The top tier max cushioned stability field gets more crowded every year with new additions equipped with each brand’s latest and greatest technology.
Each brand has their signature technologies, Brooks with the GuideRails, Saucony with both the EVERUN and ISOFit and Mizuno with the Waveplate.
These technologies are incorporated in hopes to increase loyalty, by converting runners to a specific shoe, one that’s worth coming back to again and again.
As I have reviewed most of the top tier max cushioned stability trainers over the past year I was curious to see how the Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 would stack up and if they would come close to converting me.
Comparable stability is also provided by the Kayanos, Gaviotas, and Saucony Hurricanes Overall, they all provide the maximum amount of stability and cushioning.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 First Impressions
The teal colorway and new visual redesign grabbed my attention as soon as I opened the box. Teal is a bold color to use for running shoes especially when it covers the whole shoe.
The hexagonal overlays were the focal point of the shoe and part of the upper redesign. If teal isn’t your favorite color they also offer a blue and gray versions of the Wave Horizon 3.
This is my first experience with a Mizuno stability trainer, I was curious to see how they fare. Sliding them on for the first time was a contradiction. The topsole felt incredibly plush like a new pillow.
Under the layer of plush cushioning was a firm and unforgiving midsole. The combination of plush and firmness was strange feeling for my feet.
I did feel some tightness around the midsole and heel collar. My first run out of the box was a relaxed 4 miles outside; it was a firm and heavy ride.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Sole Unit
The Wave Horizon 3 midsole hasn’t undergone any changes from the previous version. At the base of the midsole in the heel and the forefoot is U4icX, lighter, more cushioned version of U4ic.
This is suppose to provide the shoe with both a softer landing and takeoff area.
Sandwiched in between the two layers of cushioning is Mizuno’s Cloudwave an elastic, thermal plastic wave running from the heel to the midfoot. The Waveplate’s purpose is to provide a springy, cushioned and stable ride.
The Waveplate was evident on many of my runs, because of its lack of flexibility and stiffness, it took away energy return from my stride.
I felt different pressure points on the soles and side of my feet at different times. This made for an inconsistent ride on my runs in these shoes.
The top layer of the midsole is U4ic cushioning, a denser material built for responsiveness. This combined with the wave plate makes the Wave Horizon an especially firm ride.
Since the topsole felt plush and this U4ic cushioning felt firm I felt like they were battling for my attention on my runs. Some days it felt like they were more plush other days they felt extremely firm and uncomfortable.
The bottom of the Wave Horizon 3 has Mizuno’s X10 carbon rubber which is extremely durable. You can tell the material is ready for mile upon mile without showing wear or tear.
I found the carbon rubber to be slightly slippery when wet. This would prevent it from being a year round trainer.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Upper Unit
The upper of the Wave Horizon 3 has undergone a major update. Mizuno has introduced their AeroHug technology in these.
AeroHug was developed as an upper that wraps around your foot to eliminate space between your foot and the shoe, creating a more adaptable and comfortable fit.
This technology is similar to Saucony’s ISOFit in the way it functions and feels. While it was effective in providing a secure fit, it could have been a little bit more effective in the molding and adapting to my feet.
In the forefoot of the upper is a performance mesh which is both breathable and flexible. They have added some hexagonal overlays to provide the midfoot with more structure and support.
These overlays were effective in providing this along with being a focal point of the upper. There were no points of irritation while running.
The heel collar of the Wave Horizon was the perfect amount of cushioning and comfort. This combined with the heel counter to provide a stable and secure fit which aided the stability of the shoe.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Conclusion
I have known many people who have ran in Mizunos in the past so I was excited to get a pair to review. Overall, my first experience with the Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 was a disappointment.
While the updates to the upper were a strength, the sole unit was a major letdown.
While other running brands are also developing and introducing game changing updates on a semi regular basis, Mizuno has stayed with their wave plate technology which I believe isn’t effective.
It cause the sole unit of the Wave Horizon 3 to feel inflexible and firm which led to an unresponsive sole and lack of energy return.
The wave plate put unneeded pressure on the medial side of my heel causing it to feel very uncomfortable.
The new AeroHug technology used for the upper is the strength of the shoe. It provided a secure and comfortable fit, like a hug.
The hexagonal overlays added to the midfoot have improved the fit of the shoe to certain areas, especially the medial side heel and arch. The upper is more visually appealing due to its visual redesign.
We purchased a pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.