by Sarah Graham, Marathon Sports staff member
Three years ago, many hearts (including mine) were broken when Mizuno removed the Wave Elixir from their product lineup. Since then, runners have been searching for a sneaker to fill that void of a lightweight, supportive shoe. I have been on the hunt to find a shoe to live up to the Elixir but have thus far been unsuccessful – until now!
The Wave Catalyst has the lightweight feel that I loved in the Elixir – 8.0 ounces for women and 9.4 for men – but also has the strength to stand up for higher mileage. The first time I put the shoe on, I immediately felt the lightness I’ve been missing.
The X10 carbon rubber outsole offers durability and the 10mm heel-to-toe offset makes this shoe a comfortable ride for both heel AND midfoot runners. The midsole is made completely of U4ic (get it – U4ic – euphoric) cushioning, which is Mizuno’s proprietary system, offering a soft and cushiony feel but still enough snap to make the shoe feel responsive. The Catalyst feels softer compared to the Elixir, which utilized Mizuno’s old cushioning system – AP+. (Also bears noting that U4ic is 30% lighter than AP+)
Within the first steps of my run, I felt the snap and response that Mizuno is known for. The support system offers just enough control without compromising performance – not an easy task for a lightweight stability shoe. My transition through the gait cycle happened effortlessly. Thanks to a Dynamotion Fit upper, the shoe moves with your foot, and has very few overlays throughout the mid- and forefoot. My heels felt secure but there was plenty of room in the toebox to accommodate for longer mileage.
This shoe definitely has enough cushion and support for daily training, but also offers a fast feel to take onto the track for some speed work. If you are a runner that trains in the Mizuno Wave Inspire and is seeking a lighter shoe for race day (especially if you’re trying to shave some time off your marathon PR), the Catalyst would be a great option. While it doesn’t have as much support as the Inspire, it has enough control to feel confident racing in it.
I was starting to lose hope that I would ever find a shoe that I loved as much as my first pair of Mizuno shoes four years ago, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed running in the Catalyst.