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Mizuno Wave Catalyst (Spring 2016)
The post below is a early season wear tester review of this product. To read our final, expert Road Running Shoe reviews, go to
The women's version of this shoe comes in three colors, and, according to the press information, the pair I tested was diva pink. A diva is the last thing I want to feel like when I'm running, so right off the bat, I'll admit that I was biased against these shoes (or at least Mizuno's marketing department).
These shoes felt great from the heel through the arch, but the toe box is where things got uncomfortable. By the end of my first run (3.5 miles), my toes were asleep and the balls of my feet kind of burned. The shoes felt just a bit small, so I chalked it up to too-thick socks and tried again. Thinner socks yielded similar results; the toe box felt a bit roomier, but the balls of my feet still felt the impact of every footstep on the pavement; there's just not enough underfoot for a comfortable ride (unless, perhaps, you are a fan of super minimalist shoes).
At 8 ounces, the Wave Catalysts are marketed as being "everyday fast," which I think is pretty accurate. Wearing these shoes for every day training runs is totally do-able, and they seem durable enough to do that. When it comes to being "race fast," runners might consider another shoe, such as the 6.3-ounce Hitogama.
The shoes fit well throughout, although if you're in between sizes, maybe order up. Secure through the heel, and the laces are plenty long to adjust them to whatever feels best.
The shoe's midsole is my favorite part of the shoe--it has great fit and comfort through the heel and midfoot--which is of great benefit to heel strikers and mild pronators.
Blown rubber in the forefoot means this shoe can take on many miles.
Not a bad deal for $110.
Neutral runners, slight pronators, and/or heel strikers who want a fast but supportive ride.
HOW TESTED: several road and trail runs ranging from 3.5–7 miles around Los Alamos, NM.
The first thing you notice about the Wave Catalyst is, like most of Mizuno's shoes, the ride is firm -- almost harsh. That makes this a really fast, responsive shoe, since very little energy is lost in compression and rebound, but it does take a fair bit of comfort out of the ride.
This shoe feels best for lighter and faster runners looking for a faster trainer or tempo run shoe. It certainly motors, but has a lot more stability, foot support and structure than lighter more speed focused shoes.
The ride is a little bit heel-strike oriented; midfoot strikers will feel the heel getting in their way a bit.
I found the fit spot on (wearing our thin Darn Tough tester socks). A nice slow clench of the upper, nice adjustability in the laces, and enough room in the forefoot without feeling sloppy. I didn't get the burning sensation Whitney did, but I did get the less comfortable ride.