Dear Mizuno Innovators,
I have been a loyal and super-happy customer of Mizuno for years (and I've written a few posts about my love for you here and here). And don't worry, I still am, and the reason for this letter is not to complain in any such fashion.
I have worn your Wave Elixirs for races all over my grand state of Idaho, from half marathons all the way to full marathons, my first of which was this last October. The Wave Elixirs are the first shoe I've EVER run in that didn't make me lose toenails, didn't give me leg pain, and didn't make my 27-year-old knees feel like they needed to be replaced. Needless to say, your running shoes are the bomb-dot-com and I've never been so enthralled with a pair of shoes (or brand) in my life. And trust me, I've run on them all--Nikes, Asics, Brooks, Avias, New Balance, Pearl Izumi... I've run in them. And your shoe is the ONLY ONE that I've been 100% satisfied with. So thank you so very much for making an incredible and brag-worthy shoe.
But here's the thing... I just joined the Air National Guard and we are given the option of bringing our own shoes with us to Basic Military Training (BMT). But there's one catch—they have to be neutral colors (black, white or gray) with very little to no decoration on them. I'm talking plain-janes like the most simple Asics or New Balance. Boring, right? Now despite my love for my beautiful bright blue Wave Elixirs with the neon orange accents, I am unable to bring them. Why? Because I would honestly be ripped to shreds. I'm talking PUSH-UPS FOR DAYS... the MTI's down at BMT are not fans of color on shoes or anything that separates you from the crowd. So despite all the running I'll be forced to do (who are we kidding, that'll be my favorite part!), I won't be able to do it in my beautiful Mizunos. It'll be a sad day when they remain behind for four months in my closet in Idaho while I'm down in Texas running in a plain-jane pair that is guaranteed to give me typical "runner's feet."
I know you guys just released the brand new Wave Sayonara "in place" of the recently discontinued Wave Elixirs. They're a beautiful new shoe, but the pattern on them might still be a little loud for BMT standards (past BMT-ers, would they accept the white ones?). My question is this, would you guys consider fashioning a super plain-jane version of the Wave Sayonara or some of your other popular & lightweight models so that trainees who are heading to military training facilities can feel like they're running on a cloud while they're down there in the midst of all the torture and yelling? It won't take the pain from the months of training away, but it could help alleviate some of the stresses (like having ugly feet from poorly designed other brands of shoes).
Me--the fashionista--always one to love a good & bright shoe, cannot believe I'm even suggesting this. But alas, the military has different standards than my neon-loving self does, and in order to "fit in," I'll have to conform. Again, this is all from a future Air Force airman-in-training who knows she is going to be subjecting her feet to a couple months of torture while her Mizunos sit at home in Idaho while she's away at Basic Training. It would be SO COOL, and I know I would have shelled out the big bones to be able to run on a gray/white/black version of my Wave Elixirs. But alas, Mizuno, I will have to settle for a less-than-extraordinary pair for my spring training date. Such a sad day it is.
Will be longing for my Wave Elixirs while I'm busting out the miles down at Basic Training.
3/28/14 Update: In lieu of my favorite Wave Elixirs, I found a neutral pair of Brooks for BMT. I chose the Brooks Pure Connect 2 in white. In addition, the Air Force recently changed PT regulations, so when I return from BMT I can wear whatever color shoes I wish for PT. Thanks USAF!