Best Mizuno Running Shoes 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
High-quality support and smooth rides are the calling cards of the best Mizuno running shoes.
Those qualities propelled Mizuno into the spotlight, and their continuous development of the best running shoe technology lights the road ahead. With some of the most popular running shoes on the market every year, Mizuno is a great brand for beginners and experts alike.
From the shoes that soak up most of your training miles to the race-day models you bust out a few times a year, the best Mizuno running shoes will help you reach your goals.
- Best for Everyday Training: Mizuno Wave Rider 24
- Best for Overpronators: Mizuno Wave Horizon 5
- Best for Cushioning: Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 4
- Best for Support: Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
[Updated April 29, 2021. This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Best Mizuno Running Shoes for Everyday Training
Mizuno Wave Rider 24
The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is as consistent and comfortable as they come, which is why it's the best Mizuno running shoe for everyday training.
Mizuno updated the classic Rider this year with a new kind of foam called Mizuno Enerzy. The new cushion brings a softer and bouncier feel to the Wave Rider for more comfort in every step. Designers paired the Enerzy foam with the tried-and-tested U4ic to maintain the Rider's responsive feel.
There are also two upper options this year. Mizuno built the standard version with an engineered mesh upper but added an option for a knit upper, which Mizuno calls Waveknit. Fleet Feet runners say the two options let you choose the most comfortable fit without changing the ride.
With a full-rubber outsole for added traction and durability, the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is built for hundreds of miles of use.
Read more in our Mizuno Wave Rider 24 review.
Best Mizuno Running Shoes for Overpronators
Mizuno Wave Horizon 5
The Wave Horizon 5 is an update to Mizuno's classic stability shoe that boasts both technological and aesthetic advances.
What makes the Wave Horizon 5 the best Mizuno shoes for overpronators is the brand new Foam Wave. The Foam Wave replaces the signature Wave Plate that’s been embedded in many Mizuno running shoes, but it serves the same purpose.
Designers created the Foam Wave to give its running shoes a floating feeling, and they tweaked it in the Wave Horizon 5 to add stability. To do that, Mizuno changed the shape of the waves on each side of the shoe. The rectangular waves on the medial side (instep) compress less than the rounded waves on the lateral side (outside), creating the stability overpronators need.
The floating feeling comes from a strip of XPOP foam set into the shoe. The foam is bouncier than the surrounding material, which gives it the easy riding sensation. Fleet Feet testers said the shoe delivers the best of both worlds: a well-cushioned, responsive ride and good stability.
Read more in our Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 review.
Best Mizuno Running Shoes for Max Cushion
Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 4
Mizuno used its two softest foams to make its most-cushioned running shoe. Meet the Wave Sky Waveknit 4.
Designers layered the Wave Sky with its popular U4icX and its new Mizuno Enerzy foams. The soft foams create a supremely cushioned step, while a third foam, called XPOP, adds a bit of bounce.
One Fleet Feet runner said the shoe delivers all the plushness of the puffiest max-cushioned shoes without the tall stack height.
“It’s very soft without feeling mushy," he said. "There’s still some firmness there to push off from.”
With a soft Waveknit upper, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 4 wraps your foot in comfort for as many miles as your legs can handle.
Read more in our Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 4 review.
Best Mizuno Running Shoes for Support
Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
The Mizuno Wave Inspire is a tried and true stability shoe that runners of all levels love. The Wave Inspire 17 features a refreshed aesthetic and new, softer midsole foam to cushion each step.
Mizuno tweaks the Wave Plate technology to dial up certain attributes. In the Wave Inspire, the Wave Plate creates added stability by dispersing weight evenly across the shoe without feeling overly rigid.
Our reviewers loved the accommodating shape of the Wave Inspire 17. "I have a slightly more rectangular shaped foot, and the Inspire fits me really well,” one reviewer says. “My heel stays put, and more forefoot has plenty of room."
Mizuno incorporated Mizuno Energy foam into the midsole to provide responsive cushioning that lasts through daily training and wear. The shock absorption that the Mizuno Energy foam provides adds to the overall stabilized feel of the shoe and makes it a favorite among our reviewers.
Read more in our Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 review.
Recent Mizuno Reviews
Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
Mizuno Wave Technology
Mizuno’s Wave technology takes many forms across its range of running shoes.
The Wave’s first job is to promote flexibility. The orientation of the waves creates natural flexibility that works with your foot as it rolls through its transition, but at the same time it resists bending laterally, or from side to side, to improve stability.
After flexibility, the Wave also has to absorb and disperse the impact forces of running and then return some of that energy to create responsiveness. Mizuno says the Wave is able to direct impact forces away from your body but also keep those forces centered in the shoe so you get a more stable feeling.
The new generation of Wave Technology, though, is Mizuno’s Foam Wave. The Foam Wave ditches the traditional plastic insert in favor of foam. Like the Wave Plate, designers influence a shoe’s ride by tweaking the shapes of the wave—flat and rectangular for stability, tall and rounded for cushion.
How We Picked the Best Mizuno Running Shoes
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best Mizuno running shoes for most runs and the most runners.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
Best Running Shoe Brands
Mizuno makes some of the best running shoes in the business, but there are plenty of excellent shoes from other brands. See the best running shoe brands 2021 for more great shoes.
Best Running Shoe Brands