Facts

Terrain
Road
Arch support
Neutral
Use
Daily running
Price
$120
Weight
M: 272g | W: 235g
Heel to toe drop
M: 12mm | W: 12mm
Heel height
M: 30mm | W: 30mm
Forefoot height
M: 18mm | W: 18mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D, Wide - 2E | W: Normal - B, Wide - D
Show moreless facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 4.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The overall visual aspect of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 was greatly appreciated by a number of runners.

  • Many testers felt that it was adequately lightweight.

  • Several consumers were able to use this shoe for different types of activities, like exercising and racing, and they stated that was responsive and agile enough for such purposes.

  • The breathability of the upper unit pleased those who have tried it because their feet didn’t feel too warm, even when they were wearing the shoe for long periods of time.

  • An expert reviewer lauded the flexibility of the platform because it gave an energized pop during the toe-off.

  • The underfoot experience was soft and comfortable, noted a runner.

  • The inclusion of the U4icX cushioning technology made the mid-sole more robust and efficient, a tester observed.

  • A reviewer noted that the foot-chamber and the platform had a slightly wider nature than its predecessors, which meant that it made the fit more accommodating.

  • Some heavyset testers stated that this shoe is a great option for those with heavier weight profiles.

6 reasons not to buy

  • A few runners were disappointed because the upper fabric wore out quickly on them.

  • Some users mentioned that the cushioning felt too firm for long-distance runs.

  • A reviewer complained that this shoe’s toe box was too large and that its heel was too loose.

  • According to a consumer, this model is a full size smaller than what she was used to.

  • A tester felt that the upper was a bit too plush that it made his feet sweat.

  • Some runners reported that seams in the interior wall of the shoe didn’t make the cover system as smooth as desired.

Bottom line

Many runners wrote that the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 was a worthy addition to the popular series of road running shoes. Some of them even added that it was able to surpass many of its predecessors. For them, the upper, the mid-sole and the outsole were well-designed. On the other hand, there were those who didn’t acclimate well to it, stating some concerns with its size, width and how it performed for them.



World wide, Wave Rider 20 is in the bottom 50% most popular running shoes. The brand, Mizuno, is the 8th most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 967 shoes


Ratings

4.3 / 5 based on 17 ratings

5 star
71%
4 star
12%
3 star
1%
2 star
11%
1 star
5%

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My rating:


