This is going to be a retrospective review rather than a normal review for the simple reason that I ran 700km on this shoe a few months ago.
All the pictures in this review were taken when I retired these shoes so you can see how they look like at the end of their life and I can tell you how they behave.
When I picked up Wave Connect I was looking for a shoe that could give me a fair amount of stability but not at the expense of weight, and I can tell you that you might be surprised to see just how light this shoe is despite its heavy appearance.
A UK 7 weighs just 263g, making this shoe one of the lightest stability shoes.
Brooks Adrenaline, this shoe has plenty more room for your toes and is definitely more comfortable.
Even though the upper mesh does not have the best appearance, it is very soft and durable which contributes to the shoe’s level of comfort.
In fact, I think it will be rare for anybody to get blisters thanks to the upper mesh in the toe area.
The biggest difference between the two is that Wave Connect is firmer with less cushioning. So, if you are looking for a more cushioned shoe go for Wave Inspire, but if you don’t care about cushioning and you prefer a firmer ride on a light shoe, then go for Wave Connect.
Remember, in terms of cushioning for Wave Connect do not expect much cushioning in any area of your foot including in the heel and forefoot.
As mentioned above, Wave Connect’s sole is very firm and not very cushioned, yet it is very light.
In terms of durability, you can see from the photo that the outer sole is a bit deteriorated, but it is what you can expect after 700km.
Despite its light weight and firmness, it is not a fast shoe.
If you are a fast runner you may notice that under certain speeds, depending on your gait which for me was around 4.25 min/km (14 km/h), you get the feeling that you are losing rather than gaining speed from this shoe.
But for slow, easy, and long runs this is going to be a very good companion especially given its comfort level.
This shoe’s heel is quite high with its 33mm and a forefoot height of 21mm. This difference creates a drop of 12mm so you can guess that it was not built for speed but for daily, easy, and comfortable runs.
I tried to switch between Nike Structure because the latter gave more cushioning, but the degree of comfort between the two is not comparable at all.
The Mizuno’s greater comfort level makes it more suitable for longer runs despite having less cushioning.
It is no wonder that Mizuno has historically been the brand to go for if you have a wide foot.
I am not a big fan of this shoe’s appearance and design and think it could have been done better in 2017. Still, the quality of the materials is not bad.
I used to run in a pretty humid environment (autumn in London), and until my last run with these shoes, I never had a problem with the materials’ durability.
Meanwhile, other shoes of the same class may develop tears from continuous use in humid environments. The upper mesh is made from a couple of very breathable layers, and I can swear that I never smelt anything bad coming from this shoe.
You can be sure to run on this shoe without any breathability concerns if you are in an area with a humid or hot climate.
Finally, in terms of surface Mizuno Wave Connect is definitely a road shoe.
I never had a grip problem on the road, but as you can see from the outsole picture it is not particularly suitable for grass or trails.
- Plenty of room for toes (ideal if you have a wide foot)
- Despite its appearance, it is a lightweight stability shoe
- Longer life and more comfortable than several other brands’ stability shoes
- Hard to find in shops
- Poor cushioning in any area of the foot
If you are looking for a shoe that will give you a firm and comfortable ride, then the Mizuno Wave Connect is an option that you have to consider.
However, if you are already running on very hard surfaces keep in mind that you should not expect much cushioning from its multi-layered outer sole. The design may not be as appealing as the other brands’ options, but the price tag is as light as its weight.
Now, I can confess that the begin of this review I lied, I did not dismiss this pair of shoes, I gave them to my father for his countryside walks, they are still very usable. ;)
Good to know
- The 3rd rodeo of the Wave Connect 3 offers a more plush and softer cushioning courtesy of the top of the line Mizuno midsole technology in the U4ic. Mizuno’s use of this softer cushioning gives this stability shoe a superb element of softness and comfort.
- Holding the foot in place gets an upgrade as well. The new heel features more overlays to truly secure the heel from unnecessary movements.
- Lastly, the mesh is bigger and with wider holes. With one stroke, Mizuno increases the durability and breathability of the upper.
The Connect line is designed by Mizuno primarily for entry-level runners. As such, the fit and sizing have to be on the spot for these types of runners to enjoy their time on the road. The new version’s fit and sizing are basically the same as that of the previous model. It has ample space in the heel and forefoot without feeling sloppy. The midfoot fit is really snug. In all, this is a fit that most runners will find comfortable. Available widths are D and B while sizes are from 6 to 14 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.
Mizuno’s durable G3-DR rubber is located in areas that take most of the punishment. It also has adequate stickiness for decent traction on a variety of surfaces. The full-contact outsole adds another factor in the shoe’s stability.
The midsole is seriously packed with some of Mizuno’s best technologies. First up is the Smooth Ride technology, which is basically the “rockered” formation of the sole to enhance the heel to forefoot movement. A new and lightweight cushioning foam material in the SR TOUCH is placed in the heel for added shock-absorbing qualities. However, the main shock-absorbing features remain to be the task of the Wave Spring, a mechanical thermoplastic material that disperses shock and uses some of the impact for a more dynamic run. The reliable and durable AP+ midsole is also located in this area for cushioning and responsiveness. Finally, the all new U4iC midsole finds a place in the heart of the shoe for a softer and more cushioned ride. While it has the characteristics of the AP+, it is 30% lighter.
A really breathable AirMesh dominates a good part of the upper. Support and structure come in the form of synthetic overlays. Many of these overlays extend all the way to the heel for enhanced heel security. Step-in comfort continues to be exceptional because of the presence of the Ortholite Sockliner, which also has anti-microbial and moisture-wicking elements.
How Wave Connect 3 compares
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