Mizuno Wave Elixir 7 First Impressions:
In my recent Wave Nirvana 8 and Wave Inspire 8 reviews my biggest gripe was the look of the shoes. It’s a small thing to complain about, I know. Mizuno may be a bit conservative when it comes to the standard colors for the Inspire and Nirvana series but they unleashed the designers for the Wave Elixir 7. What they came up with, visually speaking, is as striking a shoe as I’ve ever seen. Road hazard orange, lime green, silver and black all topped off with a tiger striped mesh! My first real test of the Wave Elixir 7 was at a local 15K. I knew that this test was gonna hurt. The good kind of hurt.
Mizuno Wave Elixir 7 Upper:
Mizuno redesigned the entire blueprint of the Wave Elixir 7. Everything here is a fresh take and the upper aesthetic is absolutely insane. Mizuno still uses a lightweight, highly breathable mesh but this time it is sublimated with an animal style print straight out of 1987. The overlays are now made from a lighter, more flexible material and are strategically placed to better form the shoe around the arch and heel while leaving the toe box a bit freer.
The Dynamotion lateral lace tab is removed and the heel collar has been lowered. The Wave Elixir 7 gets some updated shoestrings as well. The new laces are rendered in lime green and black and sport a lighter but stiffer feel from the laces in the Wave Elixir 6. Also, for the first time, the Wave Elixir 7 gets a cushy Ortholite sock liner which replaces the older style AP foam sock liner.
Mizuno Wave Elixir 7 Midsole:
Not to be outdone by the upper, the Wave Elixir 7 midsole has been refined to deliver the performance to match the attitude of the upper. All Mizuno running shoes are designed around the Mizuno Wave Plate. This unique construction situates a plastic plate in the midsole of the shoe and can be tuned to match different runners needs.
The Wave Elixir 7 plate moves the arch a bit farther back towards the heel than in previous editions and this results in a slight increase in stability while still allowing enough inward roll to provide a quick transition from strike to toe off. For the first time, Mizuno has introduced their Flex Controller technology to the Elixir series.
Flex Controllers are placed at the forefoot flex point and, according to Mizuno, provide for the optimal degree of forefoot flexion. Mizuno’s G3 wet traction outsole is still in place in the medial forefoot area of the Wave Elixir 7. X10 carbon rubber still ensures durability in the heel and Mizuno’s AP+ midsole formulation provides the bounce.
Mizuno Wave Elixir 7 opinion:
Years ago I was fitted for a Mizuno Wave Maverick as my first true running shoe. The Maverick has since morphed into the Elixir series and I always have at least one pair on hand. As my mileage increased I eventually moved on up to the Nirvana series but I have always had a soft spot for the Elixir. It doesn’t hurt that the Elixir is always ready to run fast either.
The Wave Elixir 7 is certainly no disappointment in either the looks or performance category. I ran the Elixir once on a treadmill and then took it to a 15K. I ran a new personal best that day and finished pretty well against some of the strongest runners in my town. The shoe never gave me any problems at that race or in any subsequent runs.
The arch is solid and the transition is classic Mizuno; fast and with no loss of power through foot strike. It’s an ideal shoe for those of us who need support but also desire a lighter, faster shoe we can take to a race. I even know a neutral footed runner who uses it as her daily trainer.
However, I have noticed that the Wave Elixir 7 fit is slightly narrower than before and the toe box is not quite as wide. I had no issues with this but do be aware if you have a higher volume foot.
Mizuno has brought the heat with this shoe, literally. The Wave Elixir 7 stands ready to eat asphalt and will relentlessly beg you to up the pace. Pain, sweet pain.
We thank the nice people at Mizuno for sending us a pair of Elixir 7 to test. This did not influence our review of the shoe, written after logging a very decent amount of miles in them!