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Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

*This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own*

I was recently given the opportunity to review the new Mizuno Wave Rider 18. The only Mizunos I’d ever run in before this were my soccer/lacrosse cleats back in high school, so trying out a pair of their actual running shoes was way overdue! I’ve always heard great things about Mizuno’s running line, so I was excited to finally try them out for myself.

On first glance, aren’t they cute? You should never buy a running shoe based on looks alone, but come on, how sharp looking are these?? They look pretty fierce to me, and when I opened up the box and saw that I was sent the black and mint green ones I squealed. Mint green and I have a pretty solid relationship, so these shoes were love at first sight, if we’re going to judge by that.


The Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe, with just enough support to keep those feet happy. Because of this neutral yet supported fit, it really caters to a wide range of runners. Weighing in at just 7.8 oz, the Wave Rider is super lightweight, making it not just an excellent racing shoe, but also a comfortable everyday shoe, perfect for the gym, or casual workouts.


I have pretty narrow feet, so I really appreciated the fit of these shoes. I felt like they were fairly narrow, and not as bulky as some of my other running shoes. I liked that there wasn’t an overkill of “shoe” if that makes sense, and there was just enough cushioning to keep them still feeling pretty minimal.


However, the Wave Rider 18 is anything but minimal when it comes to its technology and design. Using a U4ic midsole, the Wave Rider is extra attentive to shock absorption, and provides a responsive ride. Responsiveness is always a good thing because you don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a pair of bricks, people! Dynamotion Fit helps relieve the stress that our feet naturally places on our shoes, adding to the shoe’s comfort, and the patented Wave Technology keeps your ride stable, all the way through your stride. Each step almost feels effortless, and with the shoe being so light, it’s an amazing feeling. If you haven’t caught on, this shoe is loaded down with technology, but it’s done in such a simple, low-key way that none of it is overbearing or gets in the way of providing you with a comfortable and fast run!


Mizuno gets a lot of their inspiration from the Japanese culture, and in the Wave Rider, they’ve adopted the concept of “Hado.”

What is Hado? From their website, “The intrinsic vibrational energy that exists in all matter which can create powerful transformations. The new Wave Rider 18 is designed to maximize and balance forward momentum, which can result in positive change both internally and in the world we run in.”


The top of the shoe felt like it wrapped around my foot like a glove, and didn’t leave my feet sliding around inside like some shoes do. Love. This.


I ran in these shoes for several weeks before posting this review, because I wanted to be sure and KNOW what they felt like. And after running my half marathon in them this past weekend, I can definitely say that I approve. I have pretty flat feet, so I really appreciated the support factor overall, and the fact that there wasn’t SO much support that my arches hurt. I typically run in a neutral shoe with custom orthotics, but with these, I left out my orthotics and went with the shoe alone. I also really loved that these were so lightweight, and felt like they just FIT my feet. I knew as soon as I put them on that I would love these, and they definitely delivered. One of my first initial thoughts actually was, “these remind me of my lacrosse cleats back in high school! A little stiff, but flexible, comfortable, but not overly cushy, and perfectly wrapped around my small feet.” My husband thought I was crazy for comparing these to a pair of cleats, but if you played field sports in high school, then you know that you spent A LOT of time in your cleats! Finding a shoe that feels like it’s giving your feet a hug with every step, is few and far between. The Wave Riders just “feel right.”


If I had to say one negative thing about them, it’d be that I think they run slightly small, size wise. I typically wear an 8 in my running shoes, but these felt a hair too short on me. However, I’m pretty sure an 8 1/2 would be too big, so ideally, I think I need an 8 1/4, which clearly does not exist. After running 13.1 miles straight in these though, I’m happy to report that I didn’t have a single blister!! My feet swell a lot when I run, so I thought for sure my toes would look horrific. But, I came out unscathed! Woohoo!


Overall, I’d highly recommend these. I’ve tried a lot of running shoes, but these really stood out to me. For reals, ya’ll. Pinky promise.


Huge thanks again to Fitfluential and Mizuno for letting me try these!

Have you run in Mizunos before? If so, which ones? Are you a neutral runner? Do you prefer a simple shoe, or an extra cushy shoe?

