Shoe Review: “Walk, Don’t Run!” Mizuno’s BE Shoes

BACKGROUNDER:

PRE/POST Run Shoes:

  • The Mizuno “BE” is basically a  recovery shoe designed to be worn when you’re NOT running. A pre and post run shoe.
  • It helps strengthen the lower leg and foot muscles to improve running performance while aiding in the recovery of tired muscles
  • Inspired by the Japanese Waraji (Japanese 草鞋) sandals made from straw rope that were used in the past as standard footwear for the Samurai and the Feudal soldiers of Japan.

Wajari Sandals (photo credits terebess.hu website)

  • The sole of the Waraji sandals was designed to be shorter than the feet allowing the toes to move naturally up and down, to curl, grip and to activate the muscles of the foot
  • It’s not supposed to be used as a running shoe but just to satisfy your interest on how this shoe would feel like while running, you can take it out for a 3-5 km run (no more than that!) and just once!
  • Weight: 7.0 Oz.

Mizuno BE

I researched on the shoe even before its launching here in Manila and found out that it’s suppose to be worn when you’re not running. This shoe is often described as a toning shoe but that gives a negative connotation to it although it works to activate the toes and the muscles of the lower leg and feet, the same way as a toning shoe does.

The BE is Mizuno’s answer to the different recovery shoes that are out in the market. The K-Swiss Blade-Light Recover has been out in the market for about two years now while the New Balance has its own Minimus Life/Wellness Zero for post-run shoe wear.

While many runners will still prefer to wear flip-flops or slippers after a hard or long run, (including myself) make no mistake, the BE is a great casual shoe that’s great for walking, going to the mall or just wearing it to the office, if you’re allowed to wear one. This is one comfortable shoe to take anywhere!

CONSTRUCTION:

The upper is made up of a soft, suede-like canvas with breathable mesh specifically constructed on the top where the toes would normally be positioned. The toe-box is wide and roomy, designed anatomically to the shape of the foot.

The shoes insole is not removable while the midsole offers a lot of cushioning. The illustration above shows the shoes’ functions:

  • 1.  ACTIVATION SOCKLINER – Dips the toes to activate your muscles.
  • 2.  DYNAMIC FUNCTION HEEL COUNTER – Cups your heel to improve it’s cushioning function.
  • 3.  AP+ MIDSOLE- Offering cushioning and comfort at footplant.
  • 4.  BE FOOTPRINT OUTSOLE – Lightweight and durable.

The outsole

FIT and FEEL:

The BE has a nice, comfortable feel. It’s not snug by any means but it’s really made to make your toes relaxed and breathable. This shoe is one  flexible shoe i have ever tested. I like the footing which is soft but firm and there are no irritation issues with the upper and even on the heel-counter which is somewhat low.

BE’s sockliner dips just behind the toes, creating a space that allows the toes to flex and move freely, resulting in more muscle activity.

This is exactly how it feels in the toe area. Have you tried cutting the top area of an insole before because the shoe you probably bought was to narrow on the forefoot? I did this when i was just starting on running, i made bad decisions when buying running shoes when i didn’t try them on first before buying, that i ended up getting sizes that didn’t have enough space on the toe box.

So what i did was cut-off about 1.5 inches at the top of the insole, shaped them to conform with the trace of the toes and put them back to try them on. The toe-box felt roomier and the toes could feel the space that was cut-off. This is how the BE activation sock-liner feels.

Breathable mesh for the toes

PERFORMANCE:

From the first time i slipped on this shoe during its launching at Mizuno’s headquarters at Magallanes, i was sold. The inside of the shoe was very comfortable though one could easily sense what the Waraji sandals felt like, the gap of the insoles to the length of your foot. The midsole was pillowy and although there is a heel to toe differential of about 5-6 mm, the feel was like walking on a zero-drop shoe.

Although this shoe was meant just for walking, the inquisitiveness in me dictated that i should “test-drive” this shoe and took it on a short run the following day.

On that 4 km run, the shoe felt very light, meatier than the Vibram Five Fingers  “Speed” shoe but much lighter than the Reebok Realflex Transition shoe. The feel was responsive, tends to set you on mid-foot strike and glided well on asphalt road.

If we were not apprised that this shoe was made for walking only, i would have run another 4k on this without a problem. But there will probably be issues about its durability when taking this for runs so lets just leave it the way it was intended to be used, for the mall.

CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION:

After using this almost everyday on my daily grind for work, meet-up with friends, walking from place to place on errands, this shoe is very kind to the feet, no aches nor pains to the foot and legs, whatsoever.

Bravo, Mizuno BE! 🙂

Mizuno.ph Launches the “BE” Shoes

After running a hard, long race particularly a marathon, it’s always nice to wear your flip flops which gives your aching feet a nice soothing feeling, providing your feet a breather after they have been battered from the long run.

There’s another mode of getting your feet relaxed, and not only does it provide comfort and relief but also strengthens and activates your foot muscles while not running. It’s called the “BE” recovery shoes from Mizuno. Inspired by the Japanese Waraji sandals with the toes protruding over the front edge, this shoe allows the toes to move naturally up and down, to curl and grip, which activates the muscles of the foot.

I was fortunate enough to be invited at the launching of this shoe last Thursday at the Mizuno Head Office in Paseo Magallanes. It certainly has the looks of a minimalist shoe, weighs just 7 ounce and has about a heel to toe drop of 6mm.

Features

  • Activation Sockliner – Dips the toes to activate your muscles.
  • Dynamic function heel counter – cups your heel to improve is cushioning function.
  • AP+ midsole- Offering cushioning and comfort at footplant.
  • Be footprint outsole – Lightweight and durable.

Mizuno BE

With the women’s colors on left and right models

No, that is not Sheryl’s pet squirrel but the Waraji sandals from which the Mizuno BE was based

Various running personalities graced the BE’s launching led by Mizuno’s charming Brand Manager, Jai Cortes, friend Noelle (The Kikay Runner) and other Mizuno endorsers like Patrick Joson, Anton Del Rosario, Ige Lopez, The Running Wild Team and Mizuno representatives to the Osaka Marathon, among others.

Mizuno’s Jai Cortes

Philippine Azkhal’s Anton Del Rosario and The Kikay Runner

Mizuno BE Shoe is available in three unique colours, (Silver/Anthracite/Chinese Red) (Strong Blue/Silver/Ember) for Mens & (Silver/White/Electric) for Women. The minimalistic construction of the shoe weighs at 7 oz (200g) and is now available at Mizuno outlets.

Retail selling price at P3,995.00

Thank you to Mizuno Philippines for our sample pairs!

With Reebok Brand Ambassador Blas Tiangco who seems to be in love with the Mizunos!

Nice color schemes. More colors to come

Noe available at all Mizuno stores

The footprint outsole which is lightweight and durable

Mizuno Run Academy at BHS

While having a break after trying to scramble a series of difficult burpees,  crunches and squats during the early series of the FILFIT Camp with Jim Saret 3 Mondays ago at BHS, i  was able to squeeze myself in at the Mizuno Run Academy which was being held simultaneously on the other end of the sprawling High Street where Coach Patrick Joson was lecturing on the POSE Running method.

Lectures inside the Mizuno Store at BHS

Coach Patrick Joson

The Mizuno Run Academy is actually a beginners course on the science of running called “Discovering the Key to High Endurance” but its main attraction is learning the basics of POSE Running.  I’ve been to lectures of the Chi Running method conducted by Coach Lit Onrubia and i’ve always been intrigued how it compared to the POSE method and found varying similarities and differences within them.

While Coach Lit is a US Certified Chi Running instructor, we’re fortunate enough to also have the first Filipino US Certified Pose Method instructor in Coach Patrick who is also a certified International Triathlon Union Level 2 coach.

Although the basics is geared on the Pose Running method, the Mizuno Run academy also emphasizes on another training method of a low-stress fitness running program which can be tailored based on each individual needs. This is a holistic approach to racing and training and its basis is the aerobic system.  This system is called the Maffetone Training method which improves the aerobic system at using fat for fuel in the most efficient way.

The Maffetone tries to manage your stress, find the ideal nutrition and optimize your potentials by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses for improved performance. Easier said than done but based on the lectures and initial drills conducted by Coach Patrick, the concept here is building a foundation of aerobic fitness via Long Slow Distance runs and build slowly upwards in doing anaerobic and racing while being injury free.

Reminds me a lot of our old running clinic days at Runnex during the 80’s when we were doing the Arthur Lydiard way of training based mostly on controlled phases of running like base building/aerobic training, speed or hill training, sharpening and rest/tapering.

