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.
[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2020. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is the best Mizuno shoe for everyday training because it provides
quality support and a consistent ride, day after day, week after week.
Mizuno engineers the Rider with two types of foam: U4ic and U4icX (pronounced like “euphoric”). A layer of firmer, more responsive U4ic foam runs the length of the shoe from heel to toe, and a cap of softer U4icX foam sits beneath the heel to create more cushioned landings.
The latest Wave Rider maintains the same firm ride and supportive structure as previous versions, but designers refreshed the upper for a sleeker, more modern look. A more minimal engineered mesh upper breathes well and gives the Rider a more streamlined silhouette than older models.
In the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 review, Fleet Feet testers loved the firm ride and silky transitions. After more than two decades on the market, the latest Mizuno Wave Rider 23 lives up to the name as one of the best everyday training options around.
The Wave Horizon isn’t a new shoe, but the Wave Horizon 4 is a completely redesigned take on the family name.
What makes the Wave Horizon 4 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 4 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 in the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 review the shoe delivers the best of both worlds: a well-cushioned, responsive ride and good stability.
In the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 review, Fleet Feet runners were eager to test out Mizuno’s first shoe without its signature Wave Plate. They weren’t disappointed.
The Wave Sky Waveknit 3 provides maximum cushioning thanks to the new Foam Wave that made its debut with the update. Unlike the Wave Horizon, the Wave Sky Waveknit 3 is a neutral running shoe, and the Foam Wave reflects that with rounded waves on both the medial and lateral sides.
Designers used the rounded shapes—as opposed to rectangular shapes—to give the shoe a more cushioned feel. With an additional layer of soft and responsive XPOP foam sandwiched into the midsole, the Wave Sky Waveknit is soft and bouncy.
Capped with a knit upper that feels plush and cozy, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 is the best Mizuno running shoe for cushion and comfort.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 is the stability sibling to the Wave Rider, so you get great structure and support as well as extra stability from Mizuno’s Wave Plate.
Mizuno tweaks the Wave Plate technology to dial up certain attributes. In the Wave Inspire, the Wave Plate creates added stability.
If you held the Wave Inspire and Wave Rider in front of you, you’d see a clear difference in the shape of the plate embedded into the shoe. The Inspire’s Wave Plate has more prominent peaks and valleys on the medial side of the shoe, while the Rider sports a mellower form.
Both versions help evenly disperse impact across the shoe, but the Inspire’s plate design adds the stability overpronators are looking for.
Just like the Rider, though, the Wave Inspire 16 is very supportive and delivers a firmer, responsive ride.
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.
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.
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 2020 for more great shoes.
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