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  • Reply
    Jamie @ Wandering Portlander
    October 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Oh, Even Stevens did not get enough love when it was on TV. Those gifs were a great reminder. Thanks! Also, those shoes look awesome! I love the mint color.
    Jamie @ Wandering Portlander recently posted…5 Tips for Running in the RainMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I am obsessed with the mint color! Such a fun pop of color!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    haha, love the Even Stevens reference! nice throwback there. this was a great review, and i agree that the colors/style of this shoe are totally banging. also a sucker for mint green. i’ve never run in Mizunos but you make them sound super attractive, so i might have to check ’em at some point. currently digging Saucony’s Kinvaras but always open to new suggestions! love the pics.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Haha glad you appreciated that 😉 I’ve never run in the Kinvaras, but when they came out with that hot yellow and pink pair last year (?) I think, I alllllmost bought a pair! They are so comfy! I think you’d really like the Wave Riders as well, very simplistic, and SO lightweight! I had never worn Mizunos before, and have really fallen in love with them!

  • Reply
    Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
    October 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I love the look of these shoes! Good to know they are great for a half marathon as I am in the market for new running shoes and getting ready to sign up for my first half marathon!
    Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…{WIAW} All About the ChocolateMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Well there you go!! YAY for first half marathon! You will rock it! Which one are you running? And yes, I typically run in Brooks, but took a chance and ran in these Mizunos on Saturday and didn’t have any problems! They were awesome!! I just loved how they hugged my feet, and felt so perfect!

  • Reply
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
    October 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I am a Mizuno addict! I am loving the updates to the Wave Rider 18.
    And wow your pictures look amazing.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Buying Fitness Gear Online with Unique Fitness ConceptsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks Abby! 🙂 I am definitely sold on the Mizunos!! No wonder you’re an addict!! Where have I been?!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections
    October 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Gorgeous shots! I have never liked black running shoes, but I would totally sport those. I liked my Muzuno Trail running shoes. I’d like to try them again in the future for just regular running shoes.
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted…16 Weeks & Why We’re Not Having a NuseryMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      November 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Same here!! I always thought black running shoes would look weird on me, or too wintry, but I really love these!! I’ve never tried ANY trail running shoes, but I’m thinking I’d definitely give Mizuno ones a try should that time come!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I was curious to see your review on these. Sounds like they work well for you! I’ve tried them numerous times & have concluded they are not for me. I have fairly high arches, and a neutral stride. I do usually like more cushioned shoes for running, and these just are not cushioned enough for me. Within a half mile of running in them my metatarsals hurt intensely. While they are light & pretty, the laces are also not long enough for me. I had to have them so loose, I could barely tie them & could not double tie them, so they kept coming undone! I also have a wider fore-foot, so they felt very narrow. But this just shows why there are so many different types of shoes to choose from!! For that I’m so thankful. I love my Brooks Ghosts in case you wondered what I do love, my husband though, loves his Mizuno Wave Riders 🙂

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      November 10, 2014 at 11:43 am

      I noticed the shoelace thing too!! I didn’t have much trouble with them being too short though, just noticed they did seem considerably shorter than my other shoes, very strange! And girl, you know I love my Brooks Ghosts! Every time I put them on it’s like my feet are “home” 🙂 It’s so funny how different everyone’s feet are! I feel ya!

  • Reply
    Joanna @Makingmine
    October 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Awesome photos Sarah! I agree – these are awesome shoes! I need your top so I can match mine 😉
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      November 10, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Joanna! Haha, Old Navy!!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    October 31, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I am super nutty when it comes to my running shoes. That being said, I am afraid (yes, afraid) to switch from the Adidas Energy Boosts right now because I love them. However, these Mizuno’s would probably interest my feet because they meet the criteria that I look for. I love a lightweight yet supportive shoe that can handle the distance yet feel light enough to move fast. I will consider them should I ever need to switch.
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      November 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

      I’ve never tried Adidas running shoes! I honestly would have never even given them a thought until you mentioned them right now! There are SO many different amazing shoes out there, it’s crazy! I want to try them allllll!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Which do you prefer? wave rider 18’s or the ghost 7’s?
    btw have you happened to try the brooks ravenna 6? i’m getting new running shoes and i honestly don’t know 🙁 (currently using asics gt 200)
    Well for sure i don’t want shoes that are heavy because of longer runs, but i do want them to be comfortable, cushiony, and supportive!
    ~awesome blog!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 27, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Hi Jane! The Brooks Ghost is hands down my favorite shoe for long distances. It’s my go-to. I do love my Wave Riders though, however, they are not as cushioned. It just depends on what type of foot you have, for me, I need a neutral shoe and then I add custom orthotics. I used to wear the Ravennas, but ended up getting an injury from them so I’ve sworn them off 🙂 You should go to your local Fleet Feet or running store and just make sure whatever shoe you’re looking at is best for your feet! The Brooks Ghost are very lightweight, but the wave riders much lighter, but also more bare bones!

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