I’m not going into explaining about the differences/similarities of the POSE and Chi methods (there’s a lot of them on-line) but from the first impressions about the POSE, here’s what i surmised:

  • Your strides should be kept short, staccato-like with your leading foot under your body, not ahead or before  it.
  • Using the hamstrings more when raising your ankle straight up positioning underneath your hip.
  • Head, shoulders, hips, and ankles are kept in vertical alignment
  • Pull up, don’t push off the ground
  • With shorter strides, you should land on the ball of your foot and not your heels.
  • Mimic what Coach Patrick does (and ask how he does it, after!)

So there! We’re still on the learning stages of the POSE running method and the Maffetone Training method and i’ll be back again to report more on these after i do more body twisters at the FILFIT Camp! See you!

Running mates at the Academy

Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Prophecy

BACKGROUNDER:

NEUTRAL CUSHIONING SHOE

  • Recommended for neutral runners to slight overpronators who want a high-performance ride and maximum versatility of high-speed training to week-end high-mileage runs.
  • Excellent shoe for heel or midfoot strikers that offers a soft cushiony transition ride from heel to toe-off
  • Uses Wave Plate cushioning instead of a midsole foam for greater shock absorption and easy toe-off
  • Weight: 12.8 Oz.

Mizuno Wave Prophecy

This is the first time for me to review a pair of Mizuno running shoes although i own old pairs of their Wave Elixir-2 and the Wave Precision-9, the latter which i purchased about 3 years ago. I like the Wave Elixir model very much as it was light and responsive while the Precision-9 did not perform as well as its midsole outlived its use faster than the life of its outsole. Both were very durable, though those were the last pairs of Mizuno i bought since then.

Last week, i was pleasantly surprised to hear from Timmy (of Mizuno Philippines) that we were finally going to test-run their newest model, the Mizuno Wave Prophecy which had been advised to us of its pending release since last year.

CONSTRUCTION:

The Wave Prophecy is a massive piece of engineering, with a bridge-like plastic plate that extends from the heel up to the toes of the sole. These plates called the Infinity Wave Plates are two inter-connected plates, stacked together and molded at different densities. It acts like an energy return system that absorbs shock, maintain stability and pushes off efficiently.

The overlays are properly positioned, the heel counter well padded and the stitching are well done. The soft inner mesh are designed with red, black and white color strips and they did a good job in showing some flair in the over-all aesthetics of the shoe.

The outsoles are fairly aggressive that would work well on many surfaces. Also, the sock-fit insoles are removable, conforms with the shape of the foot and is well cushioned.

FIT AND FEEL:

Do not be disheartened if you can’t get into the shoe on your first try. The shoe seems to be narrow that you couldn’t slide your foot easily inside. This is because the tongue has two garter stretch connected at each side to the base of the underfoot that may block the foot when sliding in. The trick is to pull the tongue up while slipping your foot into the shoe.

Personally, i would have preferred to do without those elastic garters and instead, have those lace-on eyelets on top of the tongue, as with many regular shoes.

The arch seems to be a little narrow and too controlling–maybe the result of the garters securing the foot snugly. Thank God the forefoot space is accommodating enough. Also, you could physically feel a lump of cushioning in the ball of the foot which is likely brought about by the addition of the AP+ insert located at the side of the forefoot.

PERFORMANCE:

Scheduling a run amidst a brewing typhoon would not be an ideal time to test run a new shoe but still, i wanted to be done with my first impressions. And true to my fears, it began to rain lightly just after the 3km mark so i had to stop at a nearby shed as i didn’t want to get my shoes wet this early! (Ugh..nice timing!) Luckily, the rain stopped after a few minutes so i continued my run. I was scheduled to do a 16k run.

The first 3 kms was an easy run and immediately, i noticed the comfort, starting with the soft landing on the heel and continuing with a smooth roll-through to the forefoot. Although the shoe, at 12.8 oz was mid-heavy, the ride was plush, insulating and particularly soft in the midfoot.

At times, the shoe felt bouncy but its surprisingly stable enough even when charging up on hilly terrains. Though it was not as light as i wished it to be, the Wave Prophecy was responsive, specially in the midfoot and forefoot and nimble enough that i thought would be ideal for really long runs.

When the rain started to pour on during the last 3 kilometers, the shoe maintained its agility but like any shoe that have been drenched by continuous rains, i had to drag it along as it became heavy with water.

