REVIEW: Mizuno Wave Rider 26
Written By: SportsShoes
One of the best-selling running shoes of all time has had a serious upgrade. The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 now features an extra 2mm of soft, responsive Mizuno Enerzy foam along the entire length of its midsole. Combined with a snappy new outsole, luxurious upper and a raft of recycled materials, this really is a special version of Mizuno's most iconic shoe. Available in a range of different colours, including the option of a wider fit, the Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is a shoe for everyone, for every run.
Our SportsShoes x Mizuno athlete, Ben Walmsley, reviews the Mizuno Wave Rider 26.
|Weight:||Men's: 285g / Women's: 235g|
|Length:||True to fit|
|Width:||Standard (slightly wide fit on me)|
|Most suitable for:||Perfect for daily training and all-round road running.|
|Stack height:||38.5mm (Heel) 26.5 (Toe)|
|Key Features:||Features include the MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM for cushioning and energy return in the entire midsole, MIZUNO WAVE PLATE to help you smoothly move your body weight, and the new Smooth Stretch Woven material that gives a soft fit.|
|RATINGS:||(out of 5)|
"A shoe for everyone, for every run"
After testing out Mizuno’s new super shoe at the Amsterdam marathon, I was looking forward to getting back into some regular training with Mizuno’s Wave Rider 26. The Wave Rider is known for being a solid neutral daily running trainer with a high quality and durable build that will stand the test of time. My intention was to use the Wave Riders for my easy and the odd tempo run, alongside the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro for fast-paced sessions and racing.
I have been testing the Wave Rider 26 in blue and red (there are other colours available). My first impression is that this is a stunning looking shoe, the logo really pops out and is slightly reflective against the backdrop of those black material. The aesthetic design pattern on the upper works well, especially in the red version. The shoe feels light and well structured.
"A smooth, stable and responsive ride"
The protection around the ankle is nicely constructed and feels soft. I find this really important for a daily shoe as it tends to be the area that can cause the most rubbing and eventual discomfort. The tongue is well cushioned down to the toe box keeping that area protected. The whole upper feels to be of high quality breathable materials, providing comfort. The whole shoe in general is made from recycled materials which is a real plus, for anyone who cares about the environment. The mesh on the upper, tongue and laces are made from recycled PET ( a form of recycled plastic).
The lacing system is traditional, no frills and is perfect for this type of training shoe. The laces sit comfortably on top of your foot with the padded tongue. It feels like there is very little chance in them becoming loose whilst on a run.
The Enerzy midsole, which is 2mm thicker than previous versions, is well cushioned and the Mizuno Wave plate helps to provide a smooth, stable and responsive ride. There’s a noticeable 12mm heel drop putting less strain on the calf muscles during your workout.
"The perfect all-rounder"
The full rubber outsole provides good traction. Having tested the Wave Riders in wet and challenging conditions, I can confirm they held up well and didn’t feel like I was going to slip up whilst picking up the pace. So far, after around 4 or 5 weeks of regular daily use, the sole appears to be durable, and no sign of any overuse.
The overall fit feels nice and snug around the ankle and top of the foot. Personally, it does feel quite roomy in the toe box for me. This isn’t an issue just a slightly different compared to the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro which is more of a precision race fit.
Athletes of every ability will find a use for this shoe. It performs well for both tempo runs and daily mileage in my opinion. Granted they are not designed to be a racing shoe i.e it is not a super shoe. However, with that there are some positives, they are a lot more comfortable than your usual carbon plated shoes, which often feel like they lack that support and can generate some discomfort through overuse. The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is designed to be worn daily, and will therefore last a lot longer than your average super shoe. So, if you're looking for a good 'all rounder' and a shoe to tick all the boxes, then this shoe is the perfect choice.
That’s not to say they cannot be used for a race, some people may prefer comfort over anything else.
The closest shoe I can compare this to is the Nike Pegasus 38. That previously would have been my go-to daily trainer but these are a viable alternative and in some areas are an improvement. I get the impression the Wave Rider 26 will be more durable and last longer making this a perfect daily trainer.
Overall, I am happy with this shoe I will continue to use it for morning and long easy runs.
Ben Walmsley is an elite SportsShoes x Mizuno athlete, currently specialising in 10K to marathon distances.
You can follow all of his running adventures here