One of the living legends among running shoes, the Mizuno Wave Rider is a best-selling neutral, everyday training shoes intended for high-mileage running. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is the 2020 edition of the shoe.
The Wave Rider has evolved through the years and changed slightly as modern materials and technologies have been introduced. But, it remains a cushy, smooth-riding and very reliable running shoe for a wide range of runners.
WHAT’S NEW: MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 24
The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is lighter, softer, more stable and more responsive than the previous edition. That’s made possible by a slice of Mizuno’s new Enerzy midsole foam, more outsole surface area for optimal ground contact and more effective flex grooves in the forefoot.
The new edition also fits better, thanks to a more padded heel collar and a slightly roomier toe box. Wave Rider 23 was a very good shoe, but Wave Rider 24 is an exceptional one.
The Wave Rider 24 is available with two different uppers. Either a two-layer engineered mesh with horizontal laser perforations for breathability or a WaveKnit upper built from a soft, supportive flat-knit construction.
(Note: The Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit weighs slightly more than the standard version.)
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The fit of this year’s Mizuno Wave Rider has changed appreciably. It features a more comfortable and secure fit in the heel and a slightly wider fit in the forefoot to allow the transverse arch to flex and the toes to splay.
It has a similarly cushy feel from previous editions. So, when you step into the shoe it has a comfortable wrap-like sensation when you lace it up.
The ride is also similar to previous models — smooth, stable and consistent. Only, it’s now a tad bit softer and more responsive. This is thanks to the new Enerzy foam under the Parallel Wave plate in the rear of the midsole as well as the modified flex grooves in the forefoot.
It’s always been the consummate workhorse training shoe and it remains a durable, trusted shoe. Now that it’s lighter, softer and more energetic, it also has a bit of a penchant for faster running.
WHO IS IT BEST FOR?
Runners who enjoy a feeling of soft, plush cushioning, a smooth ride and a touch of reliable support, will love the Wave Rider 24. It’s perfect for long runs, tempo runs and recovery runs with ease.
Plus, its inherent comfort and support allow it to be an ideal half marathon or marathon shoe for a wide range of recreational runners.
This edition of the Wave Rider will feel noticeably more cushy — 17 percent more cushy according to Mizuno. But it also provides 15 percent boost in rebound, providing an ultimate combination of shock absorption and energy return.
The outsole has segments of hardy carbon rubber under the heel for long-wearing durability and segments of blow rubber in the forefoot for soft, lightweight landings and slightly more energetic toe-offs. But the new forefoot flex grooves are what really helps put a spring in your step at the beginning of a new stride.
The Waver Rider has never been a flat-out speed burner and even the slightly lighter version cannot compare to the agility of a performance trainer.
It’s not ideal for short intervals, but it can hold its own at mile repeats and fartlek runs in a pinch.
SHOP MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 24
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He 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. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.
As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “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.”