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Run4It Journal  •  Running Gear •  12.08.2021 •  6 min read

Mizuno Running Shoes Review

Not all running brands or sports manufacturers can pride themselves on more than 100 years of experience. Mizuno can – founded in 1906 by two brothers, Rihachi and Rizo Mizuno. The brothers decided to dedicate themselves to developing industry-leading sporting products through a focus on scientific research. This led them to evolve from being a simple retailer of baseball equipment in 1906 to manufacturing their own baseball wear in 1910. They began to produce running products from 1928.

In 1938, Mizuno established the Select Scientific Laboratory - the first Sports Research & Design lab in the world. They went from producing leather cleats for track and field athletes to manufacturing their M-Line range which covered all athletics. They came up with innovative technologies, including the Mizuno Wave (1997). The Mizuno Wave continues to feature in their technical running range. More recently, Mizuno introduced a new cushioning technology called ENERZY. This newly developed material provides more energy return than ever before. The material was developed and tested for more than 2 years at Mizuno's in-house R&D department and launched in 2020.

Mizuno has always been a forerunner of technological advancements. They are meticulous in their use of science to drive innovation and product development in a bid to help athletes overcome challenges.

Mizuno running shoes technology

Each Mizuno running shoe is designed with a purpose: the level of cushioning and support featured in each shoe will be different to cater for different runner’s needs. Most of their running shoes feature the key technologies below.

  • Mizuno Wave: the Wave plate embedded within the shoe midsole is Mizuno’s flagship technology (any shoe featuring the Wave has the prefix in their name). This technology is a great compromise between cushioning and support. It provides additional cushioning and helps absorb the impact by compressing down at impact, but it also gives stability and support in lateral and medial movements.
  • Mizuno ENERZY: this midsole foam is 17% softer and delivers 15% more energy return than previous Mizuno midsoles.
  • Mizuno ENERZY CORE: this version of the foam is one the softest and most bouncy material on the market. This is a foam with minimal energy loss (56% more energy return) while being 293% softer than previously used midsole materials.
Mizuno lifestyle image
Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Mizuno's ENERZY cushioning is at the forefront of product innovation and offers industry high levels of cushioning and energy return. Combined with the Wave technology and some other innovations, Mizuno built a very strong range, catering for a wide variety of needs (paces and distances).

Mizuno running shoes available at Run4It

At Run4It, we range 6 Mizuno road running shoes and 1 trail option.

Wave Sky Neo

This Neutral Soft shoe features ENERZY Core (double layer) and ENERZY to offer the highest level of cushioning in Mizuno’s running range.

Wave Sky

This Neutral Soft shoe also features ENERZY Core and ENERZY but will be slightly less soft than the Wave Sky Neo. The new model now features a Wave plate, creating a floating sensation during the run and adding some extra stability.

Wave Rider 25

This Neutral Responsive shoe is a perfect all-rounder. It is perfect for a wide range of paces. It provides lots of cushioning so will work very well for slower paced running. The Wave Plate and ENERZY cushioning will offer brilliant energy return for some quicker paced runs too.

Wave Rider Neo

This Neutral Responsive shoe is essentially a lighter weight Wave Rider that is designed to deliver exceptional levels of propulsive power. Featuring ENERZY and a springy Wave plate, it offers great protection and cushioning but will also feel great at quicker paces.

Wave Inspire 17

This Stability Responsive shoe features an ENERZY heel wedge to deliver great shock impact and more cushioning at landing (for heel strikers). The Wave plate is designed to deliver added support and reduce excess pronation, and will also provide smooth landings.

Wave Horizon 5

This Stability Soft shoe delivers a very soft and plush underfoot sensation thanks to a combination of the ENERZY midsole and the foam wave. Additional support on the medial side helps reduce higher ranges of pronation in a natural manner.

The Icon: Mizuno Wave Rider

The original Wave Rider was released in 1997 and featured significant technological advancements, namely the Wave. This technology was very different from the cushioning and support solutions other brands developed at the time. The Wave plate mimics how shock, or sound, waves are distributed across a surface. By adding the Wave plate to the midsole, the shock from impact is dispersed and protects runners.

Mizuno running shoe technology design drawings

The Wave Rider became a symbol of Mizuno’s commitment to help runners meet their goals. It evolved over the years but it stayed true to its roots. The 25th edition was released in June 2021 and features some exciting new technologies. The Run4It team got a few pairs to test and here’s what they have to say about it.

Jack’s review of the Wave Rider 25

  • Weight: 275g
  • Drop: 12mm (36mm to 24mm)

"The Wave Rider 25 is an excellent option for anyone looking for that extra energy on your faster paced runs. The full ‘Enerzy’ midsole provides great cushioning at slower paces, but will provide a great energy return when you are building the pace. The wave plate alongside the 12mm drop gives you a lot of structure under the heel. It’s great if you are a heel-striker or you prefer a more stable base underfoot. This also gives you that feeling of being pushed onto your toe which supports you through each footfall which I have always enjoyed. The AeroHug upper gives you a very secure feel around the heel and midfoot. It also gives you that space in the toe-box, so perfect if you have a slightly wider foot.

Jack running in mizuno wave rider 25
Jack running in mizuno wave rider 25
Jack running in mizuno wave rider 25

Overall, this is a really strong option for someone looking for a versatile, protective road shoe. It will consistently provide a nice cushioned ride but the wave plate and Enerzy foam can work really well together to give you the edge for faster sessions."

Fiona’s review of the Wave Rider 25

  • Weight: 230g
  • Drop: 12mm (36mm to 24mm)

"The fit of these shoes was really well suited to my footshape. The AeroHug upper was light and breathable. It held me securely in the midfoot while giving me a little extra room for my toes to splay in the toe box. I was surprised to see that the cushioning in this shoe feels as soft in the forefoot as it does in the heel. Something that I enjoyed considering this is where I make contact with the ground. This felt like a very supportive neutral shoe, with its sturdy heel counter and substantial midsole. Even though I normally prefer a lower drop shoe as I like to feel the ground under my feet, I really enjoyed running in this higher drop shoe.

I feel this shoe is a great addition to my shoe rotation. It offers a nice comfortable feel during my run with the knowledge that I can pick up the pace if need be. I used this shoe for a combination of middle distance running and tempo runs. The Enerzy midsole is really versatile. It felt comfortable and protective when running at an easy pace; but when combined with the propulsive Wave Plate, it felt responsive on my speed work sessions. This shoe would go even faster if its owner could!!"


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