Home Guides Best Mizuno Running Shoes 2020
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NEUTRAL RUNNERS

NEUTRAL RUNNERS

NEUTRAL RUNNERS

Mizuno Wave Rider 23

Mizuno Wave Rider 23
Offering the signature snappy and reactive Mizuno run, the Wave Rider 23 is recommended for runners who like a responsive ride.
Offering the signature snappy and reactive Mizuno run, the Wave Rider 23 is recommended for runners who like a responsive ride.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert

STABILITY

STABILITY

STABILITY

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16
The Mizuno Wave technology really shines in stability. The Inspire 16 is a shoe that offers tons of support in a lighter package than most.
The Mizuno Wave technology really shines in stability. The Inspire 16 is a shoe that offers tons of support in a lighter package than most.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.

PREMIUM STABILITY

PREMIUM STABILITY

PREMIUM STABILITY

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4
Take the stability of the Inspire and package it in a softer, more premium shoe and you have the Horizon!
Take the stability of the Inspire and package it in a softer, more premium shoe and you have the Horizon!
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert

FOR FAST DAYS

FOR FAST DAYS

FOR FAST DAYS

Mizuno Wave Shadow 3

Mizuno Wave Shadow 3
The Wave Shadow 3 is best suited to any runner who is looking for a lightweight neutral trainer for mid to moderate uptempo running sessions.
The Wave Shadow 3 is best suited to any runner who is looking for a lightweight neutral trainer for mid to moderate uptempo running sessions.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.

“Never settle”: that is Mizuno’s motto.

It sums up Mizuno’s approach to running shoes. They constantly seek to improve the technologies in their shoes in an effort to produce an even better experience for runners.

As a result, it can get a little confusing when trying to choose what Mizuno shoe is for you.

In the past 3-4 years Mizuno has both launched and retired a bunch of shoes (ie, goodbye to Nirvana, Elixir and welcome to Paradox, Catalyst..) so I think it's time to deep dive into their lineup to make some clarity.

Best Neutral Mizuno Running Shoes

Mizuno's neutral shoes, thanks to the wave plate, tend to be quite responsive and offer a tad bit of stability as well.

First choice

Mizuno Wave Rider 23

Weight
9.6 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Mizuno Wave Rider 23

Reasons to buy
  • Great cushion, softer in heel
  • Flexible
  • Everyday Trainer
  • Improved upper from previous model
“The Mizuno Wave Rider is a high-mileage trainer that makes minor changes to create a softer ride than its predecessor. The Wave Rider continues to be Mizuno's Go-To Shoe, suitable for both training runs and long races. ”
Recommended for
The Wave Rider is great for most neutral runners especially those who prefer a firmer ride under their foot or a small touch of stability over the course of longer runs.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert
Read the full review of Wave Rider 23
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Sky 2

Weight
11.50 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Mizuno Wave Sky 2

Reasons to buy
  • Midsole AeroHug technology gives a secure feeling
  • Durability
  • Stable
“The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is a neutral trainer intended for maximum cushioning over long distances. It is a firm shoe that performs well in the very specific use of long runs with some added stability.”
Recommended for
Intermediate runners who want a neutral shoe capable of logging mile after miler, with a touch of stability and a firm ride. It can also be useful for heavier runners looking for a more supportive trainer who do not need a full stability shoe.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert
Read the full review of Wave Sky 2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Creation 19

Weight
12.40 oz.
Drop
11 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Mizuno Wave Creation 19

Reasons to buy
  • Soft cushioning
  • Fit (after a few false starts)
  • Well built
“The Mizuno Wave Creation 19 is a neutral highly cushioned shoe that is intended to be a daily trainer and for longer runs. This shoe is one of the heaviest shoes out there. It may be the heaviest shoe in the category. We recommend it to heavier-set runners. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is for long slow runs and can handle distances up to a marathon. Folks on the heavier side will get the most benefit from the cushioning.
Sean Kenney
Running Expert
Read the full review of Wave Creation 19
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Shadow

Weight
8.80 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Mizuno Wave Shadow

Reasons to buy
  • Surprisingly light for what’s in the shoe
“The Mizuno Wave Shadow is the first in a new line of shoes designed to be lightweight daily trainers. It performs well, but has a few quirks that keep it from being a great shoe.”
Recommended for
This shoe is best for intermediate to advanced runners who like the support and cushioning unique to the Wave design found in Mizuno shoes, and who don’t mind a few drawbacks to get this design in a light shoe.
Frank May
Fast Runner, Triathlete and Engineer
Read the full review of Wave Shadow
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Sonic

Weight
7.80 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Mizuno Wave Sonic

Reasons to buy
  • Durability
  • Offers more stability then most racing options
“The Mizuno Wave Sonic is a new edition to their racing line up that will eventually become the only racing option that Mizuno offers. While it is affordable and is very durable for a racing shoe, it does not feel as fast as other racing options on the market. ”
Recommended for
The Mizuno Wave Sonic is recommended to runners who want a racing shoe with a low drop and more stability then the average flat. It can appeal to runners who want a flat at an affordable price and can be used for the 10K to half-marathon distance.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert
Read the full review of Wave Sonic
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 8

Weight
13.4 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 8

Reasons to buy
“The Wave Prophecy 8 is the top of the line full cushioned neutral trainer from Mizuno. It includes every technology and luxury Mizuno has to offer. ”
Recommended for
We recommend the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 8 to any runner who is looking for a full cushioned top of the line luxury neutral trainer for daily training.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Wave Prophecy 8
or buy them here: Men / Women

Best Stability Mizuno Running Shoes

I personally love Mizuno's stability shoes, and I logged lots of miles both in the Inspire and Catalyst.

