Product Review: Mizuno Enigma 5

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Enigma 5 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’m not super brand loyal when it comes to running shoes. When I committed to training for my first half marathon last year, I went to my local Fleet Feet and got fitted with some Saucony Mirage 4. They served me well. When it came time to replace them this spring, I just got a new pair of the same make and model, because a) I knew they worked, and b) I could get them cheap online, not necessarily because I lovelovelove them and don’t want to run in anything else.

When the folks at BibRave shared that we’d have an opportunity to try some Mizuno shoes, I was totally on board. I’d never tried any Mizuno shoe before, but I’d heard lots of great things, particularly about the Wave Riders. After anxiously waiting to hear if I’d been selected for the campaign, I found out I’d be getting a pair of the brand-new, never-before-seen Mizuno Enigma 5. And of course, I found this out while I was in Prague and couldn’t touch them. So I pined and drank my sorrows away with some tasty Czech beer, and when I got home, these were waiting for me.

Photo Jun 29, 1 30 25 PM

About the Mizuno Enigma 5:

  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Neutral shoe with maximum cushion
  • New u-shape full-length parallel wave provides the Mizuno trademark responsive feel.
  • Combination of new u4icX and u4ic midsole foam provide cushioning.
  • Upgraded upper materials, including extra breathable mesh, provide a glove-like fit.
  • Heel-toe drop: 12mm

My Experience

I’m going to say first and foremost, I goofed and ordered the wrong size. My normal street shoe size is 9, but I have been wearing a 9.5 in the Saucony shoes I currently wear for running. When filling out the form to try out the shoes, I submitted my shoe size as 9, figuring that the good folks at Mizuno would send me the correct size based on how the shoe fits. Well, you know what they say about assuming… They sent me a size 9, and unfortunately, they’re just the tiniest bit too small. I should have ordered a 9.5. D’oh!

Having said that, however, I question whether even a 9.5 would help, as the tightness seems to be over the top of my foot rather than lengthwise, if that makes sense. As in, it’s not that the shoe isn’t long enough (although they are a bit too short as well), it’s that the shoe isn’t tall enough. I wore them to walk to work a few times, and they felt fine. Nice and cushy, and I actually felt like I had extra “spring” in my step, so I was really excited to run in them.

My first run in the Enigmas was a 5k, and by the end, the balls of my feet HURT–it felt like the bottom of my feet were being rubbed raw. I couldn’t wait to be done running so I could take them off. My feet just felt completely compressed. I was still willing to give them another chance, thinking that maybe I just needed to break them in a bit more, so I loosened up the laces as much as I possibly could, and wore them for another 5k the next day, unfortunately with the same result. No dice, Jim Rice. I REALLY wanted to like these shoes, because I love the color and the cushion, but it’s not going so well.

I will definitely say that I haven’t given up on them after only two runs, and when I wear them just for walking around, the cushion feels awesome. I put them on after a full day of running around on Saturday wearing flat sandals and my feet instantly felt better. I’m hopeful that with further breaking in, I’ll be able to wear them for shorter runs without my feet feeling so squished. I have wide feet and high arches, which may explain the issues I’m having. If you don’t have fat feet like me, the Enigmas may be a better fit for you.

If you’re still on the fence, definitely check out some reviews by my fellow BibRave Pros:

Brandon | Dave | Angie | Emily | Erica | Danielle

Also, Mizuno Running will be sponsoring our Twitter #Bibchat on Tuesday evening at 8pm CST. Tune in to chat with me, Mizuno, and other BibRave Pros about the Enigma 5s if you have questions!

Have you ever worn Mizuno running shoes?

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16 thoughts on “Product Review: Mizuno Enigma 5

  1. My For Real Life says:

    Thank you for this! I run in a Saucony guide and haven’t tried something else because I’m not sure if it’d work out. I have high arches so I think I wouldn’t like these after reading what you wrote. I’ve heard people like them and they are cute, but I will stick to Saucony I think.

  2. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    I am beginning to wonder if the fit across the arches is a new thing they did to all their shoes. I had a similar issues with both the Wave Inspire 11 and Wave Rider 18. I hadn’t had any issues with my previous 6 pairs of Mizuno’s just this new round. It makes me cranky because I loved my shoes before.

  3. SuzLyfe says:

    I’m jealous of the color 😀 And yeah, I wasn’t 100% happy with them either. Some people have loved them, though! They made my arches hurt.

  4. dgobs says:

    If you had to drown your sorrows about being far away from free gear, at least you could drown them with Czech beer! 😉 It’s too bad the shoes didn’t work out for you… they look cool anyway! I’ve never tried Mizunos, but like you, have heard mostly good things.

  5. RunningMyCourse says:

    I have certain shoes that give me a somewhat similar tightness across the top of my feet. I have found that feeding the laces a certain way (for high arches) alleviates the pressure considerably. Perhaps that could help you with the Mizunos.

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