We spent 9.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The redesigned upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is well-appreciated by many, which they described as both comfortable and breathable.
  • A lot of users agree that the Wave Rider 23 is lightweight.
  • The sole unit of the shoe provides ample cushioning and support, says one reviewer. Another claimed that it offers just the right level of firmness to keep the shoe from feeling mushy.
  • Several wearers report that the Wave Rider 23 gives a secure and accurate fit, which meets their expectations.
  • Some testers report that the shoe promotes natural movements and allows a comfortable experience in both running and walking activities.
  • The midsole “feels like a cloud,” according to a couple of reviewers.
  • The tongue stays in place despite being a separate detail that is not connected to a cleatie structure, a user claims.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of reviewers think that the updates in the Wave Rider 23 are not significant enough for buyers to upgrade.

Bottom line

For its 23rd version, the Mizuno Wave Rider remains consistent and reliable in providing a running companion that can withstand many miles on the road. Users were especially impressed with the improvements in the shoe’s structural elements, as well as the performance it delivers. Comfort, support, and fit were some of the winning points of the shoe. Fans of the previous edition of the shoe will love the Wave Rider 23, but maybe not if they expect a highly remarkable change.

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REI, Jack Rabbit and 17 other shops don't have user reviews

Video reviews and unboxing

  • The Mizuno Wave Rider shoe series has set a standard as a neutral running shoe with a laidback appearance yet delivering a responsive ride. In its 23rd iteration, the Wave Rider continues to hold this caliber. The noteworthy improvements of the Wave Rider 23 include a fresh, modern aesthetic and a cleaner look.
  • Most of the shoe’s updates are found in the upper, which is where a big part of the shoe’s appearance takes form. With fewer details and overlays, the shoe boasts of a slimmer, more streamlined structure. The new design allows the Wave Rider 23 to feel more comfortable on foot. There is also less padding and stitching around the shoe for a sleeker image from heel to toe.

The Wave Rider 23 retains the construction that is signature to the series. It follows the standard running shoe dimensions, making it true-to-size for most runners. Wearers who have high-volume feet or prefer more in-shoe room could go a half-size up. When it comes to width options, the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is available in Medium and Wide for both the men’s and women’s versions.

Mizuno’s proprietary X10 outsole material continues to be present in the Wave Rider 23. Located under the heel, this durable carbon rubber provides the necessary traction during footstrike for an efficient transition phase. The material also promotes flexible and natural movements.

Meanwhile, the forefoot area is covered with blown rubber, a material softer than carbon rubber. Its plush quality lends an extra layer of cushioning and also increases the responsiveness of the sole unit. 

A set of “miniature wave plates,” called the Flex Controllers, can be found in the lateral area of the outsole. The Flex Controllers work with flex grooves to promote a flexible, fluid motion that results in a powerful step. This feature also helps in reducing the weight of the running shoe.

The midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is an intricate system of materials and technologies that work together to create a smooth, lightweight platform that can easily withstand the demands of running. It includes elements such as the U4ic and U4icX foams, the SmoothRide Engineering, and Cloudwave Technology.

The U4ic is a full-length foam that acts as the main cushioning component of the Wave Rider 23. This lightweight material gives the shoe its shock-absorbent quality that aids in a responsive ride, as well as prolonged durability.

Paired with the U4ic is a variant of itself, the U4icX, which is found in the heel area of the midsole. Serving as additional cushioning, the U4icX provides a softer platform that helps with the impact during footstrike. 

Aiding the U4ic and U4icX foams is the Cloudwave Technology, which comes in the form of a convex-shaped thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) unit that goes from the heel to the midfoot. It enhances the springiness of the midsole while delivering a plush, cloud-like feel to the underfoot.

The Wave Rider 23’s SmoothRide Engineering offers power and flexibility as it allows for fluid strides that almost feel like a rocking chair’s motions. This technology makes use of a set of grooves that produces smooth and sustained acceleration and deceleration rates. For comparison, the SmoothRide technology is also found in the Wave Inspire 15, which is a stability running shoe from Mizuno.

Two layers of engineered mesh make up the structure of the upper. Such a construction endorses optimal comfort and ease of movement. The mesh coverage has a close-weave design to prevent debris from entering the shoe.

Like its predecessor, the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 utilizes Dynamotion Fit technology in the upper, allowing it to be stretchable and adaptive. This feature lets the upper wrap around the foot naturally, thus reducing irritation. With Dynamotion Fit, the shoe flexes according to the movements of the foot. 

Beneath the mesh are supportive reinforcements, one in the toe area and another at the midfoot (which also acts as the eyelets of the shoelaces). Aside from structuring, these elements also aid in the durability aspect of the shoe.

A lightly padded tongue provides comfort in the midfoot area, and it also minimizes the potential irritation caused by overly tight shoelaces. 

There is a synthetic heel counter that retains structure in the rearfoot area. It also works in holding the foot down to keep it in place during running.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.