I was in the market for an everyday minimalist/lightweight shoe and due to the construction of the Wave Evo Levitas (zero drop, wide toe-box, Wave Technology in fore-foot), I figured it was time to give it a shot. I was apprehensive at first (due to my past experience) but one day I tried out Optimal Run shoe service (Personalized Footwear Recommendation) and this was one of the shoes they had recommend would fit me perfectly…so I bought them! Once I received the Levitas, I was surprised at how light-weight (almost feather like) the shoe actually is (6.5 oz, size 12) then I quickly laced them up and was also impressed of the comfort, the cushioning and flexibility of the shoe. It was only fitting that the next day I headed out for a 12 miler and the shoe did not let me down. On my first run I did not experience any blisters or hot spots which were a welcome surprise.
The Wave Evo Levitas is perfect for everyday training runs/tempos or races. It provides just enough toe-spring that you will want to run in them more. With a 12mm stack height, there is enough cushion for the new runner looking to try out minimalist shoes or the experienced runner who is looking for a low profile shoe but doesn’t want to sacrifice comfort. It is safe to say, Mizuno finally hit their mark with a fast, responsive, lightweight trainer. Also, thanks to Optimal Run for their recommendation.
The upper of the Wave EVO Levitas is, well…Spectacular! It’s made of a mesh material that you barely notice when wearing socks or barefoot. There is not much overlays which both help to keeping the shoe lightweight. Now, I may be overshooting the “Spectacular” part of the upper but since I live in Texas, summer runs can be a bit sweaty. I mean, when you come back to your car or home and it looks like you just ran through a sprinkler system…you’re a little wet! The mesh upper makes for a great shoe on these HOT summer days and your feet are not water-logged (so you will not hear the “squish, squish” sound just after 2 miles of running). Now, I haven’t tried running the trails or obviously in extreme cold weather using the Levitas. But, I would imagine that the upper will not protect you much from roots, thorns, snow, cold rain, cold wind…you get the point.
The Wave Evo Levitas outsole consists of some hexagon wide/small tread from toe to mid-foot. The tread has held up well on some slippery inclines which is another welcome on such a lightweight shoe. The heel consists of a softer foam rubber that can be found throughout the rest of the sole. After three weeks, even with a soft rubber the sole has held up well and I have almost exclusively ran in the Levitas.
Before purchasing the Wave EVO Levitas, I wasn’t a big fan of Mizuno. I will say that Mizuno did a great job with their research using of all things “runners” feedback to produce a product line that is in a market all by itself. This is a quality product that everyone from beginner to experienced runners should add to their rotation. The Levitas has enough cushion for an everyday trainer but is also fast, lightweight, flexible, and comfortable to utilize on tempos, races or simply with your favorite pair of jeans.
Train Hard = Race Easy, Train Smart = Race Fast ™