Expert reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

83 / 100 based on 56 expert reviews

  • 89
    SportitudeLevel 1 expert
    by Sportitude
    Fantastic shoe. Wave Rider 20. Love it, I'd love for you guys to try it.
  • 87
    My Popp ReviewsLevel 1 expert
    by My Popp Reviews
    They just feel more comfortable, cruise-y to run in.
  • 84
    SolereviewLevel 5 expert
    by Solereview
    The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 gets to keep its signature Mizuno-ness, thanks to the Wave plate under its heel. All the updates are small improvements over the 19.
  • 90
    Michael Mason-D'CrozLevel 4 expert
    by Running Shoes Guru
    Where these shoes truly shined was in tempo runs. The mix of distance and speed was just what these shoes wanted to do, and they responded incredibly well to it.
  • 81
    JonathanLevel 4 expert
    by Running Warehouse
    Big changes are ahead with the Wave Rider 20. An all new Wave plate is being introduced. It is more pliable than previous Wave plates and the pattern and amplitude of the Wave have been changed.
  • 88
    Jeremy KrallLevel 3 expert
    by Running Northwest
    I said it before, but just to reiterate it here, this is the best Mizuno I have run in for neutral, consumer or recreational road runners. The combination of weight, breathability, and offset means very solid performance and it competes well across similar manufacturers like Asics, Brooks, Saucony, etc.
  • 82
    RunabeesLevel 3 expert
    by Runabees
     It is an excellent combination between comfort and performance, and will help you enjoy your runs without the pain form the friction of the bunions and the shoes. 
  • 80
    RunabeesLevel 3 expert
    by Runabees
    These shoes are suitable for neutral runners and provide all the necessary comfort and support which make them liked and preferred by many endurance runners.
  • 60
    LennyLevel 3 expert
    by Lenny Sunday
    So I ended buying these on the notion that my inital thoughts were correct and this shoe would be amazing and would help with my plantar problems however I found the opposite.. I ran 11 total miles in these shoes and found them to be very unstable,narrow and causing me knee pain.
  • 92
    The Athlete's Foot AustraliaLevel 2 expert
    by The Athlete's Foot
    They are so versatile – lightweight and responsive for the short sessions, cushioned and breathable for marathon distance. 
  • 87
    Marathon SportsLevel 2 expert
    by Marathon Sports
    Can’t say enough good things about this shoe. The Wave Rider 20 is a great update to the classic neutral trainer.
  • 86
    Tim HuebschLevel 2 expert
    by Canadian Running
    Only those who have been running in the shoe for years can confirm that but compared to last year’s model, the Wave Rider 19, the 20 is definitely softer while maintaining its responsive feel, which inherently has a certain level of stiffness to it.
  • 85
    Best Designer Shoes Review For YouLevel 2 expert
    by Best Designer Shoes Review For You
    Where these shoes truly shined was in tempo runs. The mix of distance and speed was just what these shoes wanted to do, and they responded incredibly well to it.
  • 85
    Brian MetzlerLevel 2 expert
    by Competitor
    The sometimes unrelenting firmness of some previous models of the Wave Rider is gone, so it isn’t quite as snappy as previous models … but it hasn’t become a marshmallowly plodder either.
  • 83
    The 5K RunnerLevel 2 expert
    by The 5K Runner
    They are relatively light and, as such, remain as quick as previous years’ models. Well, as quick as your legs! I have absolutely no problems with them when ‘off-road’; whilst I don’t regularly run up Ben Nevis they are fine on uneven ground, with the usual caveats.
  • 98
    BrieLevel 1 expert
    by Lean, Clean, & Brie
    The shoes provide for a smooth and soft ride, with a responsive feel.
  • 96
    Tedrick KellyLevel 1 expert
    by My Trending Stories
    The flexibility and cushioning took everything the hills had to offer and kept going. 
  • 95
    JonLevel 1 expert
    by Extreme Workout
    These shoes are also highly responsive. It’s kinda weird to have a plush and responsive running shoe, but I can tell the difference both my the way me feet feel after my run, but also that my pace has slightly improved. As a runner, what more can you ask for?!
  • 92
    CynthiaLevel 1 expert
    by You Signed Up For What?!
    They're super comfy but without the feeling like they are too much running-on-a-pillow. I felt cushioned but still had a "real feel" to them-basically, they were Goldilocks for me without the amount of padding vs. feel.
  • 91
    Half Crazy MamaLevel 1 expert
    by Half Crazy Mama
    The Wave Rider 20 is hands down the best version of the Wave Rider I have ever ran it.  Mizuno corrected the little things that bothered me about the shoe.  The cushion is perfect, toe box fits great, the shoe isn’t too rigid, it is a super smooth ride, and the heel collar is amazing. 
  • 90
    Elise YanoverLevel 1 expert
    by I'm Fit 4 Life
    This shoe is for you if you like a bit of added softness without feeling like you are landing on pillows and still like an efficient ground feel on foot strike and springy toe off. They feel fast, I run faster, and my feet are happy. 
  • 88
    Nicholas MizeraLevel 1 expert
    by The Gentleman Journalist
    Owing to the substantial, supportive design, I walked away with an overall impression of durability — this is a shoe that could easily survive a marathon training cycle and then some — all despite weighing in at 9.6 ounces, or 0.3 ounces lighter than the more minimal-seeming Riders I got my start with.
  • 87
    Below The Knee ShoesLevel 1 expert
    by Below The Knee Shoes
    We recommend this shoe for neutral runners or runners who just want a little bit of stability. This update looks really good.
  • 86
    EllieLevel 1 expert
    by Fit Fluential Mom
    I'm happy to say the shoe gave me tons of support and stability and I didn't even have to wear the insoles that I've had to wear in the past with other running shoes that didn't seem to offer as much support as I needed. 
  • 86
    Naperville Running CoLevel 1 expert
    by Naperville Running Co
    Awesome updates here. What we have is basically a softer Mizuno shoe. This is gonna be 33% softer than the previous version. A lot smoother ride and smoother transition from heel to toe.
  • 85
    AllanLevel 1 expert
    by Run Free MNL
