Our verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2, both in looks and entertainment, is a unique shoe in the market, and it boasts wonderful enhancements from the previous model. Although it didn't completely live up to our supershoe performance benchmarks, it excels in providing midfoot strikers with remarkable forward momentum. For those seeking a running shoe that captures attention and delivers a one-of-a-kind, enjoyable experience, we think there's no match for this model.

Pros

  • Truly unique
  • Significant improvements from v1
  • Complies with World Athletics regulations
  • Ideal for midfoot strikers
  • Enhances forward momentum
  • Superior traction
  • Reduced weight
  • Ultra-fun running experience

Cons

  • Energy return
  • Stability issues
  • Not suited for rearfoot or forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

84
Good!

Who should buy

We highly recommend the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 for:

  • Runners seeking a great supershoe with a unique look.
  • Midfoot strikers looking for a World Athletics legal shoe designed specifically for their stride.
  • Neutral-gait marathoners fans of Mizuno that are in search of the brand's ultimate supershoe.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2

Who should NOT buy

In our extensive testing of the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2, we've determined it might not be the best fit for everyone, particularly for those prioritizing energy return and stability. For those, we find that the Saucony Endorphin Elite and the Nike Alphafly 3 stand out as superior choices, offering more bang for your buck in this crucial aspect.

Additionally, we've observed that the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 may not provide the stable underfoot feel some runners seek in a high-performance supershoe. For those desiring a more secure and stable ride, we believe the Hoka Rocket X 2 and the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 present themselves as more favorable options within a similar price bracket.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 parts

Breathability

At a $250 price point, we expected the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 to deliver on breathability, especially for race day.

Eager to test its unique design, we started with the smoke test in our lab, scoring an impressive 4/5. We were pleased to find that airflow wasn't limited to the toebox—both the tongue and medial zone also excelled in ventilation, and there's a bit too in the heel!

Our next step involved a powerful light test, revealing the upper's thinness, structured solely around the heel, while the midfoot and forefoot appeared almost paper-thin. However, Mizuno ingeniously integrated a robust reinforcement in the medial area for enhanced stability, clearly visible in our video.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 micro

Delving deeper with a microscope, we aimed to closely examine the engineered mesh and ventilation holes.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 mesh

The strategic placement of these holes throughout the upper, rather than uniformly, significantly boosted overall ventilation.

Wrapping up with a manual inspection of the sliced upper, we noted the shoe's pursuit of ultimate lightness, evident in the absence of padding. Yet, the well-thought-out ventilation areas, especially beyond the toebox, stood out as a smart design choice for marathoners.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 205 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Mizuno's use of such thin engineered mesh set our expectations incredibly low even before we initiated our first durability test with the Dremel. But we held off judgment until seeing the results.

Regrettably, the outcome was as disappointing as we feared. The test left a complete hole in the upper, compelling us to assign the Wave Rebellion Pro a dismal 1/5 rating.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Toebox durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 139 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel padding is notably sparse, yet Mizuno has sewed a protective strip, intended to significantly enhance this area's durability.

Following our second Dremel test, conducted under identical conditions, we were pleased with a 4/5 outcome. Nonetheless, we're eager for the next iteration—hoping for a sleeker application of this protective strap, perhaps through adhesion, and coupled with additional padding for enhanced comfort.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Heel padding durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 4
Average 3.1
Compared to 135 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Following mixed outcomes from the initial durability tests, our attention shifted to the outsole. While durability isn't typically the main focus for racing shoes—where grip takes precedence—many runners still value a competition shoe that endures beyond a hundred miles.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 rubber

Unlike many supershoes with extensive exposed foam, this one stands out for its rubber coverage.

We started with the durometer, registering a 77.8 HC hardness for the G3 Rubber outsole. And we must emphasize—the traction is actually mind-blowing.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Outsole hardness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 77.8 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 256 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

To assess the durability of the ultra-grippy outsole on the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, we fired up the Dremel for a final test. What did we discover?

