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Mizuno Evo Levitas and Cursoris: Mizuno’s First Foray Into Zero Drop, Cushioned Shoes

The Running Warehouse Blog just posted a preview of two new cushioned zero drop shoes from Mizuno: the Mizuno Evo Levitas and Evo Cursoris. Both are due to come out in early 2013, and fill what is rapidly becoming a very crowded niche occupied by shoes like the currently available Altra Instinct, New Balance MR00, & Saucony Hattori, and the soon to be released Skechers Go Bionic, Saucony Virrata, & Brooks Pure Drift. Running Warehouse indicates that “zero drop with a bit more protection and increased comfort is set to be a big story in 2013,” and based on recent trends and product announcements I can’t help but agree.

Details on these shoes remain scant, but the Running Warehouse Blog reports that the Mizuno Evo Levitas is the more minimal of the two shoes, with a stack height of 15mm in both the heel and forefoot, a weight of 6.5 oz (men’s). It is also touted as having a wide forefoot and narrow midfoot. Here are some photos of the Levitas:

Mizuno LevitasMizuno Levitas 2

The Evo Cursoris provides a bit more cushion underfoot with a stack height of 18mm in the heel and forefoot, a weight of 7.5oz (men’s), and also is described as having a wide forefoot. Here are photos of the Cursoris:

Mizuno Cursoris

I’m pleased to see Mizuno increasing it’s variety of offerings at the more minimal end of the shoe scale. I was recently invited to join the Mizuno Mezamashii Project and this included a pair of free shoes, and the only shoe in the current catalogue that matches my tastes is the Wave Universe (though it’s a great one!). I’ve run in both the Ronin and Musha and though they are both solid choices in the transitional lightweight trainer/racer category, I find them a bit too much shoe for my taste. Had either the Levitas or Cursoris been available I would have jumped on them right away!

The one big question with both of these shoes, as it is with many minimalist shoes, will be durability relative to price. MSRP for the Levitas is $110, and for the Cursoris is $120. I wish more shoe companies would make shoes like the New Balance 730 – minimal yet extremely affordable. Nonetheless, it’s great to see another shoe company diversifying its offerings. If Mizuno would bring the Ekiden stateside they’d have quite the lineup!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Kristoffer says:

    It’s wonderful to see shoe manufacturers broadening the minimalist spectrum. Zero drop but cushioned shoes seems like the obvious next step and I definitely think that type of shoe will be popular and useful. For many people who want to gradually move towards minimalism it’s a type of shoe that one would want to have.
    As an aside, I feel like running shoe designers are seriously lacking eyes for estetics. With few exceptions running shoes, I think, look pretty damn awful and Mizuno is probably the worst manufacturer I’ve come across. I have yet to see a Mizuno shoe that doesn’t look hideous.

  2. runultras says:

    I’ve had both of these shoes on and they are impressive. For me they both strike a balance between providing a responsive feel but still some cushioning as well, meaning I didn’t find them too soft or too firm.

    Both have a very wide toe box and no heel counter to speak of. As you would expect, they are very flexible. They are very similar to the upcoming Pure Drift from Brooks.

    Mizuno states that the Cursoris has 12mm of EVA under the foot while the Levitas has 8mm. I hadn’t expected the difference to be quite as noticeable as it was. Simply put, the Cursoris could be your longer run shoe and the Levitas could be your race shoe.
    And Pete, you’re in luck, the Ekiden, which I would describe as a beefier Universe, will be released here in the states in January!

  3. Jill Will Run says:

    I was invited to the Mezamashii Project as well and I went with the Wave Universe based on recommendations from this site, as I wanted minimal shoes. I hope I get to try these new shoes out!

  4. ericj076 says:

    i have also worn both as well. liked the wide toe box – not quite an altra but remniscent of one (very little taper). liked the minimal heel.

    the cursoris was way too cushioned for my liking but newbies to zero drop will probably like it. the heel felt particularly over cushioned, almost like i was falling deeper into the shoe.

    liked the balance between minimalism and cushioning on the levitas very much. i think i liked the levitas better than either of the new zero drop shoes from saucony or brooks.

  5. Keith Tyger says:

    Pete, Did you see the new low cost Saucony’s. They are the Fiya (9.7 oz), Adapt (Trail) and Outduel (11.3 oz). They are all 4MM and cost $65-$75 a pair. Pretty exciting that there are some low cost alternatives for people who are pinching pennies. But WOW! am I a sucker for orange shoes! $120 is hard to swallow.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Just saw them last night. Not the most attractive shoes, but price is good. Great to see all of these options!

      • Keith Tyger says:

        My thoughts too, not enough flash. I just purchased my 2nd pair of Flows. They are the Nightlife (dayglo greenish yellow) color scheme that is a finishline exclusive color. Between those and my vizipro orange Kinvara’s I am slow but bright.

  6. I am looking forward to these shoes too! I generally am not able to wear the Mizunos as they have been to narrow in the toe box. I recently bought the Merrell Bare Access Arc and like them but am easing in VERY slowly. I tried the Flows but they felt very stiff after running in the Free Runs for a while. I like the Skechers Go Run but not enough structure in the upper I think. I went into the local Skechers store here and asked about the Bionic and the salespeople there had never heard of it. Any idea when it will be out?
    Lets hope they stick with the bright colors… I hate buying white or black shoes.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Bionic is out in a few weeks, and yes, lots of color options. It’s flexible like the Frees and zero drop.
      Sent from my iPad

  7. Strumfaki says:

    I guess Mizuno heard your request: runningwarehouse says the Ekiden is due out in Jan 2013.

  8. Marc Schwartz says:

    Mizuno just posted a video teaser for the new Evo line:

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  1. […] of shoes from Mizuno have arrived in Singapore! The Mizuno Wave Evo Levitas were first reported by RunBlogger and subsequently on numerous websites like Runners […]

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