Disclosure: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.
I don’t consider myself a shoe expert, but I have been running long enough to know the intricacies of most trail, road, and hybrid running shoes. I run over a hundred miles a month and run in everything from trail to racing flats. I do however, know that I am shoe lover, and am someone who enjoys researching the latest technology in foot wear. I first started running, I would had many questions, one that stands out in my mind is, “Is a Neutral running shoe right for me?” I can remember thinking this, and being a little unsure of the differences between many shoe types.
If you find yourself thinking the same thing, or maybe you just started running and want to buy your first pair, I have a few tips for finding the right shoe for you.
Visit your local running store– Taking the time to walk into a store and have a shoe fitting expert help you is key. Most stores educate their employees, and many of them run themselves. Frequently, stores have a treadmill and are able to analyze your gait for a proper fit.
Use an online shoe guide– If you are simply too busy to get into a local store, most manufacturers offer a shoe fitting guide– these are a great place to start, like this one from Mizuno HERE and this informational page HERE.
Stick with what works– Once you find a brand and style that works for you, it’s a good idea to stick with it. Generally, shoe companies will make improvements from year to year to keep their shoes updated with the newest technology, like the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 which I reviewed HERE and the Mizuno WaveRider 18 that I am going to talk about in this post.
Now that we’ve covered where you might start, we can talk about whether or not a neutral shoe is the right one for you. It’s really pretty simple:
Neutral Shoes are best suited for people who do NOT overpronate and who do NOT have high or rigid arches.
Overpronation- def: is the distinctive inward roll of the foot/ankle which is a leading cause of injuries. Check your current shoes… Are they worn out more on the inside of your shoe?
Many people wear neutral shoes, because most do not overpronate, so it’s a good shoe to start with, unless you know you are prone to injury. However, I always advise people to have a gait analysis done at your local running store to be sure.
So if you think this is you, or you have run in a neutral shoe before, then I highly recommend the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Here are a few things about this shoe:
12mm heel drop: ( Heel drop: def- Where the heel of the shoe is in relationship to the forefoot ) I used to run in a lower heal drop, and sometimes still do, so I was slightly hesitant before trying out this shoe. But Mizuno nailed it making this shoe a cushioned, smooth ride… hence the word “wave”, as they have a wave-like motion when you take off and strike.
Light weight: With the women’s shoe weighing only 7.8 oz and men’s 9.2 oz, they are extremely lightweight. If you hold a medium sized tube of toothpaste in your hand, that’s what the shoe might feel like. They’re that light. I found them durable enough for daily training, and light enough to wear in a race.
Durable: The first time I ran in this shoe it made a louder tapping noise than I was used to, but after wearing my Wave Rider 17’s, I realized this shoe was very durable and didn’t loose it’s cushion. I’ve had shoes break down after as little as 150 miles– WaveRider 18 should stand the test of time, just as it’s predecessor 17 did.
Premium Sock Liner– I noticed a big difference on how the 18 felt on my foot compared to the 17’s. This was due to the high quality sock liner. This shoe has smooth, supportive spring.
Style I personally, love the colors that Mizuno went with this year. I was sent the Black and Mint which I love, but they also come in Blue/Silver and White/Fuchsia for women and Black/Green, Red/Black and Blue/Orange for men.
Selecting the right shoe is extremely important. If you run in the wrong shoe it could lead to injury, and investing in gear that doesn’t suit you can be expensive, and frustrating. Take the time to really understand what it is that you need, whether it’s going into a store for a gait analysis, or using an online shoe advisor, getting that perfect shoe will make all of the difference in your running.
Where did you buy your first pair of running shoes? Tell me about your experience?