Free My Sole
The subject line of the email read “Runner’s World Sweepstakes Finalist!”. I enter a lot of contests and I knew Runner’s World Magazine recently promoted a contest for a year’s worth of shoes. The person who contacted me sent multiple avenues by which I could determine that she was indeed an employee of Runner’s World and she wasn’t spamming or phishing. Intrigued, I followed the instructions and waited, impatiently. Soon I received a confirmation that I had indeed won a years worth of shoes, which in a runner’s world, means six pair of shoes. Six. I don’t know about you, but I find running shoes that I like are expensive and I would prefer to replace them only when absolutely necessary. To me, that necessity arises about twice a year. Six pair of shoes is a veritable gold mine! I was informed that the choice of shoes would be determined by the sponsors which I understood to mean “Tell us what size you wear and we’ll see what we have in the pile of stuff they send us to test.” Within a few days a large box was on my doorstep. I brought it inside and got all giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. Inside the box was a sampling of athletic shoe makers. Right away I noticed the distinctive red and white bag on the Puma shoes, and then discovered I had two pair of Pumas. I continued unpacking: Reebok, Skechers, and Asics. Then I saw a plain white box. Opening it I found a pair of blue Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2. Now, I know that the Prophecy shoe recently released in version 3, but I was intrigued. My current road running shoe corral includes a pair of Mizuno Inspires so I thought I might like what Runner’s World randomly chose for me. It just so happened that I was running a 10K a couple of days after the package arrived and in front of me lay a mound of shoes to test.
I guess now I have lots of shoes to write about and review, although I admit, if anyone expects a technical review, this is the wrong place to look. I know what I like, I know what feels good, but when I read some shoe reviews I feel like the person writing them is a shoe designer and knows all the vocabulary that I don’t. What the heck is thermoplastic overlay?
Fit and technical components of the shoes played into my decision making process of which shoes to try first. Just kidding, the Mizunos were blue and orange and since I was running with a group of blind/visually impaired runners and guides wearing blue and orange shirts, I chose fashion over function. Don’t judge. In the first mile I knew I made a good choice. The look of the Mizuno infinity wave sole reminds me of these wedge shoes I had in the early 80’s with a hole in the wedge like an oblong donut. I won’t concern myself with a weird aesthetic such as a sole that makes me think of pastries, because the shoes felt great. I am sometimes a neutral but more typically a stability shoe purchaser. These shoes feel solid, which people who like a truly neutral shoe probably won’t like. The cushion was good, but not overwhelming and the advertised “propulsion” of the wave sole doesn’t seem far off the mark. I was able to run a decent pace without feeling the nagging pain of a recent knee problem. In short, I can’t wait to try the rest of the shoes, but for now the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2 just went to the front of the running shoe rotation.