Product Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 18




The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 in Chinese Red-Silver

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

At the end of April, I did a quick, First Impressions blog post of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.  Today, I want to take a little bit deeper look at the shoe and share it with you.  

The upper of the shoe is a thin, airy material that feels very lightweight and comfortable when wearing.  As it drifts into the ankle area or heel counter, there is obviously more rigidity and form to embrace the foot, with a thin layer of cushioning to fit snugly.  The toebox at the front of the shoe is a thicker material keeping the toes protected all the way around and keeping dirt from entering.  The tongue is nice and thick, adding a soft, cushiony feel as it lays across the top of the foot.  This also keeps the laces from biting into the foot when the shoes are pulled tight.  The sockliner is thin and flexible, but more than enough for these lightweight shoes. 

The heel crash pad area at the rear and also the back outside of the shoe includes carbon rubber which is solid yet does not seem overly heavy or bulky.  The heel to toe drop according to my findings online is about 12mm.  This seems fine in these shoes as I still felt closer to the ground than in some of the trail running shoes I typically use for the majority of my running.

These are called Wave Riders for a reason and this is reflected especially in the scientific midsole. The Mizuno Wave Rider page at their USA site describes all the different technologies much better than I can, but what is interesting is their whole midsole Wave concept that is suppose to act like a car suspension and more effectively dissipate energy.  The outsole seems to be made up of three levels of differing firmness depending on where it is located on the bottom of the shoe.  (This includes the heel crash pad area noted earlier.)

As mentioned in my previous post, a size 13 only weighs 11 oz.

Overall, these shoes feel light and run fast.  I am over 6 foot tall and 200+ lbs, so typically I wear a shoe with some stability, much more than the amount in the Wave Rider 18, which is considered a neutral shoe according to their site.  However, since these shoes do have some stability in the midfoot due to all the science that Mizuno has put into them, I felt comfortable enough to take them out for some nice mixed surface 4 mile runs.  Whether on pavement or off road, these shoes handled great. While I might not use them for the longer gravel and trail runs/races I typically do, these shoes are awesome for a nice recovery run or speed session around town.  (They might even be a good track shoe for doing intervals.)  I actually plan to race them on a crushed limestone 5K in South Dakota in just a couple of weeks and believe they will handle well and get me to the finish line pretty quick.

After a wet 4 mile run last Saturday.

Finally, in addition to feeling wonderful on my feet, these shoes look pretty awesome as well!  I love the chinese red-silver fade to black look and the English-Chinese translation of "Wave Rider" on the outside of the foot towards the back of the shoe.  The Mizuno Wave Rider 18s will be another arrow in my weekly quiver of shoes as part of my training plan and race weaponry!!!