Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 20

The Wave Rider line-up of Mizuno is now on its 20th iteration and I have a pair at my disposal for review!  Here are my thoughts on the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 after spending some time and kilometers in it.

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

First off, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a neutral shoe.  A men’s size 9 US weighs in at 290 grams (10.2 oz) so you could say it’s still in the lightweight category.  And like its predecessors, it incorporates what Mizuno calls Parallel Wave Technology which disperses the impact forces evenly throughout the midsole and keeps the foot centered on the shoe’s platform [1].  It has a 12mm heel to toe drop similar to the Mizuno Wave Rider 19.

Top view of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20

The first time I used a Mizuno Wave Rider 20 was during its launch when we had a quick run around Bonifacio High Street.  Our initial thoughts were captured on video by representatives of Mizuno Philippines:

My more in-depth experience with the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 came during the AmCham ScholaRun 2017 where I did a 22:53 5K.  I was running quite relaxed all throughout the race because mainly, the Rider 20 didn’t give me anything to think about.  The cushioning remained consistently good all throughout the 5K run, the weight was light enough for me not to even think that it’s there, and never at any point did my feet felt hot inside the shoe.

Taken after my first race with the Mizuno Wave Rider 20

My next test of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 was a speed test on a treadmill.  This test included running slightly above 15kph for at least 400m.  And at no point during this run did I felt that the shoe would fly off and traction remained solid.

The underside of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 with the Wave Plate prominently shown

Since then, I’ve used my Mizuno Wave Rider 20 almost on a daily basis in case I had the urge to run or do long walks, which is highly likely when I’m wearing it.  And because of that, I’ve noticed how much of an attention-grabber the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is (I have the orange version).  It sometimes also looked like it’s glowing, particularly on rainy days, so I guess it adds visibility for you when running on the roads.

I really love the attention to details of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20, especially how that mesh pattern subtly shows the pattern underneath

To summarize, here are the things that I like about the Mizuno Wave Rider 20:

  • Good cushioning without sacrificing stability
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable without being too porous
  • Good grip
  • Design and wide color options

I can’t really think of anything major I particularly dislike or find lacking with the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 that would make it a deal-breaker, but for those with wider feet you may find its fit a bit narrow initially so you may have to do some breaking in first.

And it goes well with casuals too!

Overall, I think that Mizuno did an excellent job with the Wave Rider 20 and I would not hesitate recommending to anyone looking for a good looking neutral shoe with good cushioning, for daily use or even racing.

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