Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
The following post is sponsored by Mizuno as a part of a campaign with Fitfluential, LLC. As always, all opinions stated are honest and my own.
Mizuno is a brand that I have had little experience with. Truth be told I have not run in a pair of Mizuno shoes in decades, and I’m pretty sure the last pair I put on my feet were soccer cleats. This all changed recently when a pair of Mizuno Wave Hayate trail shoes arrived on my front porch.
Hayate, according to my
extensive Google research, is Japanese for “smooth, fast, swift, sudden”, which appears to be what Mizuno was going for with this design: a lightweight shoe with the protection and stability required for trail running. Also, I’m going to take an educated guess and assume that “Hayate” is what is written along the side of the shoe.
ABOUT: (According to Mizuno) “Run fearlessly and free on the trails or blaze new ones. Our newest trail specific design is low, light and highly adaptable for fast off-road training or racing. The X-lug outsole grips fiercely in all directions as the lightweight midsole plants securely on any terrain. Trail-specific details work in harmony so you feel the trail and not the shoe.
– The Concave Wave cradles the heel for a sure-footed landing, while the midfoot x-groove delivers maximum adaptability on any surface.
-The outsole’s aggressive x-studded outsole pattern makes the Wave Hayate suitable for the most technical trails, while the lower ramp of 9mm and low midsole heights puts the runner closer to the ground with a fast, low-slung feel
– Even though it’s protected enough to attack technical trails, the Wave Hayate weighs in at an amazingly light 7.2oz”
– Weight: Men’s: 8.8oz, Women’s: 7.2oz
– Height: 18/9 mm (Heel/Toe)
– 9mm drop
– MSRP: $109.99
Aesthetics: Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way before we get into the important stuff: these shoes are gorgeous. I pulled them out of the box having never even seen a picture of the shoe previously, and I immediately thought (and instagrammed) that these were the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen. (This of course, did not stop me from putting them in the mud.) If you do not like loud, obnxious shoes, then you are out of luck: the Hayate comes in one design only, with a nearly identical men’s version.
Fit: The shoes fit relatively true to size…perhaps just the tiniest bit snug, especially if you wear thick socks. Personally I am used to running in more minimal shoes with a wide, natural toebox that allows my toes to naturally splay, so I immediately noticed how snug the toebox in the Hayates felt. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say the toebox is overly narrow, just that it certainly isn’t wide enough to allow natural movement. Because of this I don’t think that I would want to use these shoes for long distance runs, but this of course is a personal preference.
Run: To be quite honest with you, I’m shocked that these have a 9 mm stack height, because they certainly do not feel like they do. The sole of the shoe is relatively flexible, and truly did give a decent ground contact feel. They were a comfortable, smooth run, without any shifting or sliding in the shoe (this is where the tight fit comes in handy.) The upper is cushioned just enough to prevent any chaffing or hot spots. Of course I took them straight through a few puddles: the forefoot area is a lightweight mesh that drains relatively easy, however the heel area is not. Be prepared for a little bit of sloshing as the shoe dries (it did dry relatively quickly).
Traction: I didn’t notice it, which in short, means it works. I only notice when I’m slipping and sliding all over a trail; this was not the case with the Mizuno Wave Hayate. The x-lug outsole grips on the bottom of the shoe are somewhat shallow and shaped in a way that prevents mud and rocks getting stuck in them, which is always a positive feature in my opinion. THAT SAID, I didn’t take them up a soaking wet grass covered double black diamond trail (ahem, OCR friends), just your standard Vermont trails.
Conclusion: These are a lightweight option for trail runners who need protection and traction without a ton of bulk, or who are looking for a racing shoe that is significantly lighter than their training shoe. I truly like everything about the Mizuno Wave Hayate except the narrow fit in the forefoot. If you are a fan of the Mizuno to begin with, or prefer a tighter, stable fit, then these shoes are definitely worth checking out.