Tag Archive for Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10

Is there really an alternative to the Asics Kayano? Meet the Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10 and my long term test!

If you’re a long time Asics Kayano user like myself, it’s tempting to try and find an alternative that doesn’t require re-mortgaging every time you need a new pair. Damian told me recently that he was chatting to the staff in his local running store and mentioned I ran in the Kayano and they said it was effectively as close as a running shoe gets to being special shoes. Cheeky. They are the Rolls Royce of runners though.

Having discussed the conundrum of a suitable alternative to the Kayano with a wide range of sports shoe officionados, I had compiled the following list of possibilities…
Adidas Salvation 3
Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10
Saucony Pro Grid Omni 9
Stick with the Kayanos 😉

I have finally had the opportunity to try them all out.

I’ve previously bought a pair of the Sauconys and had found them lacking the support of the Kayano, so I’ve written them off as an alternative from personal experience. ‘Your mileage may vary’ as they say, but they didn’t work for me. My impression of them, ignoring the fact that the support structure wasn’t strong enough was that at £80, in comparison to the Kayano, you get what you pay for. They feel a little less sunbstantial and thinner in the tongue and forefoot area than the Kayanos do.

To ensure a level playing field with the remaining candidates, I started by setting the benchmark in a brand new pair of Kayano 17s. The store staff took a video me running on a treadmill with their gait analysis software, confirming the Kayano was a suitably supportive shoe for my running style and saved this video for comparison purposes.

Next up, the Adidas. The Salvations I tried were not the latest model. It appears that Adidas have completely redesigned the support structure for the fourth iteration of the Salvation and I was advised that if I needed strong support, stick with the 3. I did so. The video gait analysis revealed that the Salvation 3’s allow quite a lot of roll in of my ankles, particularly my right one and so we immediately wrote these off as an option too.

There was now nothing left but the Mizuno offering in the form of the Wave Alchemy 10. Initial impressions were of similar quality to the Saucony, one which is entirely resonable given their £85 price tag, in comparison to the £130 tag on the Kayano.

So, what did the video reveal? Well, we spent quite some time rolling the video back and forth to try and come to a consensus on whether the Mizuno or the Kayano were better suited to me! It really was difficult to tell the difference. I bought a pair and have now put about 80 miles on them.

What’s this Heel-Toe delta thing anyway?
Have a look at the image to the right here –>
I’ve done my best with the aid of paint(!) to show you what I mean by heel-toe delta. It’s essentially the drop in height between the heel and the toe when your foot is in the shoe. The Mizuno is considerably flatter in the sole than the Kayano and this means that you’re stretching your achilles and calf a bit more on the tail end of every stride.

Test results
I hadn’t noted that the heel-toe delta on the Mizuno shoe was so small in comparison when I was running on the treadmill. I noticed it was smaller, it felt different just standing in the shoes, but hadn’t realised how significant this would turn out to be. The Kayano has a steep heel-toe delta and I’ve been using them for about two years now (and over 2000 miles) so I’m very used to this aspect. After about four runs (mainly short three milers) I was really struggling with a range of pains including achilles tension which wasn’t good. I then added some heel gel support pads to the shoes (4mm ones seemed too high when I tried them, I ended up using 2mm inserts) and have been much more comfortable. I suspect that in the long term, the 4mm inserts will be better but that’s a test for another day.

Conclusion
At a retail price of £85, you may just find the Mizuno Wave Alchemy an appropriate alternative, offering the same level of cushioning and support, but at around 2/3rds the price of our beloved Kayano staple! Beware though, the heel-toe delta is as near as it gets to flat and this might leave you struggling as I did. Be prepared to try some heel inserts if you find you have problems. I’m able to use them, but I’ll still be buying Kayanos again next time I’m afraid.

Day 315 – A round fifty to go and do new shoes ALWAYS hurt?

Today was the first outing of the Mizunos I bought yesterday. At first glance, they appear wider at the toe area, in fact wider in all areas (looking from above) than the Kayanos I’m used to and are a little tighter feeling around the midfoot. Tight enough to not feel good. They also feel quite loose around the ankle too. Given how much time I spent fiddling with the Kayanos to get the lacing right, it’s not fair to complain about this yet. I will have a mess about with them tomorrow. They also feel a bit lighter. Once out on the road though, this lightness translates into much more road feel. I’m not sure. especially after only three miles, whether this is a good or a bad thing. After yesterday’s long miles, it’s hard to tell if there is a problem with road shock, if these new shoes just need ‘running in’ or if it’s just my weary bones complaining!

