Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Japan Edition Run Shoes Spotted at the 2016 Tokyo Marathon: Asics Tarther and Freaks Japan, Mizuno Wave Emperor, Nike Zoom Speed Rival 5 and Lunarspider R6, and More

Article by Special Correspondent Derek Li

Editor's Note: Fellow blogger and shoe expert Derek Li recently ran a magnificent 2:44.10 at the recent Tokyo Marathon and was kind enough to share with us some of the amazing Japan edition running shoes he spotted in Tokyo.

Tokyo Marathon Weekend Sights
I did the Tokyo Marathon for the first time this year, after two failed ballot attempts and I finally got to see many of the fabled racers that are sold only in the Japanese market up close.

 Saucony Kinvara 7 Tokyo Marathon “Cherry Blossom” 
Saucony Kinvara 7 Tokyo Marathon “Cherry Blossom” PC:Derek Li

First up is the Saucony Kinvara 7 Tokyo Marathon “Cherry Blossom” edition. I understand it’s available for purchase from Saucony for $120, but when it’s selling for 9000yen in the expo (~$80) how can you not get it, right? The last Kinvara I owned was the K5, and this K7 in the same size (US9.5) came in 8g heavier at 228g, which is still a solid uptempo weight, and a small tradeoff to try the new Everun midsole. Editor's Note: See our review of the Kinvara 7 here
Saucony Kinvara 7 Tokyo Marathon “Cherry Blossom” PC:Derek Li  
Tarther Japan
There were a couple of Tokyo edition ASICS shoes, including Tarther Japans and Kayanos but unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of them. This year’s Kayanos colour scheme is purple fading to white. I did get a picture of the 2016 Tarther Japan, and this year’s is a bright orange colour. (FYI the Japan edition Tarther and Skysensor both use a single density layer of SpEVA in the midsole. SpEVA is what’s in the Hyperspeed so you know what kind of durometer to expect.)

PC:Derek Li  

Freaks Japan 
PC:Derek Li  

I also spotted a Freaks Japan, which is a stability version of the Skysensor Japan, with a bit more stack, and denser Duomax on the medial side heel/arch to mate with SpEVA in the rest of the midsole.

Skysensor Glide 3
PC:Derek Li  
Next up is the new Skysensor Glide 3, which I believe will be available in the global market. It is a dual density uptempo shoe and if memory serves correctly, they have gotten version 3 down to the <220g (<7.5oz) range in US9.  Editor's Note: Road Trail Run reviewed the Skysensor Glide 3 here

 Mizuno Wave Emperor
PC:Derek Li  
Newly released in Jan 2016 is the Mizuno Wave Emperor. I’m not sure if this will be released in the global market but it’s all over Rakuten, Japan’s equivalent of Ebay.  The Wave Emperor comes in a standard width (yellow/blue), and a “wide” version (red/black), as well as a Wave Emperor Japan (classic white with black logo; made in Japan as opposed to China for the formers, and costs more)
 
PC:Derek Li  

PC:Derek Li  

The main difference between the Japan and China model is the use of a thin layer of U4ic midsole in the latter (black colour in the red shoe, and light blue in the yellow shoe). The white midsole in the pictures is actually a firmer compound, which is, I believe, what the Japanese prefer as far as feel goes. (You wouldn’t believe how many people I saw wearing the Mizuno Wave Cruise at the Tokyo Marathon) I tend to prefer softer shoes so I went with the non-Japan version. I got the “wide” version, as the standard width was out of stock in my size. By the way, The Wave Emperor does NOT have a wave plate, so you are looking for a Hitogami without a wave plate, this is the shoe for you. It comes in just under 200g in a US9.5, so slightly lighter than a Nike Lunartempo in equivalent size.
For those who don’t know, lots of Japanese shoes including mass-market models like the Adios Boost (called Japan Boost in the local market) come in a “wide” version. This is NOT 2E width per se, but has a 2E-esque forefoot and a D width midfoot and heel.
PC:Derek Li
Nike Zoom Speed Rival
PC:Derek Li  

Next up is the Nike Zoom Speed Rival. This is an uptempo shoe, with a cushlon midsole, and I believe a zoom air unit in the heel. The Rival is now up to version 5 (if you refer to Nike’s Japan website), but I only managed to glimpse version 4 in the store. As you can see, the mesh is very well ventilated. This is a popular model with a lot of runners because it is always ~$70+ retail. I still have lots of life left in my Rival 3, so I didn’t get any more Rivals.

Nike Lunarspider R6 
PC:Derek Li  

PC:Derek Li  

PC:Derek Li  
PC:Derek Li  


PC:Derek Li  
Here’s the latest Nike Lunarspider R6 which was released in the Japanese market sometime towards the end of last year. This year’s mesh moves a bit closer towards the flyknit end of the spectrum (non-elastic version) and actually makes the toebox a little roomier than prior iterations. The midsole is a dual density foam, with Lunarlon in the forefoot, and (I believe) Cushlon in the rear. The outsole is pared down considerably for optimum speed as you can see. The R6 comes in at 186g in US9.5 which is the same as a Lunaracer+ 3 in US10 (equivalent size).
     
I was hoping to get a look at the new racing apparel from ASICS but unfortunately, the stores are still in Winter mode and I hardly saw any singlets. In case you didn’t know, the new SS16 Adidas Adizero clothes hit stores a couple of weeks back, and the new fabrics are fantastic. The theme this year is abstract prints, and the base colours are black/blue and white. I shan’t bore you with pictures of those as they are available on the Adidas websites. Here’s what I never saw anywhere else. A white/lime green version of the Adidas Adizero run shirt. Sadly not available as a singlet (or maybe it was sold out).

That’s about it for my review. I did see some new colour schemes (blue base and black base) for the new Adios Boost 3, but I didn’t take any pics. If you haven’t been to Japan before, I’d highly recommend going to a city when a big marathon is in town. There are lots of racers you would never find anywhere else.

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Derek Li Run Bio
Derek at 38K 2016 Tokyo Marathon.
PC: Makiko Nukui
Derek Li is a family physician by profession, and has been running marathons for the past three years. He started running for triathlon training in 2003, and now focuses purely on running in a bid to run all the Marathon Majors. In his free time, he likes to review running shoes and related products at his blog Running Commentary.
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Running Warehouse US has the Asics Skysensor Glide 3, Tarther Zeal 3 and Kainos, and LyteRacer RS4 Asia market racers here (scroll down to Racing Shoes)

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