A 3.8 Ounce Racing Shoe
The Wave Universe 3s are light. At 3.8 ounces, they weigh half of what my Vibram FiveFingers KSOs weigh. Mizuno classifies the Wave Universe 3 as a racing shoe, but I've found them suitable for long distance running.
Click the photo to the left to see a brand new pair of Wave Universe 3s.
If you're not accustomed to barefoot running or running in a minimalist shoe, then be careful about jumping into a shoe as light as these. The Wave Universe 3s even come with a warning tag that states they are for "performance athletes," and reminds the reader to be careful when the tread starts to wear.
September 10, 2011 Update: Over 720 miles in my Wave Universe 3s
It's been over half a year since I started wearing the Wave Universe 3, and in that time I've put over 700 miles on them. 26.2 of those miles are from a marathon. As I run more miles in them, my feet continue to get stronger and stronger, and the experience of running in Wave Universe 3s keeps getting better and better. I used to wear New Balance MT 101s on trail runs; I don't bother with those anymore--I just wear my Wave Universe 3s, and they work perfectly for me there (this is not recommended for barefoot beginners; barefoot beginners should consider reading Why I Run Barefoot).
My Wave Universe 3s are by far my favorite shoes of all time. I have two back-up pairs waiting in the wings for the day when my original pair falls apart. No sign of that yet! They are a bit worn, the tread is worn down--just natural wear and tear, and relatively minor overall--but after 720 miles, I still wear my original pair of Wave Universe 3s on nearly all my runs.
100 Miles And Runnin'
I decided to write this review because, after putting 120 miles on the Wave Universe 3s, I'm completely impressed with them. I've gone barefoot, I've worn FiveFingers KSOs, I wear New Balance MT101s on trails, and before turning to minimalist footwear, I wore traditional stability trainers. The Wave Universe 3s are by far my favorite running shoe.
Click the photo to the right to see a pair of Wave Universe 3s after 100 miles.
When I first bought them, I was worried about how durable they would be. Their feather-light weight makes them feel insubstantial in hand--even the shoelaces looked and felt light and fragile. But after putting 120 miles on them, as of this writing, I'm no longer worried about that. It is true that I take care not to stretch out the shoe when putting them on and taking them off, and I don't pull too hard on the laces, but those are just good habits for taking care of any shoes.
Comfortable Shoe & Great Fit
In my opinion, Mizuno does two things right with all of their shoes. Firstly, the toe box is nice and wide--even though it's called a D, it's much wider than the D offered by other shoe makers. And secondly, the sole of the shoe is nice and straight. Contrast that straight sole with what some shoe makers offer--shoe makers who apparently believe that peoples' feet are curved like a banana--and chalk up another advantage for Mizuno. For all I know, some peoples' feet are curved like a banana. Mine are not.
Barefoot Runners, This Is Your Shoe
If you're looking for a neutral shoe that's barely there and promotes a barefoot-like stride, then I recommend the Mizuno Wave Universe 3. Note: I have read rumors online that the shoe is being discontinued, which, if true, will make it considerably harder to get the Wave Universe 3 in the future. Stock up now!
Posted by Joel Dalley on 2011-01-27 22:35:09.