    The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a big leap from it's very first release. Weighing at 365 grams, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 only weighs 290 grams, providing the runner "just what he needs."
  • 85
    LizLevel 1 expert
    by Novel Runner
    This is the softest Wave Rider I’ve ever trained in, but it’s still extremely responsive, so you don’t feel like you’re “sinking” into the cushion. The Wave Rider 20 strikes the perfect balance between soft and springy.
  • 85
    Nathan MaxwellLevel 1 expert
    by Nathan Maxwell
    Wow, I couldn’t believe how much better they were and it just got better when I started to run in them.
  • 85
    St. Pete Running CompanyLevel 1 expert
    by St. Pete Running Company
    If you're looking for a shoe that you can do just about anything in--from two miles to twenty--the Mizuno Wave Rider [20] might be a good one.
  • 84
    JendiLevel 1 expert
    by The Runner's Journey
    I was a little concerned that my foot would take awhile to get use to not only new shoes, but also a brand I was not use to. This was not the case!  These shoes felt great right from the start.
  • 84
    Bless Her Heart Y'AllLevel 1 expert
    by Bless Her Heart Y'All
    But seriously they are so incredibly supportive with their new cloudwave® technology that’s designed using convex (u-shaped) geometry to provide soft cushioning underfoot while acting as a spring at the same time. 
  • 84
    Triathlon Reviews HDLevel 1 expert
    by Triathlon Reviews HD
    Pros: Light feel, stable and comfortable, breathable but not porous, quick turnover/flexible. Con: A bit [too] soft compared to the Mizuno Rider 19 (my personal preference)
  • 83
    Tom LeddyLevel 1 expert
    by Runs and Places
    They still have that “running on air” feeling, but still have the right amount of padding in all the right places to give my feet the support they need.  
  • 83
    JessicaLevel 1 expert
    by Love You More Too
    The inside is fully cushioned, but I can feel the even shock absorption.  It is soft, smooth and responsive.
  • 83
    ProFeetLevel 1 expert
    by ProFeet
    Good mid-foot hold and I loved the propulsive feel off the heel.
  • 82
    Debbie WoodruffLevel 1 expert
    by Coach Debbie Runs
    While the Wave Rider 20 is a neutral shoe, I still feel supported when I run in it. It definitely does not feel soggy, instead, it has a light and bouncy feel (that’s my technical term).
  • 82
    Matt RasmussenLevel 1 expert
    by Run Oregon Blog
    Sliding into these for the first time was like riding a bike – it just felt so familiar and comfortable. 
  • 82
    Liam DelaneyLevel 1 expert
    by Mizuno
    My 40+ aged joints genuinely appreciate the ‘Softer-Smoother’ feel, which they’ve achieved with a relatively light and supportive shoe.
  • 82
    AbigailLevel 1 expert
    by Back at Square Zero
    Like, I want Mizuno to stop now and never touch them again they are so good. 
  • 82
    AngelaLevel 1 expert
    by Marathons & Motivation
    The cushioning inside of the sneaker is the perfect amount, just enough, but not too much!
  • 81
    JenniferLevel 1 expert
    by The Fit Fork
    While I’m not a heel-striker, I still felt comfortable landing mid-foot despite the 12mm rise.
  • 81
    Colleen DahlemLevel 1 expert
    by Live Free and Run
    They definitely gave me a nice neutral ride with a good amount of cushion.  The cushion is a stiff cushion, not a pillowy feel, but I liked that I could feel the road.  They definitely felt responsive.
  • 81
    Julie WunderLevel 1 expert
    by Running in a Skirt
    It instantly felt a little softer, without losing the smooth responsiveness that I love about this shoe.
  • 80
    Janet YiuLevel 1 expert
    by 3D Runner
    Overall, they provide great support and cushioning for most of my running up to fast tempo runs. 
  • 80
    Once a Runner, Always a RunnerLevel 1 expert
    by Once a Runner, Always a Runner
    Like most Mizunos I’ve run in, the Rider 20 offers a firm, responsive ride well-suited to both tempo runs and longer training runs. I haven’t yet tried them for pure speed work, as I prefer a more low-slung, lighter shoe, for that purpose, but I do think that they would be firm enough for the track.
  • 80
    Jessica MorrisonLevel 1 expert
    by 30 Something Mother Runner
    I have yet to take it out on long runs (because I’m not training for anything right now), but I have no doubt it would be fine for half marathon training!
  • 80
    TeamarciaLevel 1 expert
    by Marcia's Healthy Slice
    Light and fast is my mantra and the Wave Riders play right into that.
  • 80
    CherieLevel 1 expert
    by Cherie Runs This
    They fit! My honest to goodness immediate words out of my mouth were, “So soft. So cushy. Ahhhhh. Like a cloud,” and then I pranced around my bedroom.
  • 80
    TikiLevel 1 expert
    by Grow It Girl
    I’ve taken mine for a spin on the roads near my house, and the redesign gives me more control and makes navigating hills, rocks, uneven pavement, etc a piece of cake. I can’t wait to try them out on a run up the mountain.
  • 80
    Mailynn GoLevel 1 expert
    by Deep Fried Fit
    After I slipped these babies on, I noticed how light they were and the stability you get from standing in the shoe.
  • 79
    TeriLevel 1 expert
    by A Foodie Stays Fit
    I go for the Mizunos on easy running days where the workout is shorter and doesn’t have much structure. They’re a little bit heavy for my taste though.
  • 78
    SharonLevel 1 expert
    by Run-Hike-Play
    However I see myself using these for shorter runs 5K's and 10Ks since they are less cushioned than what I've been using and used to.
  • 75
    Thad McLaurinLevel 1 expert
    by RunnerDude's Blog
    The Wave Rider 20 isn't your lightest trainer, but at 9.6oz, for the responsiveness they were providing, they felt pretty light.
  • 70
    Happy Running MomLevel 1 expert
    by Happy Running Mom
    I took them for another spin to see if the pain would go away but unfortunately it didn’t. 
  • 70
    EricaLevel 1 expert
    by Erica Finds
    The ride is soft, but not too soft. 
  • 60
    Bryan FalchukLevel 1 expert
    by New Bodi.es
    I felt like I was running with half a ball mounted on the bottom of my shoe (not quite that bad, but that sort of idea). Again, it was doable, but you can imagine that doesn’t make for a really zen-like running experience.
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First looks are not reviews. They're only a visual presentation


