I have reviewed a lot of (great) shoes in my time at Run Oregon. I have been lucky that my feet apparently can adapt to most shoes quite well and have only had one test pair that I couldn’t end up utilizing. One shoe company that I have consistently worn over the years is Mizuno, and I have been supremely impressed with their stuff. I have been using the Mizuno Wave Rider Series since back to the WR16, as well as a few other in their line-up. I was recently sent a pair of their newly released (July 2017) Mizuno Wave Shadow, the replacement for the recently “sayonara’d” Wave Sayonara.
I have always found that the look of Mizunos is pretty classic and simple. The Wave Shadows are probably the most “loud” pair I have received from Mizuno. The “Safety Yellow / Red Orange” version is a very bright neon yellow, with some green and orange accents sprinkled in (the opposite colors of a “shadow”). Despite the color scheme I received, there are much more standard colors available:
- Men’s Versions:
- Safety Yellow / Red Orange
- Directoire Blue / Safety Yellow (blue with yellow accents)
- Iron Gate / Silver (black/grey with white and blue accents)
- Women’s Versions:
- Fuchsia Purple / Silver (pink/purple with white and blue accents)
- Blue Topaz/ Fiery Coral (blue with pink accents)
- Griffin / White (grey with white and pink accents)
- Men’s Versions:
I am used to relatively large drops (the Wave Rider 20 is 12mm). The Sayonara’s were a 10mm drop and the Shadow drop things a little bit more down to a modern 8mm. While going from the 12mm to an 8mm was noticeable, I didn’t find it uncomfortable. The Wave Shadow’s are also a little lighter offering for a daily trainer (8.9 oz in a size 9).
As with most Mizunos I have worn, I got a nice and snug fit right out of the box with the Shadow. On top of the toebox, the upper seems simple enough with a mesh overlay that is as comfortable and breathable (no overlays) as it is stylish. See below for technical specs. Though these aren’t wide, they seem like there is enough room in the toebox to accommodate most feet sizes.
The durability in the Wave Rider has always been one of my favorite features. I have never had ANY issue at significant wear – even at 500 miles and beyond. One complaint about the Wave Rider series is that durability requires some sacrifice, and some runners find the 20’s a little too firm for their liking. If you are one such runner who desires a little more flexibility, the Wave Shadow may be a perfect shoe for you. I didn’t find it as firm in the heel as the Wave Rider, offering a little more flex and flow. Though I have racked up a number of miles in the Shadow, time will tell how durability goes. Though with Mizuno, I haven’t been let down yet.
The sole of the shoe has fantastic traction. Even running on the roads this summer, I remember on my first run being able to feel the grip on the road. I anticipate this will come in very handy when the weather takes a turn. I did find that the sole was mildly prone to picking up small rocks from time to time. It’s a minor deterrent, but something that could come into play if you are trying to BQ or PR.
I feel that if you already run in or like Mizuno running shoes then you will like the Wave Shadow. Their Wave plate has always worked for me and this is no different. If you are new to the brand, this may indeed be a very solid lightweight, daily trainer to break into it with. RECOMMENDED
Shoe: Mizuno Wave Shadow
- A new midfoot cloudwave technology for cushioning and added response during the middle of footstrike
- New premium anatomical sockliner for better fit and feel
- U4icX strobel lining for added cushioning
- X10 solid rubber outsole at heel and midfoot for durability and forefoot zig zag flex pattern for snappy toe off
- Mizuno DynamotionFit: 3 panel upper construction with skin-like seamless midfoot and minimal forefoot for a disappearing fit
- Ramp: 8mm
- $109.95 (also on Amazon)
Thank you to Mizuno for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.