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Jul 3, 2012

Mezamashii Run Project Part III - Mizuno Wave Rider 15 shoe review

6 miles on the schedule today.  Today's run a was a tough, hot, sweaty, humid run.  Fortunately, I got it done just before a thunderstorm rolled through the area.


Mizuno Wave Rider 15

So as you all know, I was included in the Mezamashii Run Project by Mizuno.  I have to say that this has been an incredible experience and I really enjoyed going through this process.  This is my first experience running in a Mizuno shoe and I'm happy that it was a good one.

I received my Wave Rider 15's several weeks ago and have been running in them since.  Great style, don't you think?

I didn't want to just do one run and then give a review even though it's all Mizuno requested of me.  I think that shoes are hard enough to do a review on when you have used them on lots of runs, so it was my goal, as it is with any shoe I review, to run in them many times throughout the week and at least one long run on the weekend.  I'm not sure I could give an accurate review of the shoe without running long in them, don't you agree?  In addition, it's the least I can do for my readers and the company.

Anyway, my first impression of the shoes - WOW!  I really love the color I picked since they stand out in the bright green and blue.  In fact, it's currently my favorite color.  Mizuno has other color options to pick from but these shoes really popped!  Of course, the important issue is their feel but it helps if you want to grab them every time you go running too.
Front/back profile
Side profile
To give you a background, I have been running primarily in Saucony Ride(2's,3's,4's) since I started running three years ago and they have served me well so I asked Mizuno for a comparable fit and they recommended the Waver Rider 15's.  I actually went up to Dick's sporting goods before I chose them just to make sure the fit and feel was going to be right for me.

I liked the initial feeling of the shoes but as Mizuno say's, walking around in the store is not going to tell you whether you like them or not - you need to run in them.  It's one reason I like to do shoe reviews so I have a chance to actually run in the shoes.

I prefer a roomy toe box and this shoe has that.  It's one of the nice things I like about most trail shoes(although these are road shoes).  In addition, the shoe fits the other parts of your foot very nice meaning that it's snug(not tight) around the top of your foot and the heel fits in nicely as well and does not move around or slip when running.  The other thing I really like is the shoe tongue.  Sometimes, shoes have really large tongues that get in the way and feel too big when running.  This seemed to be the right size.  Hey - I'm particular about my shoes.  What can I say?

Shoe tongue that does not get in the way
Usually it takes me around 50 miles to get comfortable with new road shoes(regardless of the brand) but after the first run, I was already feeling really good about them.  In fact, if I had a race coming up, I'd try them out already which says a lot about my feeling for them.  As with most shoes I first try, I took these out for a short 3 mile run just to get a feel for them.  They are lighter than many of the road shoes I wear(10.6 oz) and I really liked that feeling.  It's amazing what an ounce difference can feel like.  I also liked the tread and cushion on these as I could feel the ground but still had the cushioning I prefer.
Bottom tread
While many companies have been going to a minimal type shoe(and Mizuno has those options too), these are in fact, a Neutral, 12mm drop shoe which is a similar drop to what I'm used to.  I'm still a heal striker(especially when I'm tired) but I'm learning to change my running form so that I'm more of a mid-foot striker.  In fact, I have a couple pairs of "natural" and "barefoot" shoes used to help me with my form and I will hopefully start moving more towards that form as I practice more.

After numerous runs of various distances from 3 miles to 6 miles, I also took them on a long run of 11 miles.  This helped me determine if this was the type of shoe I could run a marathon in.  I've always found that any shoe I can be comfortable running 10 miles in, I can do the marathon as well with them.

I'm happy to report that I would be very comfortable choosing these as a shoe for the marathon.  I cannot say that about all the road shoes I have tried in the past so it's nice to have another brand that I can rely on for that kind of distance.  This isn't to say that the other shoe manufacturers don't make good shoes but I happen to be very particular about my shoes for a full marathon and have only run in Saucony for the full.  Now I have Mizuno and it's really nice to have another option.

In any case, these are shoes that I know will continue to get more comfortable, the more I continue to run in them.  They have a very smooth ride to them.  The key to a successful shoe for me is a roomy toe box, a snug fit in the upper and a heal that stays in place - I've got all three with the Waver Rider 15.

If you are a neutral runner looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to train for your next marathon, I suggest you pick up a pair of the Mizuno Wave Rider 15's.  I think you will like them as much as I do.  I believe I have found my brilliant run, as Mizuno says, with the Wave Riders and look forward to trying some of their other models in the future.
My brilliant run
With that, I'll leave you with this awesome video that Mizuno prepared about the Mezamashii Run Project. You still have an opportunity to join this project.  Go HERE for more information to apply.

Interest in learning more?

Go to their website HERE.

Go to their Facebook page HERE.

Go to their Twitter page HERE.

* Note:  I received a free pair of Mizuno Waver Rider 15's as part of the Mezamashii Run Project.  I was not required to give a positive review and I was not paid in any other form.  All opinions in this review are my own.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. I just got an invite for that and am so exited to try some out. I have never run in Mizunos either. I hope I get a pretty color like you!

  2. I got the same shoes, but not quite ready to do the review. I was amazed at how comfortable they were out of the box.

  3. Great review! I've been running in the Riders for several years now, dating back to the 10s. I have to say the Rider 15s might be my favorite. I have the 15th anniversary edition (Red and Black) and I ran the Bayshore Marathon in them in May. It was a Brilliant "Ride" for 26.2.

    I'm also part of the Mezamashii Project and selected the Precisions which are lighter than the Riders but not minimalist. I've really enjoyed running in those as well.

  4. Great review, Jeff!! Very informative!