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Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 review

7 expert score
9 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Mizuno with our own money.
Review written on 12th February by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
157 other reviews

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a unique racer designed to quicken transitions by forcing you to midfoot/forefoot strike. It’s not a top-tier racer because it doesn’t have the springboard snap due to its heel cutoff, so it doesn't feel as fast. For most runners, it’s only suitable for short-distance races and workouts due to its instability and the ankle strength that you need when you use it. Version 2 has a better fitting upper, a stiffer midsole and a softer, more bouncy ride.

The pros

  • Improved fit
  • More stability
  • Unique, fun ride
  • Amazing traction
  • Weight reduction

The cons

  • Still very unstable
  • Not as propulsive as other super shoes
  • Loose heel and no ability to do heel lock lacing


Rating breakdown

Comfort
6.0
Build quality
7.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
6.0
Traction
10
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
6.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Previous model
Weight
7.6 oz (215 g)
MSRP
$250.00

Heel
38 mm.
Toe
36 mm.
Heel drop
2 mm.
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Not particularly stable
Flexibility
Rigid

Usage

Racing  
Speedwork  
Daily training
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 ?

If you’re a midfoot or forefoot striker and you have very good running form, the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is for you. If you want a maximalist racer with unique transitions, you should also give it a try.

Who should not buy the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 ?

If you’re a heavy heel striker or you have weak ankles, you should skip the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 because it requires you to run in a very specific way or else it feels awkward.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Introduction

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

It’s really hard to stand out in a market crowded with super shoes which all have full-length carbon plates, are the maximum legal stack height and are all roughly the same price. Yet, Mizuno’s Wave Rebellion Pro series manages to be a truly unique offering with a wild ride and a futuristic geometry.

When I tested the original Wave Rebellion Pro last year, I enjoyed it so much that I raced a half marathon in it a few weeks later. While I didn’t get a PB, it was still interesting and fun to race in a shoe which you rarely see on the starting line at races. It struggled a bit when it came to the twists and turns because of its narrow platform and by the 18th kilometre of the HM, my ankles felt really weak due to its instability. I didn’t use it for a race again.

The Wave Rebellion Pro doesn’t feel like a Mizuno, and I mean that as a compliment. Mizuno isn’t known for pushing the boundaries of innovation when it comes to their running shoes so the Rebellion Pro was a pleasant surprise and so far, it’s my favourite Mizuno to date.

Although late to the super shoe game, Mizuno did really well for their first attempt at a true super shoe. There are still some supply issues though as the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 (like the original) is a very difficult shoe to buy and is not currently widely available. I had to import my pair from Singapore. I had to import my second pair from Australia.

The Wave Rebellion Pro 2 weighs 7.6 oz (215 g) which is acceptable for a marathon super shoe. This is a weight drop of 0.3 oz (8 g) from the previous version for a men’s US9. It still costs $250.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 First Impressions

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

My first run was a tough 35 kilometre long run at a steady pace for the first 27 and at tempo pace for the last 8 km. My first observation was that this new version felt more stable. This was due to the medial side gap in the midsole being filled in. It still felt very unstable going down steep hills though and I had to concentrate on how I was striking the ground so that I didn’t roll an ankle.

For the first 20 kilometres when my socks were dry, it felt great but as soon as my socks got drenched in sweat, my foot was slipping around inside the shoe like a wet fish. What makes things worse is that your feet sit at an angle in the shoe so your feet continuously slide forward.

The cushioning felt good but I didn’t feel as much speed assistance as in other super shoes. This is because of the heel cutoff design and the fact that the forefoot rocker isn’t as prominent or aggressive.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Upper

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

The Rebellion Pro’s upper is as stripped down as it gets when it comes to racing uppers. The most important thing is that Mizuno improved the sizing, making the forefoot wider and more comfortable. It now fits true to size- the first version was a half size too small.

The paper thin tongue is not gusseted but there is a lace loop in the middle of the tongue so there isn’t a lot of tongue slide. There isn’t much collar or heel padding either but I don’t get any blisters or hot spots.

Unfortunately, there are no double first row eyelets so you can’t use a runner’s knot. For me, there’s no heel slippage but the heel is slightly loose and not as secure as I’d like.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Sole Unit

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

I enjoy the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 most when I’m doing short, fast bursts like intervals which are 3 km or shorter. During longer, slower efforts, I’m landing too far back on the outsole and it feels like hitting a speed bump.

If you’ve ever run in the road and stepped directly on a speed bump, you’ll know exactly what it feels like to run in the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 when you run slowly or you heel strike.

The Wave Rebellion Pro’s unique design with a heel cut-off encourages midfoot or forefoot striking in order to quicken transitions but it only feels natural when you’re running really fast and landing on the forefoot.

One of the major changes in the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is that the carbon infused plate is stiffer than the original version. There’s also no more gap in the midsole, which makes it harder to flex. These characteristics make the ride more aggressive and make it feel faster because it flexes less.

Although the Rebellion Pro 2 looks really fast and aggressive, for me, it doesn’t provide as much speed assistance as other super shoes. This is because the heel is off the ground and there’s no springboard effect. The front of the plate is anchored by the ground but the heel is floating in the air so your foot can’t load the rear of the plate and in turn, the plate can’t act like a springboard to shoot you forward.