The race shoes haven’t even made it out of the box yet, and it looks like they won’t until after the Sense holiday either. I don’t have the time, nor the inclination to try and bed in a lightweight race shoe right now. I don’t know if the body will be up to it anyway so I can’t afford to risk such a big change.

On Sunday I was discussing my marathon plan and said it peaks at about 23 miles for a single long run. I was wrong, I must have been confused with the other one I looked at using. Having just checked, yesterday’s 20 miles WAS the longest run! There are two more of those coming up, but 20 miles is the longest run in the schedule. Feels good to have that one cracked so early!

Four new pairs of these fell through the letterbox today. It’s quite obvious I rate them very highly. BUY THEM NOW! 😉

As for the mileage…just three today. There are now only fifty days left and 1400 miles drops tomorrow!

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10s
Miles today: 3.02
Target: 945
Miles to date: 1397.84
All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
Peanuts – Lucy Van Pelt

Day 314 – Twenty miles in bits and pieces and an expensive day on the running front!

The plan was to meet Dave and Paddy at the club at 8am to run about 6 miles, before meeting the rest of the guys from the club out for a Sunday run at 9am for another 14. I drove over to the club, made somewhat late by the main road being closed and having to drive round quite a bit of Aldershot to arrive at the club house. As I parked, Dave pointed to the flat tyre I’d managed to bring with me. Rubbish. I suggested it would happily wait a few hours and off we went. We ran the BVR handicaps route, hitting 5 miles by the end.

At 9:00 Nick, Alan, Kev and John arrived for the next 13 miles, thanks for making it interesting and entertaining. Nick and I even managed a bit of a race (though he left me for dust when we really got going!) for the last quarter mile. Always a pleasure to be beaten to a pulp yet again Nick!

During the run I had a chat with John about race shoes. Let me tell you about John. He’s a terribly impressive man. At 55 he took up running. Within a couple of years he’d run a handful of marathons, the best of which was a 3h15m. Oh my! Dave and I were later discussing John’s running style and how light he seems to land on his feet. We’re all plodding along thumping down on the road whilst John seems to effortlessly glide along! Anyway, John swears by race shoes. He wears nothing else. Standard running shoes are just too heavy. It got me thinking, maybe it’s time to find the equivalent of the Kayano in a lightweight shoe and try them. More on this later…

Finally, as everyone else left, I plodded off to clock up the last couple, and did. 20 done. And aching. And I changed the tyre too!

I’d like to say a big thanks to Dave and Paddy, both for joining me and to Dave for the route planning. It’s good to make the long runs a bit more interesting by running with other people, thanks gents, 20 miles on your tod is no fun!

And my afternoon…?

I went off for a trip to my local running shop to buy some running shorts. I found two pairs of Nike shorts at only £16 each. Bargain. I then noticed they had a treadmill with a conveniently placed video camera to check your gait. That and a wide selection of shoes to play with!

I tried…
The new Kayano 17s (They are absolutely an ideal shoe for me, even 18 months after the last fitting)
The Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10 (Turned out to be as good as the Kayano above)
Adidas Salvations (Way too little support and plenty of roll in my right ankle)
Asics DS Trainer Lightweight Race Shoes (Shockingly do a good job of supporting me, though noticeably less so than the Kayano)
Adidas AdiZero Tempo Lightweight Race Shoes (Felt like nil support, no good for me)
And finally those crazy looking Nike Free shoes (which felt weird and had the expected lack of any support, so didn’t work for me)

It’s been an expensive day. I walked out of the door with two pairs of shoes and two pairs of shorts. Reviews to come soon…

A short run suits me for tomorrow I think! Until then…

Make a donation using Virgin Money GivingAndy.

Today’s shoes: Lime and Green Kayano 17s (Which are now very dirty!)
Miles today: 5.00+13.03+2.00=20.03
Target: 942
Miles to date: 1394.82
An obstacle is often a stepping stone.
– Prescott