Fall 2012 Trail Running Shoe Review

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7, $105

11.2 oz. (m), 9.5 oz. (w)

Fit: Like previous incarnations, the new version of the Wave Ascend features a solid locked-down heel and midfoot fit, with a medium-volume toebox.

Feel: With plenty of cushion and a 12mm heel drop, the Ascend feels like a soft, old-school running shoe, but the relatively lightweight package also features some pronation control (without excessive arch support), reasonable toe protection and the structural flexibility to please any gait style.

Ride: The Ascend is stable for the amount of cushion it has and provides a responsive rebound on roads and trails. (This is a good sneaker to grab when you have a few road miles to cover on your way to the trailhead.) The traction is decent, but the shoe is so soft and flexible our testers felt rocks on more technical terrain–especially under the forefoot, and preferred it for less gnarly trails.

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