I originally purchased these shoes to replace my Inov8 Road X233 for my Frankfurt Marathon training cycle. They have a little more cushion but not too much and I figured they’d be able to hold up to the mileage I expected from them in training and for the actual race itself.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. I have never had to express discontent to a manufacturer before but unfortunately I had to write a letter of complaint after only 3 months of running in the Hitogami! After clocking about 250km I noticed the soles of the shoe were beginning to shoe signs of wear that I would expect around the 400 or 500k mark. By the time I hit 300km parts of the sole/grip were falling off during runs and leaving behind bits of rubber/foam that flapped underfoot at tempo pace. (Mizuno kindly replaced the shoe with a long run/everyday specific trainer in the Wave Rider 17)
The shoes, I must say, do feel great to run fast in! They are light, they look great and they drain well in the rain (I can atest to this as I got caught in a hail and rain storm with 6 klicks left to run). I have ran up to half marathon distance in the Hitogami with very few problems – my only quibble on the run is that they can be quite unkind should you accidentally step on a rock, stone or pebble that is on the road! I even took these out for a very short run on a trail and for 4km along a beach. I wouldn’t recommend any trail running in these shoes – they are most certainly road specific – I felt every step for the 2km I took them on! As for beach running, well, they held up really well. I didn’t use any sand gaiters and the shoe didn’t seem to take on sand like I thought it might, it was also very stable and gripped well which was also surprising.
So, to summarise, this is a road specific shoe and I would say definitely more of a racing flat than an everyday trainer. The Hitogami held up well in the only race I did in them which was a 10km road race but, personally, I feel I’ve raced in far more comfortable shoes. Even thought the sole unit has degraded quite significantly I would still consider using it on the track for training once in a while but it’s not a shoe that I can see myself purchasing again.
- Good airflow/breathable/drains well
- Great for running at tempo pace and above
- Surprisingly good on sand/beach!
- Poor durability – did not stand up to the test as an everyday trainer
- Very little protection against objects on the road
- Quite narrow toebox (but not overly constricting)
- Laces have tendency to loosen after about 10km