True to its guarantee: The Mizuno Wave 3

85 / 100 by Mary Post • Level 2 expert

Do you know which running shoe companies have a money back guarantee against manufacturer defects?

When I sent Mizuno an e-mail with pictures, replacement thoughts never even crossed my mind. All I knew was communication is key for good customer service.

I was on a Mizuno happy high showcasing my shoes at the gym. I remember a gal said "What kind of shoes are those? They are really cool!"  I felt really cool too because I finally found my happy running shoe. Sweet! No more shopping around or wasting time and money on other brands.

I'm in love with Mizuno, but then after 289 miles, look what happened.

 

 

Wear & Tear

When it comes to wear & tear, unfortunately it's literally tear. Holes, holes, holes!

Sad to say, big and little holes, rips and tears started to appear throughout both toe boxes. In spite of being extremely satisfied with the support and stability, I was NOT feeling the love. Now I'm no wear tester, but I thought Mizuno has to see this to believe it.

Promptly, Mizuno informed me of their 1-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

Wow! Mizuno is offering to replace my beat up old running shoes. I dug up the sales receipt as requested and soon these Mizuno Wave Paradox 3's sat on my doorstep free of charge!

 

 

I felt like it was Christmas, but wasn't sure if I really liked my gift. First, I noticed the cool designer material took a hit, gone. Vanished! Then a double whammy! Extra bulk and heaviness!

Did Mizuno send me the wrong shoes, I thought? No, they clearly state Wave Paradox, so I told myself to keep an open mind.

 

Performance

At first, they didn't seem too bad and reminded me of my old Saucony power grids which I used to love. Furthermore, Mizuno already mastered stability, motion control, and pronation so I felt confident. Besides, the price was right. Let's keep running!

After 273 road miles and a 113-mile beating on Florida's beach sand, my Wave Paradox 3 prevailed!

The initial break-in process was extremely minimal although I prefer a bit snugger fit. I really liked the wider shoelaces and enjoyed lacing up.

The collar padding, inside cushioning and tongue show little wear despite my brutality. The rubber tips were made stronger and new rubber overlays were sewn in strategic places for added reinforcement.

Best of all, however, is absolutely no holes, rips or tears in the upper mesh material toe box!

See for yourself how my Wave Paradox 3's survived:

 

 

Padding & Cushioning

I would definitely recommend Wave Paradox 3 as one of the most durable training shoes I've ever owned. My son Jeremiah Wagner, a 3 time Boston Marathoner, currently trains in Mizuno Wave Paradox 3's too.

Mizuno has a very effective Achilles collar which surpassed his Adidas Supernova's. Superior padding, cushioning, stability and arch support combine to prevent injury and helps alleviate stress to tendons.

 

Weight & Affordability

Wave Paradox 3's may not participate in very many road races due to added weight and bulkiness. Woman's Wave Paradox 2 weigh 10.6 ounces vs Wave Paradox 3 at 11.3 ounces.

What a difference and unsurprisingly, so was the price.

Wave Paradox 2 cost $135.00 vs. Wave Paradox 3 at $165.00 when new on the market. Thankfully over time, prices decrease and today serious coin can be saved!

 

Arch Support

Before I rush to the store though, I question Mizuno's new and improved arch support.

The midsole took on different dual density foam plus the heel drop may have changed a bit. Either way, my arches refuse to buy in. After a hundred miles or so I reverted back to adding orthotics just like I did with my old Saucony power grids.

Ironically, this was why I switched to Mizuno in the first place, to eliminate inserts.

I researched beforehand and even knew in 2014 Fortius Media Group, LLC named Wave Paradox as the best stabilizing shoe! What more could Mizuno ask for?
I guess like the rest of us they want to be lifelong learners and continue striving for excellence.

Here's a pic of their new vs. old engineering.

 

 

In any event, I cut Mizuno absolutely no slack. I ran until the bottom rubber outsoles wore completely down. Look closely and you'll see a tiny bit of fraying, but remember Mizuno has a 1-year money back guarantee against manufacturer defects.

 

Outsole

Obviously, Mizuno knew improvements had to be made. Even the bottom outsoles took on drastic, redesign features. When revamping, Mizuno left no stone overturned.

Speaking of stones, you can see I picked up a few in their new tread.
The former design not so much, but stones did leave big imprints in the density foam.

 

Conclusion

In my opinion, Mizuno may not have to replace many Wave Paradox 3s. With all these major upgrades and complete overhaul, the durability test is passed. My problem is that I'm still in shock with the finished makeover.

Everyone knows some people embrace change while others not so much. As for me, I only wanted one simple modification, more durable designer material. Should I e-mail Mizuno another letter explaining how close I was to being their 1st loyalty member?

I refuse to give up on Mizuno just yet! Even though they threw me a curve ball, I believe they are more than capable of rocking my running world. With that being said, I feel the need to switch to a different Mizuno model.

Now it's my turn to read a few RunRepeat.com reviews! Stay tuned to see which one I pick. It may be Mizuno Wave Rider, Wave Inspire or Wave Connect.

All I know is it's definitely going to be a NEW? WAVE!
Until then, Happy Running!

Mary Post

Mary Post • Level 2 expert

Hello I'm Mary! I'm a former Wellness Chairman at Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center in Tiffin, Ohio and I have been running competitively since 2009. Now I have the privilege of helping you select the perfect running shoe and keep you moving in the direction of reaching your healthy goals!

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Mizuno Wave Paradox 3