Our expectations were set for a less-than-ideal result due to its high grip, but the reality was even more disappointing. The Dremel completely obliterated the mini-lug we tested (1.9 mm). We advise runners against choosing this shoe for highly abrasive terrains, as it's evidently designed with just road running in mind.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Outsole durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 1.9 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 117 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The low outsole's thickness at just 2.1 mm is typical for a high-performance supershoe.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 thickness outsole

From every angle we captured, this shoe consistently presents a bizarre and unconventional look.

While a thicker layer of rubber could enhance durability, the primary goal here is speed, forcing a lighter build. An added advantage of the slim outsole we discovered is a more responsive ride, providing a less muted connection with the ground.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Outsole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 2.1 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Upon unboxing and handling the Mizuno Wave Rebellion 2 Pro, it initially seemed akin to its predecessor.

However, after placing it on the scale, we were pleasantly surprised to find it slightly lighter, tipping the scales at just 7.4 oz or 209g. Kudos to Mizuno for this one!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Weight
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 7.37 oz (209g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The brilliance of the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 shines through its innovative design. It masterfully adheres to World Athletics' 40 mm stack height limit at the heel, where we measured a precise 37.9 mm, thanks to its massive heel bevel.

While the shoe boasts way north than 40-mm in the midfoot, Mizuno has ingeniously ensured compliance with regulations, reminiscent of how Formula 1 teams navigate FIA rules. It's a strategic move by Mizuno that we love!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Heel stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 37.9 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot's stack height reached an impressive 35.8 mm, setting a new record in the lab for the most substantial forefoot measurement in a World Athletics-compliant shoe.

This exceptional design promises unmatched cushioning, offering midfoot and forefoot strikers great support during marathons and long runs.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Forefoot stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 35.8 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

Mizuno claims the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 features a 2.5 mm drop, and our measurements showed a strikingly similar 2.1 mm, nearly matching the official specs.

Yet, the unique geometry of this shoe means the drop feels variable, depending on how you land. Forefoot strikers might perceive it as having a 6-mm offset, while midfoot and heel strikers could experience it as slightly less.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Drop
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 2.1 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole of this shoe, at a mere 3.6 mm, is slimmer than what we typically encounter in training footwear. For comparison, its training sibling, the Wave Rebellion, sports a 4.1 mm sockliner.

This approach, we've noted, is a common tactic among brands aiming to maintain the shoe's stack height within World Athletics' legal limits while still maximizing the volume of midsole foam for optimal performance.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 3.6 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 272 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Diving into the midsole, there's plenty to dissect here, and not all of it good. We must highlight that the shoe's dual-foam setup, featuring different compounds, is arguably its Achilles' heel.

Mizuno opted for a softer Enerzy Lite+ (PEBA) top layer paired with a denser Enerzy Lite (TPE) base, rather than employing a full-PEBA midsole like many leading supershoes.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Enerzy

This choice, while offering stability, regrettably places the shoe a step behind the elite racers in performance metrics, as Enerzy Lite falls short in delivering the explosive energy return seen in premier superfoams—a significant letdown.

The top slab of Enerzy Lite+, measured at a plush 16.0 HA on our durometer, is undeniably comfortable and bouncy. But what about the lower layer?

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Midsole softness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 16.0 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 203 running shoes
Number of shoes
9.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Secondary foam softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The base layer of Enerzy Lite foam in this shoe, clocking in at 26.0 HA, is a firmer, TPE-based material that, while durable and offering better-than-EVA energy return, lacks the bounce of Enerzy Lite+ or other PEBA-based foams.

We firmly believe that for the WRP3, Mizuno must use a denser version of Enerzy Lite+, akin to how Nike utilizes ZoomX with different densities in the Vaporfly 3. Relying on a less efficient, cheaper foam is a letdown in a shoe priced at $250.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Secondary foam softness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 26.0 HA
Average 25.2 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After chilling the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes, we tested the primary Enerzy Lite+ foam to gauge its performance in colder temperatures.

