I have been trail running more recently, and I love it. I love running in general, but taking it to the trails has turned up my love for running a notch or two. Trails offer a few things that road running cannot deliver. First and foremost is the scenery; there is nothing better than running a trail and seeing amazing views or seeing parts of the city that I’ve never seen before. When I’m running on the road, and I generally run the same routes, the road never changes…it’s always a sidewalk or asphalt. The trail, the same trail, changes every run. Rocks might be in a spot where they weren’t previously, a tree might have fallen, there are a ton of different things that can change the trail. While I am able to find a hill when road running, there are few running pleasures better than making it to the summit of a peak of a trail run and taking in the view before descending. This isn’t a post bashing road running, it’s a post to proclaim my new addiction to trail running and to let you know about a pretty awesome trail running shoe.
I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Mizuno Wave Kazan trail running shoe. I was pretty happy with the trail shoe that I was using, but I only had one pair and the tread was beginning to run down which can be hazardous when running trails. I was in the market for a new trail shoe when I was invited to test out the Wave Kazan.
When I try a new shoe, I always bring another pair with me because I don’t know if the shoe is going to hurt my feet. When I put on the Kazan, I knew right away that I wasn’t going to need the other pair. The Kazan is a very comfortable shoe, much more comfortable than any other pair of trial running shoes I’ve worn. When I hit the trail I immediately noticed how light the shoes are. The product specs list them as 9.5 ounces, which sounds light, but you never know until you run in them. These babies are lightweight and that makes any run more enjoyable.
I wore the Kazan on several different trail runs, all with varied terrain and different elevation gain. The Kazan performed under all conditions which made me happy as now I have a single go-to shoe for all trail runs. Mizuno created this shoe to adapt to all sorts of terrain and conditions. They created a decoupled X-groove mid-sole which adapts to uneven surfaces as the X-lug outsole digs into soft ground and grips dry rocks or roots.
Mizuno is making a commitment to trail and pushing the winning design principles found in the beloved Ascend 8 to their new trail shoe line-up, including the Wave Kazan. I think they hit the nail on the head with the Kazan and their commitment to trail running. I found that the Kazan provided a secure fit, the proper trail protection and, as mentioned, is lightweight. The Kazan is a shoe that I didn’t notice while running, and I think that is the greatest compliment a shoe can receive. I didn’t worry about it being heavy, about it gripping the trail or about it hurting my feet. If I notice any of those things while trail running, then I know the shoe didn’t perform. The Kazan performed on every run I’ve taken it on.
I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t discuss a negative about the shoe. The laces seem to loosen about halfway through each run. It never came completely untied and it wasn’t a problem to stop and tighten them up. I think this will get better as I run in them more and break them in more, so I’m not too concerned with this. I double knotted them and didn’t worry about them again. [Update 7/22/2014: I laced the laces all the way up to the top hole and the laces stayed tied tight. Surprisingly, the shoes felt even better on my feet than before!]
Here are the technical data and product specs for the Wave Kazan:
Technical data: the concave Wave Technology cradles and stabilizes the heel at landing while promoting a smooth transition. The midfoot X-groove enhances the adaptability of the sole segment by allowing the heel and forefoot to move independently. Finally, the X-Stud provides multi-directional grip in adverse conditions and on uneven terrain.
Heel to toe: 12mm ramp
To summarize, I flat out loved these trail shoes. To know that I feel I have the proper stability and protection when running on any trail terrain is a great feeling. I never worry about what shoe to wear for what terrain and know that the Kazan will deliver on every trail surface. I’m more than impressed by the weight and performance and am happy to be running in the Kazan. Don’t just take my word for it! Visit the Mizuno Wave Kazan page and scroll to the bottom for other reviews, you will not be disappointed!
Here is a cool video about the making of the Wave Kazan. I’m always fascinated by the technology and the thought put into shoes:
Here are a few pics from one of my runs. This is on North Table Mountain in Golden, CO:
You can checkout Mizuno Running at the following channels:
What are your favorite trails? What are your favorite running shoes?