Minimal Running Shoes (cont.)

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I just received a pair of great running shoes from the good folks at Mizuno. They’re called the Wave Universe 3…sounds like a good name for a water park. When I picked up the package I thought they’d sent me an empty box. No kidding, I’m a size 10 and these flyweight running racers tipped my postage scale at a mere 4 ounces each! I almost feel lighter than when I’m running barefoot. I can no longer offer the excuse that my legs are tired because my running shoes are too heavy.

Another thing I really like about these running shoes is that, unlike most racing flats, which are built to be tortuously narrow, these have a toe box that can easily accommodate my EE feet and my toes can breathe easily for a change.

This is interesting. It’s the first pair of running shoes I’ve ever seen with a warning on the hang tag. There’s actually two warnings. First they warn against running on wet surfaces and then they say something to the effect that only highly paid running athletes should even attempt to wear these things. After checking out the sole materials I took the first message to heart, and by default, had to ignore the second message.

I just ran a little over an hour on trails with them and I must say, they feel like moccasins. I could sense every twig and minute undulation in the trail. It was heavenly.

Getting to and from my nearby trail, I have to run on hilly paved roads. The extremely minimal heel offered just enough cushioning on the downhills that I didn’t have to slow down my speed (which I do have to do in my EVO’s and VFF’s).

All in all I’d say that Mizuno has set a pretty high bar with these Wave Universe 3′s, but take these words with some amount of caution. I could run just about any distances in these on trails, but I wouldn’t run a road marathon in these without a very slow build-up in mileage. Because they’re so minimal, they do a great job of forcing you to pay very close attention to all of your ChiRunning focuses.

The only major downside is the $110 price tag. Minimal running shoes, in my opinion, shouldn’t cost this much. Racing flats have always been the cheapest running shoes because they use less materials and they don’t last as long. Maybe that’s why they have the warning that they’re only for highly paid athletes.


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