Go OutsideGear: Mizuno Wave Rider 15

Gear: Mizuno Wave Rider 15

The Mizuno Wave Rider 15 is loaded with tech.

I’m a casual runner in every sense of the phrase. I’ll log a few miles a few times a week, anything more than that and I’m running the risk of extreme tiredness. Being a casual runner, I don’t know that much about running gear, which consists mainly of shoes since that appears to be the only piece of gear that matters – for example I witnessed a man coming in from what appeared to be a significantly taxing jog while wearing tight black hipster jean cutoffs. I knew it was a jog and not an emergency because he was wearing running shoes and not jellies. He also checked his mailbox before heading for the door, which had a sign on it that said, “Poverty Barn.”

You can draw your own conclusions from that previous paragraph, but that guy is my neighbor.

Aaaaanyway. I got a sweet new pair of kicks to review, specifically the Mizuno Wave Rider 15 running shoe, and I’m all about new kicks because I have this weird shoe/sock OCD. I had never worn a Mizuno shoe, much less run in one, up to this point – and too be honest with you, I thought they only made baseball and golf equipment. Surprise! I had on my feet the Mizuno running flagship; and on top of that, this was the 15th anniversary of the series, so they have been in the game for a while to say the least.

Industry, Science, and Technology

Mizuno set out to make the perfect running shoe and they think they have with the Mizuno Wave Rider 15. The Wave in Wave Rider refers to Mizuno’s Wave Technology, which uses the natural waves (sound, tidal, stadium) of nature to produce a more perfect midsole.  That is about all I can gather from their description; I assume its actual functionality is borderline magic, if not heresy.

Wave Technology is supposed to provide a more gentle ride while reducing weight and keeping you balanced over the shoe – which it does. Not sure what waves have to do with it because as anyone who has been blindsided by a double overhead at the beach or an air-horn at any moment in time, those waves are not gentle. Lucky for us, the ones in the bottom of the shoe are more like the stadium variety, good wholesome fun for the whole family.

The Wave Rider 15 also utilize Mizuno innovations called SmoothRide Engineering™ (“Minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot during transition, creating the smoothest ride possible”) and Dynamotion Fit™ (“Relives the stress the foot naturally places on footwear, eliminating distortion for the perfect fit”). So you’ve got that going for you when you lace them up.


It’s still a shoe, right?

Yup, so the only way to know if the technology lives up to the lofty standards is to get some miles in.

Essentially, all this moody technology thrown into one shoe makes the Wave Rider 15 a running quiver of one. Long distance, intervals, races, looking fly while walking the dog, this shoe covers it all due to its light weight (10.6 oz) and lock down fit. My foot runs very narrow and for this reason I’ve mainly chosen Nike because it usually runs narrower than the rest and I get a better fit without having to cinch up like a corset. The Wave Rider 15’s heel and mid foot wrap my foot up nice and snug, which is the main thing I care about. The heel cup performs especially well on my slippery heels.

Apparently the magic of Wave Technology works like a charm because my feet could not be happier with the cushioning. Heel to toe is fluid and gentle, even on cement. I also like the stiffness of the shoe, although this has been a source of contention on the internets for diehard Wave Rider fans. A stiffer shoe appeals to more people than a floppy racing flat-esque runner so Mizuno gave the people what they wanted.

The Wave Rider 15 also runs true to size so go with what you know for the best fit.

All in all, the Wave Rider 15 is a great running shoe that blends cushioning, lightness and support exceptionally well. Throw in the durability factor and this could be the last shoe you’ll ever need.

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