MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | SEPTEMBER, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Mizuno Wave Rider 22?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Nike Odyssey React
- About the Author
Come on down and discover what's new with the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. Want a clue? It's changed a lot since its early versions.
Guest JackRabbit reviewer, Brian Metzler takes the new Wave Rider out for some test runs and gives us his two cents on this strong legacy running shoe.
One of the all-time best-selling running shoes, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is a neutral-oriented legacy shoe has been a favorite among runners for years, and it should continue to be with the release of the 22nd edition—even though it has changed a bit from what it used to be.
Although once a firmer shoe with a responsive ride, the Wave Rider has morphed over the past few editions to become a more comfortable cushioned cruiser with a soft, forgiving ride.
WHAT'S NEW WITH THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22
Two significant changes to the midsole chassis have created a much softer ride than previous editions of this shoe.
First, this shoe has a much more noticeably decoupled heel crash pad, and, secondly, the midsole foam in the heel has been perforated above the redesigned plastic Wave plate, both of which allow for greater rearfoot compression upon impact with the ground and also reduce the rigid feeling of the previous versions.
The upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 has also been retooled with a stretchy two-layer engineered mesh over the entire shoe that contributes to the its increased the comfort and breathability.
When it comes to creature comforts, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 ranks up there with the softest and comfiest shoes on the market. Runners with medium to wide feet or high-volume feet will love this shoe because of the more generous fit offered in its recent editions, especially this one. Although its cushy, interior padding allows it to conform well to moderately narrow feet (although not quite as well in the heel), it really accommodates medium to wide feet with aplomb.
The ride is unapologetically soft but also consistently smooth at most speeds. It doesn’t necessarily have the energetic “pop” of some of its contemporaries with next-gen foam packages, but the modifications to the Wave Rider system built into the midsole help to subtly and effortlessly channel energy from heel to midfoot to forefoot.
There’s no denying the Wave Rider 22 exudes a soft sensation upon landing, but it has enough stabilizing midfoot structure to keep its composure and plenty of forefoot flexibility to serve up a mildly energetic vibe at the toe-off of a stride.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is for any runner who appreciates a bouncy softness in every stride. It is sublimely soft with only marginal lateral support, so we’d recommend it for someone who can truly handle a neutral ride. It’s a comfortable shoe that thrives at slow to moderate paces and distances, but it can also be a do-everything, everyday trainer for beginner to intermediate runners.
PROS AND CONS OF THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22
While this isn’t the lightest shoe in the neutral cushioned trainer category, this edition of the Wave Rider is about a ½ ounce lighter than the last several versions and feels light and airy right out of the box. Also, the outsole rubber has a little bit more striated definition to it, which has improved the traction on wet and slippery surfaces.
The lacing system and extra wide and luxuriously plush tongue helps create a reliably snug and comfortable fit for a variety of foot shapes and widths.
It’s not necessarily a shoe our wear-testers thought was built for top-end speed for 5K racing or speed work or long-distance efforts from 20 miles to the marathon.
However, it could be the ideal tool of choice for 10Ks, half marathons or longer tempo runs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”