Verdict from 30 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The Kien 3 GTX is very comfortable, according to several comments.
  • A handful opined that it has a reasonable price for a trail shoe with GTX.
  • The traction is quite good on a variety of trail surfaces, as observed by some.
  • It runs light, remarked more than a few.
  • A small number of reviewers appreciated the pep in their runs.
  • The breathability is not compromised by the GTX, based on a couple of comments.

5 reasons not to buy

  • The Wave Kien 3 GTX is a bit unstable due to the 12mm heel drop, as experienced by a handful of trail enthusiasts.
  • It could use a little more flexibility, according to a few.
  • It needs a break-in period to get the most out of the shoe, based on some reviews.
  • A small number of runners did not like the “slapping” sound from this shoe.
  • The entire sole is just too stiff, like a cardboard, as mentioned in a few comments.

Bottom line

The Kien 3 GTX is the first version of this series that offers a waterproofing membrane. Building on the performance of its regular counterpart, the shoe is relatively lightweight and fast despite the moderate cushioning, thick outsole, and substantial overlays. The comfort is superb while protection against the elements is impressive in this shoe.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

User reviews:

Good to know

  • For the first time in the Kien line, Mizuno introduces a Goretex membrane in the 3rd instalment of this series. As most runners know, the waterproofing feature enables the shoe to be an all-weather trail partner for those who love to run in the outdoors.
  • The outsole is another new element in this reliable waterproof shoe, featuring the latest outsole configuration from Mizuno-the XtaRide. It showcases a network of prominent lugs in different shapes blanketing almost the entire forefoot and midfoot. The new technology is sure to enhance the grip on a variety of outdoor terrains.
  • The upper uses a staple technology in Mizuno’s arsenal. It uses a system that allows the entire upper to move with the foot and maximize the runner’s running motion.

The waterproof version of the Wave Kien 3 is designed for middle to long-distance runs at a moderate pace. It allows the foot to be comfortable, hence the extra room in the forefoot and decent hold in the heel and midfoot. The heel and midfoot have enough locked down feature that running on uneven terrain remains comfortable. It runs true to size.

Mizuno’s most durable rubber in the X-10 is placed in the heel and other high-impact areas for durability. The rest of the outsole is covered with blown rubber for better traction. For added grip on challenging trails, Mizuno uses the XtaRide design where substantial lugs of varying shapes are scattered all over the outsole.

One of the reasons why the Wave Kien 3 GTX is quite light is the EL8 midsole. Despite being relatively thick, there is enough responsiveness coming from its cushioning. The durability of the midsole is very decent with this foam. As with most Mizuno shoes, the elastic TPU-made Wave Technology is located in the heel. It helps with the shock dispersal and cushioning properties of the shoe.

The upper includes a very breathable AirMesh with large holes throughout for superior breathability despite the GTX. Beneath this mesh is the waterproofing membrane that shields the shoe from water. Giving the shoe an excellent hold in the midfoot is the arrangement of stitched and welded overlays. The collar and tongue have moderately generous padding for enhanced comfort. Mizuno designs the entire upper to move with the foot in support and comfort and calls it the DynamotionFit.

How Wave Kien 3 GTX compares

This shoe: 70
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: $135
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 10.6oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
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.