Let's put it this way: If all the other shoes reviewed here are full-suspension bikes, the Wave Creation 8 is a hardtail. The stiffness, which makes this shoe startlingly lively, is the result of two suspended plastic plates embedded underfoot. Some break-in time might be required: "At first it was too much," said one tester. "But I grew to like themthey feel fast." While all that firmness creates energy-efficient strides, heavy heel strikers will likely want something cushier. 12.9 oz; mizunousa.comBonus: Forefoot traction is tops for running on soft dirt trails.Bummer: Be sure to test fit well in the store: The toe box is wide, the heel narrow.