Some basic info about the shoe:
- The midsole uses a lightweight grade of EVA called High Abrasion EVA, which is supposed to both add more cushioning and make the shoe more durable & longer lasting.
- Something called Memory Foam Heel Pods, which is supposed to give you a snug fit in the heel.
- The outsole uses both blown and carbon rubber (as opposed to the Kinvara, which uses very little carbon rubber) to increase traction and cushioning & decrease wear and tear.
- The uppers are pretty light & minimalist (thin synthetic leather and mesh).
- A light stability post, which you can see if you look at the bottom of the shoe (a half-oval-shaped piece of plastic)
So it's April now, & I've put about 45 miles on the Mirages (rotating them with two pairs of Adrenalines & the Mizunos I wear on the track). The verdict?
- Comfortable foot bed -- no complaints there.
- Plenty of cushioning (which I'm appreciating quite a bit since I've been having all this sesamoid pain).
- Definitely more flexible than the Adrenalines, even with the stability post, which I like.
- Although I bought the shoe a half-size up as I do most of my running shoes, the toe box seems weirdly narrow to me -- it starts curving in strangely early on the pinkie toe side, giving the toe area a kind of weird pointed shape. When the shoes were new, this caused my pinkie toe to rub up against the toe box uncomfortably, but as I broke them in, this problem seemed to disappear.
- Funnily, all the mesh on the top can result in chilly toes on a windy day! I imagine I'll really appreciate it when it gets hot, but there have been a few cool, breezy days when I've found myself wishing I'd worn thicker socks.
Given that it's advertised as a minimalist shoe that could be a good transition to barefoot running, I was surprised at how bulky the shoe actually felt in the sole -- to be honest, in that sense, they don't really feel that different from my Adrenalines (other than the flexibility). For all that I've been appreciating the cushioning lately, I was actually hoping for something with less and that would give me a better feel for the ground than the Adrenalines.
- Like I said, bulkier than I had hoped. Supposedly the heel drop is 5-6mm (as opposed to the traditional 8-10mm), but I didn't really notice much of a difference. My Mizunos have a 4mm heel drop, which you definitely notice; the Mirages felt closer to the Adrenalines in that respect. The soles also just look chunky.
- On Saucony's site, the Mirages are listed as 7.9 ounces. Already a good bit heavier than the Kinvara's 6.7 ounces, but that's what a stability post costs you, I suppose. Alas, my particular pair (size 8, which, I'm told is what they use for the "official" weight) weighed in at 8.6 ounces. Yes, lighter than my 9.7-ounce Adrenalines, but I was really looking for something that would skim off more than an ounce per shoe.
So. Overall? A good shoe. A solid, comfortable shoe that's worked well for easy runs up to & including a 12-miler, and would probably actually be fine for longer distances or speed work as well. I'll definitely keep them in the rotation. BUT, I can't say they really fit the bill in terms of what I was actually looking for.
(HINT HINT HINT)
(TEASE TEASE TEASE)
More to come on that front another time. ;)