Mizuno Wave Ekiden General info
Named for the famous Japenese relay races held during medieval times, the Mizuno Wave Ekiden is marketed as a go-fast racing shoe that fills the gap between Mizuno’s uber-light Wave Universe and the Wave Ronin. It has been available in Japan for a while ow, but this is the flat’s first appearance in the United States.
Its red, gold, and black color pattern was striking and bold when I first pulled them from the box. The upper was an airy ventilated mesh that looked highly breathable for race day.
I noticed immediately that the Ekiden lacked the traditionally higher heel-to-toe drop that Mizuno usually employs, and only had an off-set of 3-4mm. This was a welcomed feature in my opinion, especially for a racing flat. Mizuno’s Wave Technology is present in the outsole, but is far less defined than with other models. The shoe is neutral with no stability features, and is very flexible with significan toe-rebound to add responsiveness off the ground.
Mizuno Wave Ekiden Impression
During my trial with the Mizuno Wave Ekiden, I logged over fifty miles in the flats with great enjoyment. Being accustomed to running in minimal footwear, I was able to comfortably take the Ekiden out for hour-plus runs on the road without issue. I also employed them for two significant workouts on the track and paved bike path before issuing a verdict on this flat.
The ride is firm and fast, leaving little to the imagination in terms of ground-feel. It is easy to run with a quick, efficient cadence and to land mid-forefoot in the Ekiden with each stride. I was impressed with how well the shoe transferred landing shock into forward motion given how light the flat actually is, and the upper wraps pleasantly around the foot with no aggravating seams or liners.
Mizuno Wave Ekiden Opinion
I would recommend the Mizuno Wave Ekiden for serious road racers looking for a go-to, do-anything flat for competition and faster workouts. If the runner is biomechanically efficient enough, I would even recommend this shoe as a flat for the full marathon, as well.
Minimalist runners will enjoy the Ekiden for it’s light weight, flexible design that allows the foot to move nimbly from footstrike to footstrike. Note, however, that this is designed to be a road shoe, as the Ekiden only falters somewhat on rocky terrain where the footing is poor. Stick to the beaten path in the Mizuno Wave Ekiden, and you won’t go wrong.
We thank the nice people at Mizuno for sending us a pair of Wave Ekiden to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.