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?