Yup, had to go shoe shopping. The Mizuno Wave Universe 3 are great shoes. Very light. 2mm heel drop. But absolutely suck for sockless wearing. The material has a fish net meshy quality to it. As result, I have seven blisters on the feet after wearing in a tri for the first time. Two blisters are very bad and I will have to spend extra seconds in transition this coming weekend to put on socks. Lets look at this shoe again.
Since lighter weight equals faster running times, then the Wave Universe 3 might be considered an unfair advantage. If your are a serious road racer then you must ask yourself if you are serious enough to don the high performance Wave Universe 3. Model Number: 410375.0010. Weight: 3.6 oz (size 9). Stack Height: Heel (18mm), Forefoot (16mm); non-removable insole.
Note - The Universe 3 is no longer made as the Universe 4 is due out in July.
So, I went shopping at Running Warehouse (thanks Mario for the suggestion) and ordered two flats.
Shoe #1: Nike LunaRacer+
I loved-loved-loved my old Luna's. They eventually blew out, literally, and the new generation of LunaRacer had a very narrow toe box and didn't feel good to me. Imagine my delight (insert girlish squeal here) when I read that due to popular demand, Nike brought back the original Lunaracer+ as the update to the Lunaracer+2. The LunaRacer+ delivers more cushioning than should be possible in this light a shoe. This is a great shoe for marathons and tempo days. Model Number: 324909-047. Weight: 6.6 oz (size 9). Stack Height: Heel (27mm), Forefoot (21mm). So a 6mm drop.
Shoe #2: Nike Streak 3
What caught my attention was the shoe was on sale for $67.88 (reg. $85). Designed and developed by the best marathoners in the world, the Streak 3 is a versatile 5k to marathon road racing shoe. The Cushlon LT midsole and Zoom Air unit in the heel gives ample support and cushioning. Ounce for ounce, the one piece upper reduces significant weight and also allows for rapid water drainage. Model Number: 375386-800. Weight: 6.7 oz (size 9). Stack Height: Heel (28mm), Forefoot (18mm). So a 10mm drop which will give more cushion over the LunaRacers and might be my shoe of choice for half-marathons and over. Like I said, on sale so if nothing else, they will be good tempo day trainers.
Both shoes arrived in the promised 2-day free shipping. Both feel good. The Luna's are the original. Like Classic Coke, not New Coke. The toe box is just fine and the seem to have improved the tongue a bit so it is a tad longer and will be easier to slip on quickly.
The Streak's seem like a very nice shoe as well. A bit roomier, actually, in the box than the Luna's. I'll have to experiment with both and see how they feel when in action. I will provide updates on both shoes as I break them in. I would hazard a guess that the Luna's will be on my feet this coming Sunday at the Waconia Tri.