This week I had the opportunity to try out Wave Rider 18s. No, sadly this does not mean I was anywhere near a beach or the ocean but rather stepping into Mizuno’s latest running kicks. The latest in the Wave Rider line, Mizuno built the the 18s with a lightweight daily running shoe in mind.
Note: This post is sponsored by Mizuno in partnership with FitFluential LLC.
We all have our go-to running shoes and mine this past year have been the Adidas Adizeros, which I was planning to keep on with unless they make some drastic changes. Given this, I was honestly a little antsy about switching things up. So how did things go?
First and foremost, as any fashion-conscious runner considers, is how they look. I love my dark purple Adizeros, but I’m not going to lie – I was pretty excited to receive the color scheme that I did: Black / Silver / Florida Keys. I’m a huge fan of black sneakers and the teal, white and silver add some nice contrast (even straight through to the laces).. The red Mizuno logo on the heel adds a final hip touch.
Next, the fit. When I asked about the sizing when figuring out which to get, the Mizuno representative said that the sneakers fit true to size. For me, this would mean a women’s size 7. I found, however, that they fit a tiny bit snug in the toe box. Not so much that I would send them back, but that I’d be more likely to use them on smaller training runs than long ones for fear of the dreaded black toenails (which I unfortunately experienced by the time I completed the NYC marathon last year). Although the shoes appear wide, they are actually pretty stiff and supportive in width. The laces are a bit shorter than I like because I typically double knot to ensure my laces don’t untie during a run, but these guys stayed nice and content (and tied).
Most importantly, the performance. The Wave Riders are not quite as light (7.8 oz vs 6.7 oz) and have a greater ramp or heel-to-toe drop than the Adizeros (12 mm vs. 9 mm). With a neutral foot and a tendency for my calf muscles to get tight, I’ve started being more conscious about having supportive but not overly cushioned shoes. This level of “just enough” support is a goal of the U4ic midsole and patented Wave Technology ®, which features a Double Fan Wave with articled forefront Wave Plate for the optimal blend of shock attenuation, guidance and lightweight flexibility. They are not quite as flexible in my opinion as my other kicks, but the shoes felt better than I anticipated on some easy training runs. The 18s provided just enough support and cushion without feeling like they were overdoing it .
I can’t yet say much about durability since I’ve only gotten in a few runs with the Wave Riders, but the Dynamotion ® Fit TM upper and a modified outsole pattern are purported by Mizuno to relieve the stress the foot naturally places on footwear, eliminating distortion and giving the shoe added durability. I’ll keep you posted on this one.
The verdict: I surprised even myself by ending up liking the Wave Rider 18s. They definitely meet Mizuno’s goal for a supportive, yet lightweight daily running shoe. Since I’ve become a fan of a lighter racing shoe, I’m probably going to stick to the 18s for training – ones that I will surely enjoy wearing.