I had stated in my review of RoadRunner Sports that I had tested at the following shoes: NikeFree, Nike Zoom Vomero, Mizuno Wave Rider, Mizuno Wave Creation, Brooks PureConnect, Brooks Glycerin 9, Asics Gel Cumulus 14, Asics Gel Nimbus 13.
In my last post I reviewed the two minimalist shoes, NikeFree and Brooks PureConnect. The Brooks beat out the Nike for me, so it's time to move on. Here I'm going to do a cursory review of all but my final two choices because none of the others really stood out, despite the considerable effort I put into giving them all a fair shot at being my new favorite shoes. Excuse the ads, but I do think a visual is quite nice when discussing shoes.
Nike Zoom Vomero: Again, really wanted to like these as I do like the Nike brand, but they were unimpressive. Not even as comfortable as my Equalon 4s and certainly not a major contender in my selections. Comfortable fit with a decent toe box, no heel slippage, but I couldn't detect a bit of cushioning or support and certainly not very responsive. Opinions vary, but mine is that they just aren't what I'm looking for. They were cute, have the sensor pocket (though I use a gps system), love the 'just do it' brand, but can't find a shoe that will hold up to my little 20 mile/week runs. Disappointed.
Asics Gel Cumulus 14: an ok ride, comfortable and responsive enough. They certainly beat out the Nike's but just not quite what I was looking for. Not enough cushioning for me but a decent shoe if it works for you. Decent toe box, ok in the cushion and response, no noticeable heel slippage. They just don't compare to the Gel Nimbus 13 (a review for next time). Still, Asics is a quality shoe, and worth anyone's time to try.
Mizunos: Tried the Wave Rider and Wave Creation. Have to say that the Mizunos were a new experience. They are a nice, responsive shoe with decent cushioning and the rocking motion from the sole gives a nice subtle forward-motion that's kinda fun. The Wave Creation, despite it's heavier size, won out for me as it had a bit more of a responsiveness to it and more cushioning. The fit was comfortable and seemed to have decent enough ventilation and a roomy fit without being too big (read: no heel slippage)
I do have to say, they are now my third-favorite shoe, and I wouldn't return them if given to me. I liked them fine and they were a strong contender, but I just didn't see myself putting these into my rotation for the next 500 miles. That said, I will continue to test future versions and see if they move up into my favorite slot.
Two hours of testing and the final two were the Brooks Glycerin 9 and Asics Gel Nimbus 13. I'll take those head-to-head next time, but I can tell you this much: these are my top two favorites. It was a difficult decision, guess which one I went home with???