There are currently 4 models in this line, and here they are:

First choice

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

Reasons to buy
  • Upper redesign
  • Forefoot flexibility
  • Built for miles
“The Mizuno Wave Inspire 16, a moderate stability trainer, is built to be a workhouse. The inconsistent ride makes it hard to want to run in them everyday.”
Recommended for
A runner who is looking for a moderate stability trainer to add to their rotation that is built for miles.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Wave Inspire 16
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Paradox 4

Weight
11.10 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Stability

Mizuno Wave Paradox 4

Reasons to buy
  • Highly durable shoe.
  • Maximum amount of support.
  • Incredibly comfortable upper.
“The Mizuno Wave Paradox offers some of the highest stability and support out today. Spiritual successor to the now retired Nirvana, it has a firm ride and very comfortable upper. ”
Recommended for
Recommended for runners that need the highest amount of support and pronation control. Ideal trainer for someone working toward their first half marathon or marathon.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Wave Paradox 4
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Weight
10.7 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Reasons to buy
  • Simplified design ~ lighter weight
  • Redesigned Upper ~ Snug & Comfortable
  • Revamped Sole unit ~ Stable Support
  • Durable shoe all around
“Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 is completely redone for a simpler, sleeker shoe that offers a secure fit with support and flexibility right where I need them.  This innovative design makes waves toward stability with strategically contoured foam layers in the midsole, without sacrificing the durability this line is known for.”
Recommended for
Wear this shoe for long runs or as an all-around trainer if you like a close-fitting upper and want the feel of an old-school stability shoe without the unnecessary bulk.
Look into this one if you want a touch of pillowy cushion - not so much you're riding high but enough to take the edge off -...
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Wave Horizon 4
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2

Weight
9.8 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2

Reasons to buy
  • Quite lightweight
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Good stability for a fast shoe
  • Upper improvement vs last year
“Same as for last year's model, I do love these shoes. They come in a category that is missing competitors and therefore very welcome. The upper fits nicely but materials could be better.”
Recommended for
I recommend this shoe for all runners who need/enjoy good support and stability during their run and want a fast, decently lightweight shoe for their fast days and racing days.
Ruggero Loda
Founder and Publisher, Running Shoes Guru
Read the full review of Wave Catalyst 2
or buy them here: Men / Women

Mizuno Wave Plate

Mizuno’s signature technology is the Wave plate. It is a plastic plate that runs through the midsole of their shoes. The Wave plate is most visible in the heel portion of Mizuno shoes, where it is shaped like the waves of the ocean.

Mizuno Wave Plate

Mizuno Wave Plate

The idea is that the Wave plate will absorb impact and disperse it throughout the length of the plate, like a shock absorber.

Another feature of the Wave plate is its inherent stability. Think of a strip of cardboard. Cardboard bends and folds very easily in one direction, but is very difficult to twist side-to-side. The Wave plate is the exact same way. As a result, even their neutral shoes will have some inherent stability, usually much more than comparable shoes from other makers.

Almost all Mizuno running shoes will have some type of Wave plate. The length and shape of the plate might differ. Sometimes a shoe might feature a double Wave plate. But if you see a Wave plate, then you know you’re looking at a Mizuno running shoe.

EU4IC and EU4ICX

Every running shoe maker that uses EVA foam to create the midsole of their running shoes will use a specific formula in order to produce a feel that is specific to them. Mizuno shoes are characterized by a responsive feel. That means Mizuno shoes tend to be on the firmer side. You’ll feel like your feet are landing on the ground, not the clouds.

While that might not sound like the most comfortable experience in the world, the tradeoff is a more responsive ride. It’s like running on a sandy beach: the landing is soft, but it feels like you have to work harder to keep your legs moving. Mizuno wants you to feel like you are landing on firm ground, not sinking into the sand.

In 2013, Mizuno released the latest generation of their foam: U4ic (pronounced, “Euphoric”). It first featured in their light weight trainer, Wave Sayonara, and has made its way into every Mizuno running shoe since then. U4ic replaced AP+. And while U4ic still feels more responsive than other midsoles on the market, it is softer than the old AP+.

The best I can describe U4ic compared to AP+ is that U4ic feels spongier. It’s still a far cry from running on clouds or sand, but it’s not as firm as AP+ was, although just as responsive. U4ic is also much lighter than AP+. According to Mizuno, it’s 30% lighter. And that has let Mizuno offer lighter shoes without sacrificing cushioning.

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