Mizuno footwear updates for Fall ’10 follows the time proven formula of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and in keeping with the conservative fiscal climate we’re in, the introductions for next summer maintain Mizuno’s cautious, evolutionary approach. Mizuno shoes have an extremely loyal following which explains how the brand continues to sell a significant number of shoes with very little advertising. A Mizuno customer knows what to expect from a Mizuno shoe and that the ride and fit stays very consistent from year to year. Messing with either makes zero sense for this company. It’s a word of mouth brand that must maintain the characteristics that make a Mizuno shoe uniquely Mizuno.
With the impending demise of the Renegade from the line up in 2011, Mizuno is leaving the heavy duty motion control category to brands like Brooks, Saucony and New Balance. This being the case, the Alchemy 10 needed to be shored up a bit to offer a tad more support to firmly plant itself in the maximum support/moderate motion control category to ensure those needing a motion control shoe have an offering from Mizuno. The Alchemy has always been one of the most runable seriously supportive shoes out there and the Alchemy 10 continues this tradition. Updates for this model include a slightly wider shank area, slightly wider midsole in the forefoot area, a decrease in the depth of forefoot grooves, flex eyelets, lateral heal tab and enhanced overlays in key stress areas of the upper all work make the shoe more stable without adding weight.
An area Mizuno has carved out a nice little niche for themselves is in trail. The Ascend is one of our strongest selling trail shoes. The Mizuno Ascend 5 sports the same midsole/outsole as the current Ascend 4, but adds a slightly tweaked upper that includes a updated toe bumper. Really though, anyone who ran in the Ascend 4 and liked it should be in hog heaven with the updated version because other than new colors on the upper it is virtually identical.
The other trail shoe in the line is the Cabrakan. The Cabrakan 2 touts a more protective toe bumper, plus lateral lace tabs and a new water repellent mesh layer to the upper but same story as the Ascend applies here, if you like the previous version of the Cabrakan you’ll feel very comfortable in the newest update.
The Wave Precision 11 receives the most dramatic updates for the season. The upper is now an open mesh enhancing the lightweight look and feel of the shoe while the overlays feature a tattoo effect that should appeal to the wild streak of people who tend to train in light weight shoes like the Precision 11. The forefoot now sports an added landing area underneath the lateral area of the outsole to provide additional cushioning and durability for midfoot strikers. All in all, a nice update to a very popular model.
The final update for Mizuno this coming Fall is to their cross country racing spike, the Kaze 6. This is purely a cosmetic update with the same midsole and outsole as the previous version, but with a new cool upper. The lack of a spikeless version seems to indicate that Mizuno isn’t quite sure whether to commit to this category or not. Still, this is a nice looking update.
One of the most admirable traits of Japanese companies is to take the evolutionary approach to developing product – keep what works and tweak what doesn’t. In this manner the customer is very comfortable with the newest update of a trusted model and is confident they are getting an improved version that performs the same or ideally better than the previous model. This is exactly what Mizuno has done here, kept what works (which is nearly everything) and slightly tweaked those areas that needed attention. Their current lineup is great, every shoe in the line is rock solid and sure to please fans of Mizuno shoes, the only wish is that Mizuno would step out of the box a bit and take a chance on something new, try to attract those who haven’t considered Mizuno in the past. Heck even Toyota introduces new model every year or so to go along with the time proven Camry. Not all are successful, but some are home runs – the Prius comes to mind. Similar customer to those considering a Camry, just a slightly different offering highlighting 1-2 key benefits that make the new introcution unique. How about a 50 MPG Wave Rider?