Mizuno Hitogami Review

I’ve been looking forward to grabbing a pair of Mizuno Hitogami’s since the end of last year when I first read about them. Finally picked some up last Wednesday and after putting 50 miles on them I can safely say that these are some of the best shoes I’ve ever run in.

I’ve been using Mizuno for my easy paced and recovery runs for more than a year now but found my previous pairs adequate without being exciting at all. I first ran in the Elixir and did enjoy the incredible longevity of the shoes, and the ability to naturally pronate, without the shoe regulating my stride too much. They did not feel so good as to convince me to stay however and I switched back to New Balance for easy runs, when I did wear through them. I went back to Mizuno again what I started using Sayonara’s last fall after trying out multiple trainers from New Balance and Adidas, I did choose to go back to Mizuno since they did seem to hold up well and I didn’t really dislike them. Not a ringing chorus of praise here, I know. The Sayonara I ended up liking even less than Elixir due to the larger toe box and overall width. They did their job okay, but after 300 miles they would start to break down from my foot’s increased movement in the toe box. Thus by the end of 2013 I was back to my old dilemma of sourcing a suitable non-speed work shoe that I actually liked all around.

The Hitogami sounded like everything I enjoyed in my two previous Mizuno shoes, but lighter, narrower and sleeker. It’s proven to be just that and more. The shoe wears like a marathon flat but has enough support to feel comfortable over long runs. Albeit, half the running I’ve done so far in them has involved Yaktrax, they still feel great over distance. 20+ miles on Sunday had me feeling fine and I was able to close out with a 19 minute final 5k. Finishing fast, or running fast at all for that matter, is not something I normally enjoy in anything but flats or near flats, but the racing inspired shape of these shoes is no joke, they really do hug the feet and feel effortlessly light.

I realize that this isn’t a traditional review, but in light of the fact that I’ve never given more than a cursory mention to my shoes on the blog, I hope that this speaks to how much I love these things. If you’re in the market for a new lightweight trainer, or race shoe if you are a marathon/half marathon runner who isn’t comfortable in flats or the like, please give these a try:

I know for me, since I’ve started running, I’ve never really found that one shoe that I loved for various types of training and running. In talking with other runners, that seems to be a general problem, with many of you in the same position. Hopefully you can take my word for it and get yourself to the nearest running specialty store to try out a pair of these. (I should mention, they run $10-20 less than many other trainers, too!)

Happy running!

Update (3 months and 400-450 miles in) Shoes started to break down and lose some rebound, but no complaints with  400+ miles, proving that Mizuno shoes really do last!

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