Updated: November 23rd, 2011
Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 Running Shoes Review
Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11

Full Name: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11
Category: Stability / Motion Control
Weight: 13 oz. (370 gr.)
Suggested Price: 115 $
Recommended For: Moderate to severe over pronators
  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 General Info:

Now entering its second decade of production, the Mizuno Wave Alchemy returns with a new upper and midsole material while retaining the supportive ride that Alchemy runners have come to rely on. As Mizuno’s only motion control shoe, the Wave Alchemy 11 is poised to compete with the Brooks Beast and Ariel, the Asics Foundation and Evolution and the New Balance 1123 and 1012.

  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 Sole Unit:

The nucleus of any Mizuno running shoe is its wave plate. The Mizuno Wave technology utilizes plastic plates that are tuned for different types of feet. The Wave Alchemy 11 employs Mizuno’s most supportive dual fan wave which is engineered to provide targeted support for moderate to severe over pronators. Over pronation occurs when the foot strikes the ground and the arch of the foot collapses too far inward. This excessive motion is great for absorbing the shock of foot strike but also can over stress the plantar fascia and lower leg musculature resulting in injury. The Wave Alchemy 11 plate begins at the heel and travels the entire length of the arch thus controlling over pronation and allowing for a more neutral, centered foot strike.

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 vs 10 Lateral View

Alchemy 11 (left) vs 10 (right)

At first glance, the Wave Alchemy 11 midsole seems identical to the Wave Alchemy 10. However, the Wave Alchemy 11 gets a substantial improvement with the addition of AP+ midsole foam. AP+ is Mizuno’s upgraded formulation of their classic AP foam and it boasts improved durability and a bouncier, more lively ride. Mizuno’s VS-1 cushioning compound is still found in the heel and Gender Engineering is also carried over from the Wave Alchemy 10. Gender Engineering is Mizuno’s approach to designing the heel and tread patterns to better suit unique male and female foot strike characteristics.

  • MizuMizuno Wave Alchemy 11 Upper:

The Wave Alchemy 11 is most strikingly different in its upper design. The Wave Alchemy 11 still retains Mizuno’s Dynamotion Fit collar tab but employs a different mid foot saddle aimed at better locking the foot down and preventing lateral movement inside the shoe. An Ortholite sockliner is still standard equipment. Other changes include a tighter heel fit and softer overlays. Interestingly, the bottom of the Mizuno runbird logo is now placed completely over the lower medial and lateral overlay instead of being sewn under them as in the Wave Alchemy 10. By doing this Mizuno removes one more potential spot of irritation and makes the shoe more streamlined inside. This seemingly small detail shows just how much attention Mizuno puts into the design and update process of their footwear.

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 vs 10 upper

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 (left) vs 10 (right) upper

  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 Opinion:

Again, I’m impressed with the latest version of the Wave Alchemy. I ran a trouble free marathon in the Wave Alchemy 10 a week after a hard 15K race. Although I don’t fit the traditional motion control paradigm at 6’ tall and 160 pounds, I have very flexible arches which will give me trouble if I don’t use a supportive shoe. I’m actually at the upper end of what most stability shoes can handle but Mizuno always comes through for me with the Wave Alchemy and Wave Nirvana series.

The Wave Alchemy 11 has a solid ride that transitions well and is durable enough for daily training just like its predecessor. I did notice that the new AP+ foam does indeed feel bouncier and I also appreciated the heel fit of the Wave Alchemy 11 versus the 10. However, it does seem that the upper in the Wave Alchemy 11 has more volume than before. This will probably fit a thicker foot better but I have not had any issues thus far. Having said that, I still prefer the lower profile upper in the Wave Alchemy 10. The Wave Alchemy 11 does outshine the 10 in regards to heel fit as the new design is simply more locked in than before.

The Wave Alchemy 11 continues to provide a lighter, faster feeling option in the motion control category. Rarely does one find a shoe as simultaneously runnable and supportive as the Wave Alchemy 11. It’s a speeding bullet when compared to the motion control competition. It’s not a shoe I would take to a 5K but the Wave Alchemy 11 will handle all the training miles necessary to get you to your personal best on race day.

Review by Theo Clyatt

Let us know what you think of this shoe in the comments!

  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 Price Comparison:

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