The forefoot rocker also doesn’t feel as aggressive to me as other racers. I don’t feel the forward-tipping sensation during toe-offs so it doesn’t feel very punchy. This may be due to the fact that the plate is carbon-infused and not fully carbon so it has more flexibility than carbon plates.

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

The other major change in this update is that the decoupled groove underneath the shoe is wider, deeper and more centralised. The result is a ride which feels softer and more bouncy because the midsole has the ability to splay more when loaded.

The top layer of the midsole is Enerzy Lite+ while the bottom is Enerzy Lite. Both foams feel similar in density and I wouldn’t describe them as being very soft and squishy. The Rebellion Pro 2 has a medium-soft ride, similar to the Adios Pro 3 and Metaspeed Sky+.

The ride is more stable in v2, especially for over pronators. In the previous version, there was the gap in the midsole but in this version, the gap has been filled so there’s more support on the medial side of the shoe.

It’s still however one of the most unstable racers I’ve tested due to the outsole being about a quarter shorter than most running shoes so less of your foot is in contact with the ground. I even find the Adidas Prime X 2 more stable than the Wave Rebellion Pro 2.

The longest run I did in the Rebellion Pro 2 was 35 km but I wouldn’t do another long run in it because you really need to concentrate on your foot strike and it’s also very demanding on your ankles/calves as your heels never touch the ground.

The Wave Rebellion Pro’s G3 rubber on its outsole is one of the best I’ve ever experienced when it comes to traction. The small teeth bite into the ground and the traction is unaffected by rain. Durability is also improved and the outer heel section isn’t showing as much wear as the original version did after 80 kilometres.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Conclusions

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

The Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is still one of the most innovative super shoes on the market. Mizuno managed to make the heel of it more than 40 mm in stack height and still race legal by shortening the outsole. By doing this, it has also created issues for certain runners.

It isn’t a racer for heavy heel strikers and overpronators. It takes a certain level of skill and a certain running form to unlock its full potential. I’m a light heel striker with mild overpronation and I find the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 too aggressive and too unstable to run a full marathon in. My ankles and calves would be destroyed by the end of the marathon.

Picture of Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

I enjoy using it for short intervals and short tempo runs but I wouldn’t use it for an important short distance race because I feel that it doesn’t provide as much speed assistance as other racers. This is mainly due to the forefoot rocker being not as aggressive and the lack of a heel so the rear of the plate can’t be used as a springboard.

Version 2 is definitely an improvement over version 1. Not only is the weight lower but there is more stability and more bounce thanks to the new midsole design. The upper also fits much better so it’s more comfortable.

$250 is too much for the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 considering its lack of versatility.

There are many other $250 super shoes which can handle sharp turns much better and offer more speed assistance.

The Wave Rebellion Pro 2 however is unmatched when it comes to traction.

How does the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 compare?

Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung
Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Hoka One One HOKA Cielo Road
Expert score
9
7
7
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$300
US$250
US$159.95
Shoe type
Weight
10.85 oz
7.6 oz
7.1 oz
Heel Drop
7 mm
2 mm
3 mm
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork, long distance racing, ultra distance racing
Racing, speedwork
Racing, speedwork
Cushioning type
balanced
balanced
responsive
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
Flexibility
rigid
rigid
medium
Stability
not particularly stable
not particularly stable
not particularly stable
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Mizuno at Mizuno  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.

Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 12th February.
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

User feedback (5)

  • avatar-comment-1035935
    Dario
    1 month ago
    9 score

    Just want to add my opinion after about 50M racing with the REB pro 2
    I think as of today, for my running style landing mid/front foot this is the fastest shoe available on the market.
    Probably it is not for everyone due to the particular shape, but if you can make them work those are exceptional and they really push you forward.
    I feel that for some reason Mizuno is still really underrated vs the other popular brands.
    Rebellion pro 2 and Flash 2 are both great shoes.

  • avatar-comment-1034998
    Mts
    3 months ago

    “This is because the heel is off the ground and there’s no springboard effect. The front of the plate is anchored by the ground but the heel is floating in the air so your foot can’t load the rear of the plate and in turn, the plate can’t act like a springboard to shoot you forward.”
    That statement makes no sense. Having the heel off the ground would actually create a fulcrum point that would allow for greater “loading” of the rear of the plate. I’m not suggesting your experience of the feel or the result is incorrect, but your explanation is not consistent with the physics of the system.

    • avatar-comment-1035009
      Brandon
      3 months ago

      You can’t load the rear of the plate as hard if the heel is floating up in the air. There’s a greater downward force when the heel is touching the ground, especially if you’re a heel striker.

      • avatar-comment-1036122
        MTS
        4 weeks ago

        I’m not sure you understand what loading means. This shoe is obviously not for heel strikers, but think of the plate like a spring board for diving into a pool. Loading the spring board means bending the end below the point of the fulcrum, which stores energy that gets returned as the board propels the diver upward. If the heel is kept off the ground the plate can deflect more toward the ground, storing energy to release as it propels the runner up.

      • avatar-comment-1036123
        Brandon
        4 weeks ago

        No, that’s only if the lever is flat. The Wave Rebellion has a curved sole and the midfoot section gets in the way.

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