First look at the new Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Shoe: Mizuno Wave Rider 25
Cost: $135

Specs (from Mizuno Website): 

  • Weight: 9.6 oz (size 9)
  • Drop: 12mm
  • MIZUNO ENERZY (FOAM): Offering versatility in its application, while still maintaining softness and resilience.  It will help enhance performance capabilities.
  • MIZUNO WAVE®: The MIZUNO WAVE® plate disperses energy from impact to a broader area providing a stable platform and a superior cushioning.
  • X10 Outsole: Durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear.
  • Eco Friendly Materials
  • Engineered Mesh Upper: Both breathable and durable for high performance.

The Mizuno Wave Rider series was the first actual running shoes I ever owned. When I transitioned over from a collegiate baseball player to a runner (with a sedentary year in between), I came only armed (footed?) with an old pair of cross trainers. I eventually transitioned into true running shoes, and decided to go with a brand which was very familiar to me on the ball diamond – Mizuno.

I don’t think I could have been luckier to have landed in the Wave Riders back then. I have tried (and loved) many other brands, types, and styles of shoes – but the Wave Rider line is one that I hold near and dear to my heart – and one that really seems to gel well with my feet.

The color profiles (at least for men) range from subdued and classy (my muted navy version) to vibrant (an aqua/lime colorway that reminds me of the Seattle Sounders). Sliding into the 25th (!) version of these for the first time was like riding a bike – it just felt very familiar. However, there have been quite a few modifications to this shoe – in a good way – bringing the Wave Rider more into the modern running world with a lighter option that feels in-step with the running behomoths out there.

This modification can be summed up in one word – Enerzy. While not an actual word per se, Mizuno’s new Enerzy foam really contributes to its success.

The Enerzy addition makes the feel a nice middle ground between firm and bouncy. It’s got enough cushion without venturing to the springy side of the equation. It’s comfortable and supportive as well. I remember when I first ventured away from Mizuno all those years ago – how surprised I was that a running shoe could actually feel cushioned. While I still liked the Mizuno, at that time it just felt clunky and firm. That worked for me at the time, but this new Wave Rider has really been improved from that with this latest version.

The fit was surprisingly nice as well. I felt locked down in these shoes and the inside is very comfortable. There was no need to crush the laces down, and I was able to essentially slip my foot into the shoes without untying and still felt secure (though I wouldn’t recommend this).

The outsole is super grippy and seems like it would hold up on everything from pavement to light trails. I haven’t been able to test these in any rain quite yet, but I would venture that they are up to the task. And the outsole has also been holding up to runs as well with essentially no wear even after a good amount of miles in them.

The drop is pretty significant (12mm!) – a height I don’t personally have a problem with. As a prominent heel striker, this worked out well for me, but if you fall into the range of a midfoot striker, you may feel it more pronounced. However, even I felt this right off the bat and found these to feel different when walking than with running. I didn’t notice the drop when running at all, however when I slowed to a walk, I have felt myself noticing the drop. If you are used to a higher drop, or run on your heels, then these should come across quite nice, but I could see others not fully feeling like the Wave Rider 25 is their cup of tea. I believe that Wave Riders over the years have had this same significant drop, so even with the modifications to the shoe, they are staying true to this historical aspect.

Though they aren’t the most sleek looking running shoe out there, the Wave Rider 25’s come in a variety of different fits, styles, and colors. There are wide options available, something that multiple bloggers here at Run Oregon need and prefer. There is also a Waveknit option – complete with a knitted upper. Each of these has a few different color stylings to choose from as well. The thinner upper is also made from recycled mesh – an addition towards a more environmentally-conscious construction.

The 25th go-around of the this cornerstone shoe seems really great, and I can’t wait to give it a go with some miles this fall and winter.

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About Matt Rasmussen (1621 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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