Mizuno Wave Kazan ReviewJuly 8, 2014
- Very soft overall ride and feel
- Sloppy upper
- Overlays caused significant rubbing and abrasion
The Mizuno Wave Kazan is a credible general-purpose trail shoe that should appeal to Mizuno brand loyalists and/or recreational runners who are just starting out on trails. The shoe has a very soft overall ride and feel, but this comes at the expense of a sloppy upper.
The Mizuno Wave Kazan is a fairly average general-purpose trail shoe. What stands out about it is the soft forgiving feel, both in the midsole foam and the upper construction. This makes for a notably comfortable ride. However, because the shoe is soft and flexible, it is somewhat lacking in responsiveness, and other shoes in this category will certainly have more zing at higher speeds.
Unfortunately, the upper overlays were positioned such that they caused very painful rubbing on the medial side of the midfoot—specifically in the upper instep. It was bad enough that raw spots of skin occurred even after just a few miles. Loosening the laces did help alleviate the problem, but also made what was already a sloppy fit even worse.
For those who don’t have these issues, the Wave Kazan will make a decent if not outstanding general-purpose trail shoe, particularly for those who prefer a soft flexible ride. On the other hand, the shoe is really only suitable for terrain that most general-purpose road shoes could easily handle.
Comfort & Protection
The comfort and protection of the Wave Kazan are certainly appropriate for a recreational type trail running shoe. The overall feel of the shoe is quite soft, which would certainly hamper protection on highly rugged and technical trails, but is more than adequate for runs on more groomed surfaces where the only hazards are the occasional rock or root. The discomfort created by the overlays was pretty much a deal breaker however. To be fair, this is likely to be highly dependent on individual fit, and the score here would otherwise probably be a strong 6. Still, this is something that prospective buyers need to be mindful of.
Security of Fit
The softness and pliability of the shoe really made a secure fit difficult. There simply isn’t enough support and structure to keep the foot locked down, and the overlays did not seem to help even with the laces cinched tight. Again, for more casual runs on groomed surfaces, this probably would not be an issue, but any sort of aggressive running in the Wave Kazan could prove challenging.
Speed & Energy Efficiency
The soft midsole material offered little in the way of energy efficiency. The 12mm heel-to-toe drop did help somewhat with turnover, but nonetheless this is probably not a shoe suitable for running fast for very long.
Agility and Traction
Traction was reasonable, albeit somewhat hard to fully evaluate given the loose fit of the shoe. But from what could be ascertained, the outsole seemed to perform adequately on both wet and loose surfaces. Agility was also a challenge to evaluate given the fit problems. In principle, the moderately low forefoot height should help with stability.
The Wave Kazan has a fairly typical MSRP of $120.