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.



A top rated Road running shoe
Top 2% most popular running shoes
Better rated than the previous version Mizuno Wave Rider 22

Expert Reviews

88 / 100 based on 15 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 |

    Mizuno Wave Rider 23 - Don’t judge a book by its cover

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    This is the first Mizuno shoe that I’ve ever tried and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Before you start running in a shoe you have certain expectations about how a shoe might be, that’s the whole reason why you consider that shoe and might try it on.

    The reason I never tried Mizuno before is because based on the looks of their shoes I thought they would be quite stiff and quite firm and that’s not the type of running shoe that I like.

    But once in a while, you have to try something new and after testing lots of brands I knew I had to try Mizuno. And obviously, you should never judge a book by its cover.

    Plus, this is the 23rd edition of this shoe and there must be a reason why there are so many editions, it can’t be a bad shoe if you make it that far.



    The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is a neutral road running shoe and has a 20 mm forefoot stack and a 32 mm heel stack giving it a 12 mm offset which is the same offset as in the previous model.

    These days that’s a bit on the higher side of things, but it wasn’t that noticeable in this shoe.


    They have changed the upper compared to the previous version.

    The Wave Rider 23 has a double engineered mesh upper, it is quite breathable, but since it is a double layer that is quite tightly knit it does provide a bit of warmth during the colder months.



    There is some padding in the heel and tongue, but it isn’t as plush as some other running shoes out there.



    The midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is the same as that of the 22nd edition of this shoe.

    It is made up out of two foams, the majority of the midsole is made out of Mizuno’s U4ic foam and besides the U4ic foam, they also used their softer U4icX foam as part of the midsole in the heel area.



    The U4icX foam makes this shoe more suitable for heel strikers. There is also a thin layer of U4icX as a top layer directly under foot.

    And obviously, we shouldn’t forget the plastic wave plate in the heel which helps with stability and shock absorption.


    The outsole of the Wave Rider 23 has also remained the same compared to the 22.



    It has the same reinforced rubber outsole as the previous edition. It gives nice traction and is durable. I’ve logged about 100 kilometers in these shoes and I still don’t see any wear on the outsole.


    I had my regular running shoe size and they fit me just fine. The fit is quite snug, the upper does hug your midfoot quite a bit, but in a nice way.



    I did a 15k race in this shoe without any trouble. No hotspots and just a pleasant ride. It’s not a shoe with exciting new technologies or interesting sounding materials, it is just a good shoe.

    It is not a very flexible shoe and although it is a neutral running shoe it does give you some light stability due to the TPU plate underneath the midfoot.



    The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is pretty comparable to the Brooks Ghost 12. The Brooks Ghost 12 has a bit more medial support than the Wave Rider 23, but the Wave Rider 23 has a softer heel than the Ghost 12.

    The midsole underneath the forefoot is a bit softer in the Ghost 12 than in the Wave Rider 23. The upper of the Ghost is a bit more plush than that of the Wave Rider. Both are good everyday trainers and can be used by different types of runners.

    Which one is the better of the two depends on personal preference. Both are good for heel strikers, although personally, I think the Wave Rider is a bit better for heel strikers than the Ghost



    I was surprised by this shoe and its comfort. It is a good shoe for heel strikers because of the plush landing due to the wave plate and the foam in the heel being a bit softer.

    The wave plate gives the shoe a bit of a firmer feeling, but the softer foam in the heel compensates for this. I didn’t have any hotspots in this shoe and could easily log some longer distances in this shoe.

    It’s a good everyday trainer which could also be used for some longer distances. The biggest difference compared to the Wave Rider 22 is the upper. If you liked the 22, you’ll like this version too.

  • 91 / 100 |

    Mizuno Wave Rider 23 - Keep riding the wave!

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    Mizuno continues to build upon its great tradition with its latest model of the Wave Rider. This is a sharp-looking shoe!

    I immediately was drawn to the latest color schemes; this shoe, in particular, is sporting a charcoal gray body, with a silver Mizuno logo, and white outsole—I can definitely wear these out casually as well as while running.

    I’m traditionally more of a stability shoe runner, so this neutral shoe will be a good opportunity to see how it compares to other stability models as well, including the beloved Mizuno Wave Rider 15.



    Out of the box one can tell that this is a sleeker shoe than most stability shoes and its predecessor; noticeably lighter with a lower profile, yet still maintaining a similar stiffness and durability.

    Not much has been dramatically changed according to others following the Wave Rider 22; it seems that the 23 will be simply an improvement in the details of an already great tradition of a model, but the sleeker profile is attractive.  Let’s put it to the test!

    First 50 miles performance

    I was super excited to get out on the roads and trails with these shoes. Right away I notice a lighter, sleeker, and closer to the ground feel than the Wave Inspire, which is a friendly change. I was impressed with the reputed Wave technology; it allowed for a noticeable structure to the shoe, while also feeling light and free.

    I was able to get out mostly on the roads with these shoes in hot, dry conditions, and occasionally I was able to jump on some dirt and gravel trails, including a twenty-mile run. Verdict: the shoe performed wonderfully!

    There was plenty of stability for me even during the long runs, and I thoroughly enjoyed the comfort and lighter feel of these neutral training shoes. The neutral daily running/trainer designation for these shoes is spot on; passing with flying colors!


    The upper of the Wave Rider 23 picks up where many of the Wave family leave it; the shoe is well constructed with some noticeable fine-tuning to allow for even more of a  lighter feel.



    From the tongue of the shoe to the ankle/heel collar, to even the laces, the shoe has been adapted for a lighter and sleeker feel and look, while not losing the durability that makes these shoes so great.

    The dual-layer mesh outer has a subtle look, while also allowing for maximum breathability.


    The Wave tradition continues to build upon its reputation for responsiveness and durability with the Wave insert and the U4IC & U4ICX midsole.



    What comes out is a comfortable, responsive ride, plenty of stability for those putting in the long miles, and yet plenty of giddy-up for those wishing to stretch the legs with some faster times.

    The 12mm heel drop is way too much for me, but it doesn’t necessarily inhibit my forefoot stride and is plenty of padding for a heel striker.


    The outsole of the Wave Rider 23 has plenty of grip and traction for just about any surface.



    The X10 and Smoothride technology provide a shoe that is able to handle hot pavement, wet roads, gravel, mud, and just about anything in between.

    One concern is that there doesn’t seem to be a super thick sole, so this is something I will compare with others when we get into the higher mileage of the shoe’s life.


    I’m really happy with the Mizuno Wave Rider 23, a wonderful neutral daily running shoe that continues upon the celebrated tradition of the Wave family.

    For someone that favors more structure and stability in their run, for someone that seeks a responsive, low profile ride, or for anyone in between, I would highly recommend this shoe for the runner looking for a reliable, fun ride.

  • 90 / 100 | JackRabbit | | Level 5 expert

    There really aren’t any downsides to the Wave Rider 23, partially because the modest improvements have made it better than the previous edition.

  • 84 / 100 | Solereview | Level 5 expert

    Don’t worry - the Wave Rider 23 still has the ‘Mizuno-ness’ it’s loved for. A Wave plated midsole delivers the familiar snap and firm ride. The new upper gets a cleaner aesthetic and a sleeker fit, courtesy the new mesh and more fused and hidden layers.

Become an expert

  • 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.