white shoes? 

Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

I seem to always some version of the Brooks Glycerin in my rotation. I’ve run in several models, and the Glycerin is my favorite.  It has the most cushion of any Brooks neutral shoe.

The Glycerin is designed for training. It’s Desi Linden’s favorite training shoe.  With the amount of the cushion, it’s great for the bulk of mileage. For me, it’s an easy run, daily run, or even recovery run.  I’m not a Brooks ambassador or blogger or being paid to talk about the shoe.

Brooks didn’t update much from the Glycerin 16 to 17 which is appreciated. The significant updates come with the shoe’s upper. There is more 3D printing and fewer seams. I didn’t really notice a difference.

Brooks Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

Weight:  8.6 oz
Heel To Toe Drop:  9 mm

Fit:

The Glycerin 17 uses a Double Jacquard Mesh upper.  Basically, it’s two layers of fancy mesh to prevent toes from ripping through.  It’s breathable and flexible while still having structure.

Brooks Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

The shoe is available in wide. I wear between a size 10-11 wide for women.  I’ve worn either a 10.5 or 10.5 in Glycerin depending on the year. This year, the 10.5 is fine. If you have bunions, I recommend the wide. For those who like the Brooks Ghost, it’s more cushion than the ghost but a more narrow fit. I always say, I wish the Glycerin had the fit of the Ghost.

Brooks Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Glycerin is plush with plenty of cushioning. It’s soft, so you feel as though your foot sinks in. The Glycerin uses Brooks DNA Loft foam.  The DNA Loft foam is designed for comfort. It’s not a responsive shoe and not intended to run “fast”, although you could if you wanted. If you like the Hoka Clifton, you’ll appreciate the Brooks Glycerin as well.

In my rotation, it’s fit in a daily or recovery trainer.

The traction is fine on inclement days and I’ve run outside in the rain, sleet, and snow, with no issues. My only issue is we’ve had all of that in the first week of March.

Brooks Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

Summary:

Not much has changed between models which I’m thankful for! It’s still light and kept under 9 ounces for women.  If you like the previous versions of the Glycerin, the newest one feels very similar. If you’re looking for a high soft cushion trainer, it’s a great option too.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Hoka Mach, Saucony Triumph ISO 5, New Balance 1080

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu

Workouts/Races: Nike Lt Streak, Nike Fly

If you want to read more about running industry and news, subscribe to my weekly newsletter. 

Questions for you:

What is a shoe you’ve run in several models of?

What is your current favorite shoe? 

New Balance 1080v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 1080v9 Shoe Review

The New Balance 1080v8 was the first New Balance shoe I fell in love with. It’s high cushioned, with a nice roomy toe box.  I  got through the bulk of NYCM training in them and was sad to finally retire the pair. Naturally, I was excited when the New Balance 1080v9 came out. I knew I would probably like it just as much, spoiler I did.

New Balance 1080v9

Weight: Men’s 11.1 oz | Women’s 9.9 oz
Drop: 8 mm 

Fit:

The major update for the 1080v9 comes with the upper.  The upper for the 1080v9 is much more simple. New Balance removed the conventional mesh with many overlays, seams, and plastic for an engineered jacquard mesh.  The jacquard mesh or fancy mesh has no seams or overlay.  In all, version 9 is much sleeker.

New Balance 1080v9

Included in the fit, was the removal of the bulky tongue as well as a molded 3D heel design.  The premise is to lock your heal into place.  I think it fits my foot well, but working in run specialty, I’ve had a few people that don’t care for how it hits their ankle. I’ve run over 100 miles in the shoes, and haven’t had any issues.  Typically I wear a 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 regular width is fine.

A great feature of the shoe, is the logo “N” is reflective.

New Balance 1080v9

Ride:

The update also includes the removal of about an ounce of weight. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it makes a huge difference in how you feel while running in the shoe.  The lighter weight V9 now feels softer in the midsole, and there is more cushion and response at the forefront.

New Balance 1080v9

With plenty of cushion, it’s a great option for easy days, recovery days, or just daily runs. For me personally, it fits best on any of the 3.  The traction is there so when we had a snow storm a few days ago, I was able to run without feeling like I’m sliding around.  If you have liked the 1080 in the past, you will like it for version 9. If you have never run in the New Balance 1080 and are looking for a high cushioned trainer, the 1080v9 is a great fit.  Even though it’s high cushion, it doesn’t lack the response of a lighter weight trainer.

New Balance 1080v9

Recent Shoe Reviews:

Daily Rotation: Brooks Glycerin 16, Saucony Triumph 5, On Cloudace
Workouts: Nike LT Streak (speed), Hoka Cavu 2 (long run tempos)
Races: Nike LT Streak, Nike Zoom Fly

You Can See All Shoe Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Have you run in New Balance before? 

 

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