Best for: Summer running
Star feature: Ultra-breathable air mesh upper
Weight: 6.1 oz
Mizuno has built up quite the reputation for providing runners with countless high performance neutral running shoes. But with the introduction of the Wave EVO Levitas (part of the brand’s newly-introduced “midfoot” category), Mizuno aims to expand its fan base by also catering to runners who prefer a midfoot strike.
In a league of its own when it comes to breathability and low-profile design, the zero-drop EVO levitas is all about “natural” running. Though it is built on a similar platform, the shoe is far removed from traditional Mizuno design (i.e. the distinctive Wave midfoot technology seen in traditional Mizuno’s). This means you get the same responsive cushioning, just in a slimmed down package.
Despite the minimal sole, the EVO Levitas has solid cushioning underfoot, as well as locked-in support thanks to a custom fit heel cup. The shoe’s large toe box means there’s plenty of wiggle room for runners with wide feet. As for the aforementioned breathability, the shoe's open air mesh upper construction is so minimal, you can can literally see each individual toe if you’re running sockless (which you should be in these shoes).
Along with a lightweight frame, the outsole on the EVO Levitas is extremely flexible, particularly in the forefoot. It also features X10 carbon rubber in the forefoot for durable traction. The only issue I have with it, though, is that there is a lot of friction experienced during toe-off due to the mesh upper rubbing up against the toes. It's not noticeable immediately, but does become a bit of an issue after the first couple of miles.
Bottom Line: The EVO Levitas is one of the lightest, most breathable running shoes currently on the market—period. It's a great summer-friendly option for short-to-middle distance runners looking for maximum performance in a minimal package. It also doubles nicely as a training shoe.