Mizuno Spark

6.7
6.7 score
[Editors rating (6.9) + Users rating (6.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (6.7)/10

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Editor rating: 6.9 / 10
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Mizuno SparkReview Facts

The Mizuno Spark neutral road running shoes are good entry level pair of shoes. If you are a beginner when it comes to running and training and do not want to spend a lot of money on specialized shoes, we recommend to get a pair of these ones. They provide a good balance of comfort and efficiency. They are cushioned enough to keep you protected and comfortable and light enough to promote faster and more efficient runs. The Spark will allow to discover the kind of shoes you prefer. They are neutral shoes with good support overall. After running for a while on these shoes you will be able to recognize what kind of support, cushioning level and other features you need to perform better runs and training sessions.

Pros
  • Breathable
  • Good cushioning
  • Good traction
Cons
  • Tricky sizing
  • There is a more recent version
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

These shoes come with a very basic outsole that manages to provide goos traction as long as you run on dry surfaces. The full contact surface design of the shoe enhances their stability and traction. A larger surface of contact will also make possible smoother heel to toe transitions when running. The X10 carbon rubber technology is featured in the outsole for longer durability and enhanced traction in the heel area. The X10 technology strategically reinforces the high abrasion areas on the outsole and keeps them very lightweight. The Flex Grooves provide flexibility from the bottom up on these shoes.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsoles these shoes feature are made of premium grade EVA foam material. The molded EVA midsole is able to provide plush cushioning to the runner’s feet. That material has the advantage of being very lightweight a well. The responsiveness of the midsole is good and its durability is also good. The midsole provides enough support for beginners and recreational runners. The cushioning provided by the midsole allows a great fit for your underfoot for more lightweight and smoother runs. These neutral running shoes provide support for neutral runners and some support for mild under pronators. The shock absorption properties of the midsole make possible softer landings and good energy return.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper these shoes feature is an AirMesh upper that allows optimal breathability. The cool ride technology helps to keep you feet cool and dry for longer. The wide open mesh promotes good perspiration. Moist will not accumulate inside the shoes, the extra sweat will evaporate quicker keeping you cool and dry. Stitched overlays in the upper provide structure to the shoe from the outside in. The upper is able to generate a good fit to you foot due to the cushioned and flexible upper. The padded collar and tongue make possible a very secure fit for enhanced responsiveness and comfort.
Weight
Weight

Weight

These shoes are light enough to be able to help beginners to push themselves to run faster. The Spark road running shoes provide plush cushioning without sacrificing their lightweight. They weight less than 300 grams, meaning they can be considered as lightweight shoes. The average weight for the men’s shoe is 290 grams (10.2 oz.) and for the women’s shoe is 249 grams (8.7 oz.). The weight varies as it depends on the size you wear.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The breathability of these shoes is very good. The AirMesh technology, one that features wide holes in its surface makes possible the air to come in and go out with efficiency. Almost the whole surface of the shoe is covered in that mesh, allowing the whole surface of your foot to feel cool and dry. Runners that have taken these shoes for long runs and 10K marathons, have mentioned the comfort these shoes bring due to their breathability. The internal lining helps to maintain the shoes dry from the inside. It has basic moisture control properties that wick the moist away.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Designed and built to provide support for beginners, these shoes do a great job bringing plush cushioning. These entry level shoes are know to be supportive and comfortable for neutral and under pronators. The molded EVA midsole does a great job accommodating your foot in the right position for a more comfortable ride. The cushioned collar and tongue provide a secure and comfortable fit for enhanced responsiveness. The synthetic stitched overlays and lacing system manage to provide a lock in feeling to your feet even durning long runs. The shock absorption protection provided by the molded EVA midsole make possible softer landings for a more comfortable run.
Style
Style

Style

These shoes are entry level shoes, and they look as such. The style of the shoes is very simple, they are covered mostly by mesh with some stitched overlays that provide the structure to the upper. They come in a wide variety of colors with very classic combinations such as Grey/White/Red, Black/White and White/Blue. The colors are different for men and women and also sometimes depend on their size. There is a unisex version of these shoes made for kids, the Mizuno Spark Jr. It has been a while since these shoes were released. As they have been discontinued, it might be harder to get your favorite color in the right size.
Durability
Durability

Durability

As most of the Mizuno shoes, the Spark training shoes have been built with high quality materials that provide extra durability. The X10 technology in the outsole makes sure to reinforce those high abrasion areas with harder and more durable rubber making the shoes last for longer. The molded EVA midsole apart from being lightweight, they provide extended durability, heavy runners can run on this shoes for longer. The cushioning last for a decent amount of time. The overlays protect the upper from abrasion from the debris. The AirMesh upper is very durable as well. The heel counter last for longer than other entry level shoes.
Protection
Protection

