Written by Bob Wischnia / @MizunoShoeGuy
Picking my all-time favorite Mizuno running shoes is a little like choosing between my twin daughters. I love 'em both and just isn't possible to pick a favorite. I feel the same way about Mizuno shoes and selecting even a short list of the ones I have liked the most is very difficult. I wear all Mizuno running shoes and like each one for different reasons. If that sounds like a homer, so be it. (Full disclosure: I work for Mizuno Running so I freely admit to highly biased opinions.)
Still, I have been writing about and testing running shoes for nearly 30 years and witnessed hundreds of new models come and go. Most of that time I operated independent of any shoe brand, but even so I had my preferences. When questioned how I remained impartial, I always answered that I didn't. I certainly had a bias. As a passionate runner, how could I not be somewhat subjective? I tried to remain fair to every brand, but there were simply certain shoes that I loved and others, not so much. While that wasn't always a satisfactory response, there certainly have been numerous non-Mizunos that have stood out over that time (1980-2004) when I was doing testing and reporting on running shoes for Runner's World.
Those shoes that stood out the most to me were usually support shoes. I've always preferred a firm, stable ride which was reflected in the shoes, during that time, that were truly special to me. (I didn't do all the wear-testing as we had every type of runner who had a wide variety of shoe preferences.)
There's always a tendency among long-time runners to to look back at yesteryear's shoes with great fondness and proclaim those shoes were the best of all time. Not true. Today's running shoes are simply better—much better. With lighter, more resilient foams, more comfortable fitting uppers and better gripping, durable outsoles, the state of running shoes has never been higher. The minimalist trend has definitely had a profound influence on shoe design and technology as shoes have become lighter and lighter. Five years ago, a lightweight training shoe weighed in at 11-12 ounces. Today, some of the best trainers are three and four ounces lighter. Another trend is heel heights which have dropped lower and lower to the point where there are several zero drop shoes on the market.
That certainly holds true for Mizuno. The spring and fall 2013 Mizuno line is the best yet with state-of-the-art midsole cushioning foam (with a new lighter foam scheduled to be introduced in July), great fitting uppers (again, lighter) and a responsive, smooth ride.
Even though the new line has never been better, I still have a particular fondness for five Mizuno classics. Here are My 5 Favorite Running Shoes.