The Tuesday Kick is back – and we, uh, kick off this year’s edition with a very impressive set of kicks, for sure.
Full disclosure: Mizuno provided the shoes for review. The opinions are strictly mine.
Mizuno Wave Elixer 8
The official description
Mizuno says the Elixer 8s offer protection and a light, cushiony feel – without the weight or the bulk. The shoe’s light-weight, responsive midsole delivers “a snug fit for a great feel and a fast run.” They don’t mention anything about the shoe’s colour scheme.
Put ’em on and go! The Elixers are light enough to fly in, but plush enough to go the distance. Bonus: the Elixers are loud enough to blind the competition
Who wears them
I do. Please see the “about” section of the blog.
Why he likes them
The Elixer 8s are my new go-to shoe; in fact, they may be one of my all-time favourite shoes ever. Does that sound like gushing? Well, these kicks offer lots to gush about.
I’m an extremely fussy runner, well known for trying on a dozen or more pairs of shoes at a time at stores and still not always walking out with something. Nor am I loyal to brands. I go with the shoe that best fits my foot at the time.
For three years I ran in Nike Vomeros, but a change to the shoe in 2011 resulted in my moving over to Adidas Bostons. In the past I’ve worn Asics, Brooks and Mizuno as well.
I wasn’t certain what to expect when the Elixer 8 landed on my doorstep. They’re a support shoe when typically I run in neutral cushioned. But they didn’t look any more built up than the Adidas Boston and the weight at 8.8 ounces compared extremely well.
They’re built on a solid platform with very little forefoot flex. Yet I find the shoe craves speed. When you hit tempo in them, they seem to promote midsole/forefoot landing. They’re the quietest shoe I’ve run in yet with very little pavement slap.
At the same time, they’re incredibly comfortable. The Elixers feel molded to my feet and unlike some other models I’ve run in recently I experience hardly any road shock. Yet they’re not pillows like some of the other cushioned shoes out there. These feel like the marathon shoe I’ve been searching for, for the last two years.
Mizuno credits this smooth gait cycle to their SmoothRide Engineering. They talk about mysterious “flex grooves” in the heel that promote a natural rocking motion and say an “AP+ Midsole” delivers the “bouncier feel.” More “flex controllers” in the forefoot” ensure that solid toe-off.
Sounds like techno voodoo to me, but it works. I feel incredibly springy in these shoes.
The one thing that jars people about the Elixer is the colour scheme. At a time when shoes are brighter than ever, the Mizunos make a…er, bold statement. The body is covered in a checkerboard pattern featuring two shades of orange, along with black and white. Add to that bright orange detailing around the front and rear bumpers of the shoe and it’s a pretty bright looking package.
But that’s not all. The Mizuno runbird (the company logo) is splashed in lime green on the sides. No one’s going to miss you coming in these shoes!
I love the check pattern. The lime green runbird I find a bit much.
You can’t fault the detailing though. Everything is carefully stitched on the shoe. And the DryLite mesh fabric is very breathable and wicks sweat away as billed. The same fabric is also what allows Mizuno to dye their shoes in such outrageous patterns, I believe.
So, the colour is a bit loud, but when you’ve got a shoe this good, you want to shout it out.