Shoe Test: Wave Rider 17 Men’s Size 11.5. Tested on pavement, asphalt and dry mixed trail terrain (non technical) in Austin, TX. Temperatures were 58 degrees and low humidity.
Traditionally the Mizuno Wave Rider and most of the family of Mizuno running has always had an advantage from the “sexiest” looking shoes on the wall. While this has not changed, it has become more obvious they are taking more cues from the Japanese heritage of the brand in appearance and simplicity. Slimming the upper weight and removing some of the overlay restrictions allowed a bit more room for my foot to splay. This minimal overlay feel with heat bonding instead of the traditional sewn in approach is in line with most brands and the direction for most all of specialty running. Using this approach it really provides a seamless feel on the inside to match the new softer midsole.
The New U4ic midsole and redesigned Wave plate has not noticeably sacrificed anything from the abuse my body and weight can offer. The stiffness from some previous models in the heel counter area has been addressed without compromising the buckled in feeling you expect from your Mizuno fit. At first I was concerned about having to lace up a bit snugger for the freedom my foot felt inside the shoe but that was alleviated immediately as I never once had to think about it during my test runs
Weighing in at 8.8 ounces for a men’s size 9 is impressive. Now I am a size 11.5 and had not put it on the scale as of yet. The best way I can describe the ride is that I am pleasantly surprised. I have run in each version of the Wave Rider since the Rider 9 and it seems the combination of the new lighter plusher midsole and less restrictive overlays alloyed my feet to adapt to more surfaces and less fatigue was noticeable. Great Job Mizuno, we have a winner.
The Wave Inspire 10 had not arrived in store by time this was published.