Friday, December 7, 2012

Mizuno Ascend 7, Guest Review: Josh Reed

The Mizuno Wave Ascend 7, is a light-weight trail running shoes weighing in at 11.4 oz. It’s not their lightest shoe, but it’s by no means heavy. I generally recommend Mizuno's for beginning runners because their midsole allows a comfy impact with plenty of protection. The Ascend 7 is equipped with Mizuno’s Wave TechnologySmoothride Engineering, and Dynamotion Fit.  These three trademarked entities enable the Ascend 7 to dissipate impact, create a seamless heel-to-toe transition, and eliminate stress points on the upper area of the foot.

Alright enough on the stats, you can read those on Mizuno's website. The real question: What is it like running in the Ascend 7?  Think, jet fighter. The Ascend 7 likes to go fast on trails.  As we all know, trails are up-and-down, and tend to be somewhat technical: rocks, roots, creek crossings. From the first obstacle to the last, there was never a doubt of slipping once these shoes made contact with the ground. Every downhill I could really bomb, and felt like I was glued to the ground; however, the Ascend 7 isn't made for every day training, in my opinion, and it shows. 

The fit isn't as impressive, as the traction. I have about a half a shoe size difference between both my feet, so the shoe fit perfect on one foot and tight on the other.  I have this issue with some shoes, but most tend to fit both feet pretty well.  It's an anatomical difference, and much less of a “shoe” issue. Lets be for real, though, most people actually do have at least a slight, if not substantial, difference between their feet.  It's never bothered me during my runs, and my right foot didn't fall asleep, or become tingly. There was just a noticeable difference between the fit of the shoes.

These things are loud. Loud? No, they don't speak to you. I don’t know why, but they made a pretty loud slapping sound when I was running. I tried changing my foot-strike to see if it's just the way I run, but nothing seemed to work. Right before my weight transferred to the ball of my foot the shoe would make a slapping noise.  Needless to say, if your goal is to be a ninja runner you might want to avoid these shoes. The noise combined with the colors of the shoes would make sneaking around near impossible.

Now, I said earlier I usually suggest Mizuno running shoes to beginners for the Wave Tehcnology Mizuno uses in their midsole. The Ascend 7 would be the exception to that rule.  You feel everything in these shoes and when you are trail running that’s a lot!  It was never uncomfortable, plus I tend to like a less cushioned shoe, but these are the typical “ride” you expect from Mizuno.  Less of a sedan, and more of a sports car feel to them.

Overall these are great shoes. If I could find a right shoe that’s about half a size bigger I would be set.  For trail racing these are up there for me. They want to go fast and make you feel comfortable with your foot placement. I wouldn't suggest training in them everyday since the cushioning is less desirable, but a couple times a week shouldn't hurt.

Joshua Reed is a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, a runner, and a triathlete.