The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.
Ever since “Born to Run” became a phenomenon (the book is awesome, don’t get me wrong), the life of a heel striking runner has become more difficult. Shoe manufacturers have latched on to the minimalist shoe era and created new shoes to meet this demand, while reconfiguring shoes they already have.
Now, that’s great that there are new shoes on the market that meet the needs of the “proper” running technique. However, unless you are trying to run with Meb or Kara, hitting the ground with your heel or midfoot really won’t make that much of a difference. The book argues that shoes are what makes us hit the ground with our heels – when really, we should hit with our midfoot.
My thought? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Meaning if you are able to run comfortably and without injury as a heel striker, there’s no sense to change to a midfoot runner. In doing so, you can subject yourself to injury (such as stress fractures!) and end up with worse issues than if you just ran the way your body wants.
So, what’s a heel striker to do, given the current situation of the shoe market?
Enter Mizuno with its Wave Rider series.
Mizuno has put this series through a number of redesigns (the 17s, if you remember, came out and wow’ed everyone with a narrower and “sexier” design), but one thing has remained true – they provide the cushioning that a neutral runner who strikes with their heel needs.
I had the chance to try out the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 on a few runs and let me say – I love them. First of all, can we just talk about how amazing the color combination is?
I do think great colors on your shoes make a big difference, and for us heel strikers, it can be difficult to find a fun colored shoe… just because we need more cushion doesn’t mean we don’t want more color, too!
The most important thing about these shoes is that they make my feet and legs happy. My knees don’t hurt when I run in these (which is a bonus, especially as colder weather heads our way), and my feet feel like they are hitting some clouds instead of the pavement.
Even though these have substantial cushioning, the shoes are sleek and lightweight – making them perfect for a daily running shoe, whether you are running a few miles or training a marathon. The shoe features a 12mm heel-to-toe drop and for women, weigh 7.8 ounces. The Wave Rider 18 has U4ic (pronounced “euphoric”) midsole – meaning that you can get more cushioning at less weight, which is a huge bonus.
Bottom line: If you are looking for a neutral shoe with substantial cushioning, look no further than the Wave Rider 18s.
Where are my heel strikers? What shoes do you run in?
Anyone read “Born to Run”? What did you think?
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