Last week, Mizuno celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Wave Rider by launching its arrival with a quick run around Bonifacio High Street. I was one of the lucky ones who were able to try it first but before I go in-depth, here are some information about the Mizuno Wave Rider 20.
— Press Release —
The Evolution of Wave Rider
Mizuno, true to its ‘never settle’ manifesto, has worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to develop the Wave Rider 20 into the runner’s choice that it is today. In celebration of the culmination of improvements, some big and some small, in material, design and technology, Mizuno’s restless pursuit of perfection is obvious. There remains some semblance from the original design but ultimately the Wave Rider has improved year on year and continues to impress even the purest of runners.
The Road to Perfection
Part of the research and developmental process for the Wave Rider was critically listening to feedback. The most significant example is a consumer study known as Kansei Engineering, which is a Japanese product philosophy that simulates the buying experience for runners. The ultimate result of this was finding out exactly what athletes were looking for when purchasing their next running shoe. The ability to embrace innovation and also adapt to feedback is what has made Mizuno’s Wave Rider 20 the success that it is today.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. When originally conceived, the Wave Rider was but a shadow of today’s contemporary industry leading shoe. Weighing in at 365g, it paved the way for its descendants to adhere to the Wave Rider’s principle development strategy of “just what you need and nothing more.” The very first Wave Rider struggled to gain a following, but it was exactly this that lead Mizuno to make the changes that have sculpted the latest incredibly successful model. Through intensive developments and improvements year on year, the Wave Rider 20 weighs just 290g, and is a far cry from the original.
Parallel Wave Technology
A prime example of Mizuno’s quest for cutting edge is its innovative design. The Wave Rider 6 enhanced its series when the plastic Wave design was replaced by a softer composite resulting in a smoother heel strike. Not satisfied with just improving the design of the shoe, part of the Wave Rider 12 was made from Castor Oil which significantly reduced Mizuno’s carbon footprint helping benefit the planet. Today, the Wave Rider 20’s Parallel Wave offers the perfect amount of cushion and energy dispersion, allowing the foot to move in its natural motion. Perfect for neutral‑foot types who don’t need as much support, the wave plate disperses the impact forces evenly throughout the midsole and keeps the foot centered on the shoe’s platform.
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Our quick run was just barely enough to give us our first impressions of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 and generally speaking, it was good. Stay tuned as I get more mileage from the latest Wave Rider for my review. For the meantime, congratulations Mizuno!