Protection

For being entry level shoes the Mizuno Spark training shoes provide a remarkable amount of cushioning for enhanced support. The cushioning and the shock absorption properties from the molded EVA make possible softer landings protecting your knees and hips from repetitive impacts. A hard heel counter will help securing your foot in the shoe for more responsive runs and better fit to prevent twisting your ankle. There are toe caps in the front of the shoes to protect your toes from debris that can potentially harm you. The great breathability of these shoes will prevent any blister formation and hot spots because they provide optimal breathability.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The combination of flexibility, traction and good fit make these shoes very responsive. The shock absorption properties and impact distribution from the midsole make possible for the shoes to provide good energy return. So you will experience softer landings and more powerful take offs. The good traction when running specially over pavement allows smoother movements and precise change of directions. The heel to toe transitions are very natural and are also enhanced by the full contact surface design of the outsole. The good fit brought by the upper provides enough flexibly and a secure lock for extra responsiveness.
Support
Support

Support

These shoes provide plush cushioning that is able to support most of the foot shapes. The molded EVA makes easier for the shoes to adapt to the shape of your feet with ease. The arch support is neutral but it also provides support for under pronators. If you are a heavy person, these shoes will also feel comfortable for longer. The heel counter in the rear foot area will make sure to lock your foot in the right position for better heel to toe transitions and more natural gait cycles. The full contact outsole design provide more surface contact for you to be supported, it enhances the traction, the responsiveness and the energy return.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Due to the shallow lugs and the lug pattern in the outsole, these shoes can only take you on runs over asphalt, running tracks and very light gravel. The traction of the Mizuno Spark decreases rapidly when running on rocky surfaces or gravel. The grip is not very good when running on wet pavement either. The full contact design of these shoes increases the contact of the outsole with the terrain, that provides a feeling many runners like. You can have more contact with he ground for enhanced traction and stability. The shoes have been taken to marathon running and have performed really good.
Price
Price

Price

One of the best things of these shoes is that they are very affordable. As entry level shoes their price is very competitive. Also, as they have been discontinued for a while and the stock in the stores is very limited, you can get really great deals. You can buy these shoes without spending more than $80 USD, very inexpensive! Having in mind the good cushioning these shoes provide, you may want to put them your list of options before its too late.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The traction of the shoes is very good when running over flat and even surfaces. They perform their best when running on asphalt and other road surfaces. The lugs and the carbon rubber in the outsole will provide good responsiveness for long and short runs. These shoes feature following a full contact surface design for better traction and hell to toe transitions. The Flex Grooves in the outsole will make sure to position the lugs in the right place for better responsiveness. Traction decreases when used for trail running and other off road activities. Users have highly recommended these shoes for gym training sessions.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Thanks to the Flex Grooves incorporated in the outsole design, these shoes manage to provide enough flexibility from the bottom up. The X10 carbon rubber outsole is light and flexible while durable and protective. The molded EVA midsole has been designed also to adapt to the movements of your feet when running. The upper moves with your foot and does not restrict your movements when running. However, due to the plush cushioning, these shoes are not super flexible. They need a break in time before you can feel their full flexibility capacities. The more you run on them, the more flexible they get.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The stability of these shoes is very good. They have been made to provide enough support and stability for beginners. Athletes have also used them as recovery shoes due to the plush cushioning they provide. Additional stability is brought by the padded collar and the heel counter, they manage to comfortably place your foot in the right position for a more stable and supportive ride. While having remarkable cushioning they also provide a good ground feeling thanks to the full contact surface design. The wider surface of the shoe provide extra stability, something you will appreciate a lot when finishing a marathon. The overlays in the upper provide structural integrity to the Mizuno Spark running shoes.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of a shoe is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe. The Mizuno Spark road running shoes have a 12 mm drop. The drop is the same for the men and women. The drop of these shoes, combined with the full contact surface design and the shock absorption properties, promote very smooth heel to toe transitions for easier gait cycles.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Molded EVA midsole
• X10 Carbon rubber compound
• Flex Grooves in the outsole
• Removable insole
• AirMesh upper
• Synthetic overlays
• Shaped and padded ankle collar
Bottom line
Bottom line

Bottom line

For entry level road road running and training shoes, the Mizuno Spark have the potential to stand out for their cushioning and very low price. The technologies features in the shoe are very basic but very efficient. They make the shoe more durable and comfortable without sacrificing its lightweight. The responsiveness is good but it decreases when taking them for off road runs. The traction is really good as long as you run on asphalt. Recommended for gym training sessions and other indoors activities. The Mizuno Spark have been discontinued, so the stock is limited. If you really like these shoes, get yours soon before its too late. You can also check out the more recent version, the Mizuno Spark 2.