|Full Name: Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6
|Weight: 12.8 oz. (360 gr.)
|Suggested Price: 140 $
|Recommended For: Overpronators
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 General Info:
Now in its sixth year, the Wave Nirvana 6 is Mizuno’s entry in the premium stability category. This years model offers several key updates to the midsole and the upper. Mizuno’s Gender Engineering, which provides men’s and women’s specific details, is retained from the Wave Nirvana 5.
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 Sole Unit:
The wave plate is the core of Mizuno’s running shoes and is a design feature dramatically different from any other shoe company. Mizuno engineers these plastic plates according to the level of support required by different feet. In the stability models, the wave is designed to minimize pronation on the medial side of the shoe while providing less control on the lateral side. In the case of the Nirvana 6, the wave plate extends nearly for the entire length of the shoe in order to provide stabilization at the heel and at toe off. In addition, Mizuno incorporates an additional shock absorbing material, called VS-1, in both the heel and forefoot.
The wave plate is a carry-over from the Nirvana 5 but the midsole material is all-new. Mizuno introduced their new AP+ foam to the Nirvana 6 this year with the added benefits of increased midsole longevity and cushioning properties. The women’s version still includes a specific heel and forefoot for extra protection from excessive foot motion.
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 Upper:
There are two big changes in the Nirvana 6 upper. Gone is the overlapping heel and mid foot Dynamotion upper found in the Nirvana 4 and 5 and in it’s place is a series of flex eyelets and a semi-separate collar tab. These additions seek to minimize the shoe collar from gapping open at foot strike.
Mizuno also deleted the toebox overlays and added a new two-way stretch mesh aimed at decreasing irritation around the toes. A beefed up Ortholite sock liner is included to provide better cushioning over the Nirvana 5 sock liner.
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 Opinion:
All the “upgrades” in the world don’t mean much if the shoe isn’t really improved. So how does the Nirvana 6 stack up? I have run in every version of this shoe with the exception of the Nirvana 2 so I feel like I know what works in this shoe and what doesn’t. For me the most important, and consistent, feature of the Nirvana series has been its excellent arch support. I’m not a heavy guy at 6’, 170 pounds but I have quite flexible arches. In other words, I don’t have flat feet but when my foot hits the ground my arch collapses excessively. If I’m wearing a shoe that is too flat inside I will have foot and lower leg issues. In the Nirvana I can literally forget about my feet and just run. This has been true for me in every iteration of the shoe. However, the Nirvana is heavy. Always has been. All that protection comes at a price in weight I suppose. The Nirvana 6 is now slightly lighter than the 5 which is probably due to the reformulation of the AP+ foam.
The Nirvana 6 does indeed feel slightly bouncier than the 5 with the addition of the AP+ midsole and the upgraded sockliner. The new Dynamotion collar tab did take a few runs to get used to as it hit my outer foot differently than the previous versions. Not a big deal though. Overall the shoe has an excellent close fit in the heel and midfoot and it has a rather spacious toebox. The new flex mesh in the forefoot feels nice but made no difference to me versus the Nirvana 5 toebox. The Nirvana 5 and 6 also feel noticeably lower to the ground than any previous version. On the road the Nirvana 6 feels very protective but it is not a fast feeling shoe like the Inspire or Elixir. The Nirvana series has always leaned towards a firmer ride but the 5 and 6 are especially rigid. This is great for road feel and stability but there have been some runs where I missed the extra cushion that was present in the Nirvana 4.
Mizuno understands the needs of the flexible foot and addresses this better than anyone else. Simply put, no other shoe company offers the solid arch support and reliable stability of the Nirvana series. However, some runners may not like the firmer feel that is characteristic of Mizuno running shoes. For runners who prefer a responsive feeling shoe and require maximum arch control, the Wave Nirvana 6 is worth a ride.
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 Review by Theo Clyatt
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Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6 Price Comparison: