Even with an updated fit and feel, the Mizuno Wave Ascend 7 continues to pack support and protection into a traditional trail design.
The Wave Ascend 7 comes to us with a few updates from its predecessor. All testers reported a tighter fit, particularly in the toebox and near the base of the laces. The reduced volume may be slightly constrictive for runners with a larger or wider forefoot.
The upturned toe design of this latest model creates a smooth transition from the midfoot to toe-off. Some testers did feel a slight dip in the midsole material forward of the metatarsals when walking in the shoe; however, this was not noticeable while running.
The new Active X outsole features X shaped lugs to improve traction over hardpack and rocky surfaces in addition to the sticky X10 carbon rubber found in previous versions of the Ascend.
A lot of trail runners have shifted gears toward more stripped-down models, but shoes like the Ascend 7 prove that there’s still a lot of good stuff to be found in traditional trail running shoes. We enjoyed the added protection and durable cushioning that make this shoe a smart choice for longer offroad runs. And the bit of pronation support offered by the shoe doesn’t get in the way of a stable, surefooted ride.
For the runner that seeks a more substantial and supportive option to take to the trails, the Ascend 7 is a solid choice.
The increased toe spring is a bit unusual, both in terms of looks and performance, but it does make me want to run more on my toes and push me forward.
There’s certainly not as much room up front as I was expecting based on prior models. Still, the essence of the shoe hasn’t changed and most runners who liked the Ascend 6 should continue to like the Ascend 7.
The outsole provides good traction on hardpack, but I'd be wary of it on anything really technical or loose.