Thank you very much to Fitfluential and Mizuno for the chance to audition and review these shoes. Though I was provided the shoes in exchange for a review, all opinions are very much my own.
As many of you well know, I have recently dealt with a stress injury, and as I was coming out of the injury, I was super game to try some new shoes that might offer me a smooth ride with a bit of support. Consequently, I was quite excited to receive a package containing the new Mizuno Wave Enigma 5s to test out! Perfect timing, right?
Why did it seem to be perfect timing? Because of the structure and construction of the shoe.
A bit of the technical side of what is new with the Wave Enigma 5.
The Wave Enigma 5 introduces the brand new u4ic-x (“euphoric-x”) midsole foam technology to reduce shock at foot impact. This is an improved version of the previous u4ic platforms that is meant to offer greater responsiveness and a softer underfoot feeling, leading to a smoother transition.
Many of us are familiar with the Mizuno Wave technology so popular with runners of all levels and running needs. The Wave tech is known for creating stability and flexibility from landing to to-off. The Enigma features a Double Fan Wave with an “articled forefoot” Wave plate (no, I don’t know that that actually means, so don’t ask!)–in layman’s terms, shock absorption, guidance, and lightweight flexibility.
With a neutral platform, a light, flexible sole (seriously, this shoe weighs in at 8.8 oz for women!), and a substantial heel to toe drop of 12 mm, this sounded like a great option for my new neutral, everyday trainer.
My Experience in the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5
Anyone coming off an injury, particularly a stress-related injury, is likely to be terribly paranoid about any steps they take–I was and am no different! Consequently, I was hyper-conscious of how the shoe felt on my feet, how my feet functioned with the shoe, and #allthefeels that it made me feel.
As usual, I am every company’s best and worst nightmare! lol. But you know that they looooove me.
My first thought upon opening the shoe box was cute color (hey, I’m superficial, get over it). Second thought was that they definitely were more of a traditionally styled shoe (remember, I have been in a more minimal and streamlined shoe for a while). But they are light to the touch and not heavy in your hands, even for their “size.”
Next was the foot test. I switched out my orthotics and checked the placement–nice and easy, not too tight or loose.
Oooh, comfy. My feet look a bit bulkier, but I again, I am used to more streamlined shoes. Let’s stand up. Very even, no poking about in the arch–meaning that the footbed is very well balanced and well formed: nicely neutral. Laces up. Didn’t have to fiddle too much with the laces and tongue to make for a good fit across my feet, and still, no pressure points in the foot. A nice amount of room in the toe: neither boxy nor snug. Plenty of room in front of my toes for moment. I will say that the other Mizunos that I have tried in years past always felt like they didn’t fit my feet right–that they were boxy here, tight there. These felt comfortable and accommodating.
Indeed, very smooth transition from heel to toe, but there is some heel movement when I continue my step. A bit more firm than I would have thought, considering the cushioning and the purported benefits of the u4ic-x technology.
Running. (tested first on treadmill with walk/run intervals, then road with walk/run and finally continuous run on treadmill during testing phase).
Again, smooth transition but not what I would call a “quick” turnover or toe-off. These shoes are not what I would call “plush,” like some trainers are, where they feel cloud like, nor are they “hard.” In fact, I would call these Happy Medium, or Goldilocks like. Right down the middle.
My first run in them was great–comfortable, happy, and worry-free. The worry free aspect was much appreciated for this girl!
Thoughts after continued use:
For the next week, I kept running in the Enigmas, and I truly enjoyed my runs. I felt safe and secure in the shoes, they accommodated my increasingly neutral footfall (as I worked to reclaim my step), and felt great on both the treadmill and the road. Something that I really liked and really appreciated was that I never once felt my feet fall asleep or develop hot points!
But it wasn’t all birds and butterflies.
I developed some arch pain near my right ankle during the second week. I began to notice that my arch was interacting a bit too much with the arch of the shoe. This is something that I noticed happening with another pair of trainers, but those had been more support-like, so I was surprised that it was happening here. Another run revealed similar pain after a few miles. Consequently, I tabled the shoes for a few days before trying them again.
The Future for Me + Mizuno Wave Enigma 5
The honeymoon gave way to reality, as it so often does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends! Why do I say this, even after encountering arch pain? Because we all have to take into account the fact that my feet were a) getting used to the shoes and b) still gaining strength back following the injury. I didn’t have pain in my left arch, the foot that never had to stay in the boot! I think that as I get my foot strength back, my ankle mobility back, these shoes may be a great option for me for my easy days when I’m looking to give my feet and legs a break.
My only other quibble would be the fact that my heels moved around a little, but not really when I was running, and not enough to give me blisters or anything. More at the walk than anything! I do have triangular feet, though, so this is likely a product of my more narrow heels. When I tried them with the Mizuno insole, my ankle bones actually rubbed the top of the shoe a little bit, so that is also something to keep in mind.
Final and General Thoughts the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5
I think that these shoes could be a very good pair for those who are looking for a “Goldilocks” of shoes, i.e. something right down the middle, with the exception of being in the middle with regards to heel-toe drop–> these are very much traditional style shoes. But if you are looking for a neutral footbed, a sturdy shoe that is somewhat firm but medium cushion, an accommodating but not overly roomy footbed, and a shoe that can take as many or few miles as you wish to throw at it, I say to give the Enigmas a go and discover how the Miles Change you.Unravel the mystery of the new @MizunoRunning #Enigma5 Review #fitfluential #MilesChangeYou #runchat via @suzlyfe Click To Tweet
Are you in search of “Goldilocks” shoes? Have you tried Mizuno shoes before?
How many types of shoes do you keep in rotation throughout your training? Do you have a “workhorse”?