Updates to Wave Rider 20

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is the next iteration in a long-running series of shoes for those who love to take to the roads. Through the years, the iterations of this model have taken leaps in terms of design and weight. This version has a significantly toned-down look that’s definitely unique from its predecessors, but it’s still visually appealing. It doesn’t have a lot of complicated features on its façade, but it has several technologies that work in order to make the running experience more comfortable and precise. It’s now also more lightweight than its predecessors.

The upper unit of this running shoe makes use of fabrics that ensure a secure and anatomically accommodating fit. Stretchable materials conform to the shape and movement of the foot during the running session. Air is able to enter the foot-chamber quickly because of the breathable nature of these fabrics. Unlike its predecessors, only a minimal amount of overlays was stitched onto the main fabrics, but they’re still able to provide a snug coverage.

The underfoot platform of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is flexible and agreeable to the natural movement capability of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. Flex grooves and flex controllers work together in order to make the running experience more natural. Runners get a rocking chair-like motion when taking each step, which is actually helpful in achieving a smoother and more responsive ride. The main foam components provide reliable and long-lasting cushioning.

The outsole unit utilizes two rubber compounds, both of which deliver dependable traction over the roads. They cause the underside of the shoe to hold onto the ground with ease and sureness. The heel area features a more durable material, while the forefoot section has a more responsive one that permits a bit more cushioning and flexibility.

Wave Rider 20 size and fit

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 has a standard running shoe length. Regular measurements were used for the sizing schemes of this model. The available widths for both the men and women’s versions are medium and wide, which means that it can accommodate those with wider foot-dimensions.

Outsole

X10 is a high quality rubber compound used in the outsole unit of the Wave Rider 20. It’s made from durable carbon rubber. Placed in the heel section, it delivers traction and protection from impact and surface abrasion.

Blown rubber is a more responsive compound. It delivers some more cushioning and flexibility to the runner. It’s aptly placed in the forefoot section, the area where the foot bends the most as it tackles the toe-off phase.

Flex Controllers in the outsole provide reactive flexibility without adding more weight.

Midsole

The U4ic is a foam technology that delivers responsive cushioning and shock absorption. It’s made from durable materials, so it won’t break down easily.

The U4icX is a softer and a more lightweight iteration of the U4ic. Placed in the heel area, it aptly cushions the landings and gives a soft feeling to the underside of the foot.

The Mizuno Wave Plate is made from an elastic material. It runs from the rear of the platform to the mid-foot section. It delivers a springy ride and it adds some more cushioning.

The Smooth Ride technology makes use of a network of grooves, which work together with the mid-sole components in order to make each step smoother and more comfortable. It essentially allows the platform to take a rocking chair-like motion when transitioning from the heel to the toe.

The Ortholite Sock Liner provides some more cushioning to the immediate underfoot. It has antimicrobial and anti-moisture capabilities, which cause the interior of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 to be cleaner and healthier.

Upper

The Triple Zone Mesh is an upper technology that delivers breathable support and secure coverage. Air is enabled to easily enter the shoe in order to keep the foot cool and dry. The fabric wraps around the foot with ease and sureness, but it doesn’t irritate the skin.

The Dynamotion Fit utilizes a stretchable material in order to adapt to the motion of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. It doesn’t work against the runner because it stretches itself to accommodate the slight changes in the shape of the foot while it is moving.


Comparison

Comparison to category means
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