CONCLUSION:

  • The Wave Prophecy does serve up an ultra-smooth ride in a package that blends soft cushioning with a slight amount of stability. It would be an ideal everyday trainer, able to cover long distances or shorter, fast work-outs.
  • I like the heel to toe transition of this shoe, noting the cushioned heel strike to the stiff yet soft toe-off which seem effortless.
  • This shoe is on the heavy side but that’s counter-balanced by the easy flexing smoothness of the forefoot and its ability to glide easily to faster speeds when necessary.
  • The full-length Wave Plate, the Dymotion Fit materials that shrinks and expands with your foot and the great looking aesthetics of the shoe do their job well and are all winners!

I’m looking forward to running more miles in them and hopefully, on dry weather!

Mizuno Infinity Run: June 11, 2011

It has been more than a year since Mizuno hosted their “Beat Your Own Time” concept. Although i ran their 15k distance last 2009, i only got to run their 5k race last year because they claimed that they had sold-out their 15k race distance packets. I’m looking at their website right now (www.mizuno.ph) and skimming the race results of last year, i doubt if i can beat the time i did with the many distractions and an injury suffered this several months. But who knows…

Infinity Run 10 5K Race Results

Posted: April 22, 2010

372 3009 Rally Laurel 25 M 28:59 5:48
373 5784 Bernie Terrado 32 M 28:59 5:48
374 4075 Rene Villarta M 29:00 5:48
375 4865 Ma.Ysabel Wang 14 F 29:01 5:49
376 5625 Heinrse Ragasa 33 M 29:02 5:49
377 5578 Tracy Kua 21 M 29:02 5:49
378 4025 Josephine Sanga 46 F 29:03 5:49

374th out of  1,163 runners and that race was one of the rare 5ks i did as i was more into the longer distances for most of the past year. I’m not really sure which distance to run this coming June 11 but for sure, they will be limiting again their entries for this race to 5,000 so as registration has already started, be sure to register early, specially for their 21k and 10k distances which will surely close out before deadline.

I was invited at their race launching last Friday and here are the details of the race:

Mizuno Infinity Run 2011

Get Ready for Race Day 6.11.11

This 2011, 5000 runners are expected to go up against their biggest challenge, the challenge of beating themselves.

True to its “Never Settle” philosophy, the Mizuno Infinity Run introduced an idea of a time trial when it started the “Beat Your Own Time” concept in 2009. In 2011 it has returned with a greater challenge for all runners out there. Mizuno shall have its first 21K course, replacing the 15K distance. This seeks to answer the runners’ demand for a longer, and a more challenging distance. Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 presents the “Beat Your Own Pace” wherein distance shifters (from a lower to a higher distance) who are able to beat their previous race’s pace will be rewarded with a Mizuno Prestige Card. For same distance runners, they are also given the chance to win a medal if they are able to beat their own pace from the previous year.

The Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 will be held at Bonifacio Global City on June 11, 2011. Assembly time will be at 4:00 am. Gunstart for the 21K runners will be at 5:00 am. The 10K and 5K distance runners will follow soon afterwards with a 10-minute interval between distances.

Registration has already begun since March 20, 2011 at all Mizuno branches in the Metro Manila area. Runners may also register at the Mizuno Sports Outlet in Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Laguna, and at the Mail and More Convergys’s Branch

Registration fee is priced at 600 pesos for the 5K distance, 750 pesos for 10K and 800 pesos for the new 21K course. All previous participants will also get a 50 pesos discount from registration.

There will be a discount of 100 pesos taken from the registration fee upon purchase of any shoes from the 2011 Running Collection. The race packet will include the race bib, timing chips for 10K and 21K runners, Mizuno discount vouchers, and the claim stub for the official Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 singlet, which can be claimed during the Infinity Run Expo on May 29, 2011.

Mizuno Infinity Run 2011 is presented to you by Gatorade and Nature Valley Crunchy Granola. Other sponsors are Freska Ilonggo Seafood and Inasal, Suunto, Mail and More, Fitness First, Tagaytay Highlands, Malayan Insurance, and Light Water. Media Partners are Takbo.ph, Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Front Runner, Onesport, and Multisport.

Please visit http://www.mizuno.ph or Mizuno Run Club (https://www.facebook.com/MizunoRunClub) in facebook for more details.

Mizuno Infinity Run: Conquer the Never-ending Challenge.

Mizuno's marketing maven, Jai Cortez, poses (pa-cutesy) before she continues to answer questions thrown her about the upcoming Mizuno race. Lovely, as ever!:-) Race Director Rudy Biscocho is at left and Timmy Sebastian of Mizuno at right.

With Bloggers

The whole blogger and press group after the launch

The Chummy group