The foam's resilience was impressive, showing only a minimal 7.1% change, mirroring the performance of top PEBA-based foams. Great!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 7.1%
Average 25.7%
Compared to 202 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Rocker

A standout feature of the Wave Rebellion Pro series is undoubtedly its unique midsole geometry.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 lateral

The design incorporates an exaggerated heel bevel with two objectives: to align with World Athletics' maximum stack height requirement of 40 mm at the measurement point and to enhance forward momentum—potentially even altering the footstrike of runners who alternate between midfoot and rearfoot techniques.

Additionally, there's a significant rocker in the forefoot, which, in our opinion, initiates slightly later than ideal. Thus, forefoot strikers might not fully benefit from the unconventional geometry, and heel strikers may not experience as smooth a transition as they would with other rockered shoes, such as the Hoka Cielo X1.

Plate

Mizuno continues its approach of not using a full carbon-fiber plate for this series, opting instead for a carbon-infused nylon Wave plate that's at least significantly stiffer than its predecessor—a change we'll detail shortly.

Positioned between the foam layers, the plate is distinctly designed to favor midfoot strikers, enhancing their forward propulsion. However, those who predominantly land on their forefoot or heel may not experience the full potential of this shoe due to its specific design.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Plate

Stability

Lateral stability test

Boasting a towering stack height in the midfoot coupled with its narrow build, achieving stability in this shoe feels like an elusive dream.

Through our extensive testing—spanning hundreds of shoes—we can assert that this model ranks among the least stable we've encountered.

On a brighter note, there's some positive news. Firstly, it's significantly more stable than its predecessor. Additionally, for those who primarily run in straight lines and possess a neutral gait, the shoe offers a fantastic feel! But leave it at home for your next twisty 5K or 10K, please.

Torsional rigidity

In our hands-on evaluation, we encountered substantial torsional rigidity, unanimously earning a 5/5 in our lab tests. This was precisely in line with our expectations and is crucial for providing a bit of stability to this skyscraper-high shoe.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 254 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is almost negligible, offering barely any structure and reinforcing its suitability solely for neutral runners at 1/5.

Anyone requiring even slight heel support should steer clear of this supershoe and opt for the ASICS Superblast instead.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 1
Average 2.8
Compared to 238 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Exploring the shoe's dimensions reveals a pretty standard forefoot width of 113.3 mm. The intrigue lies in how Mizuno managed to maintain a light weight for such a tall shoe with a decent width. The secret is in the midfoot's design—a prominent central groove extending from the heel to the forefoot.

This feature ingeniously allows for a broader shoe. It's a clever strategy that's already a trend in supershoes, offering the dual benefits of enhanced stability and reduced weight without compromising on overall foam volume.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 113.3 mm
Average 113.5 mm
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

We've previously determined this shoe might not be the best fit for heel strikers, given the superior options available. This is further confirmed by the heel's measurement of only 82.0 mm, solidifying the shoe's design as more suited for midfoot landing.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 82.0 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We committed to a closer examination of the carbon-infused, nylon-based Wave plate, and now it's time to share our findings. To gauge its stiffness, we conducted our 90-degree bend test, registering a force of 58.4N—comparable to many carbon-fiber plates used in other top racing shoes.

This begs the question: why not opt for a full carbon-fiber plate, as demonstrated by all leading supershoes? It seems we may have to await the next iteration for this.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 58.4N
Average 29.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 259 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We were curious about how stiffness might vary in colder conditions, given that many marathons take place in cooler climates. Following a 20-minute stint in the freezer, we repeated our test and observed a significant 25.5% increase in stiffness—a clearly discernible difference.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 25.5%
Average 36.6%
Compared to 259 running shoes
Number of shoes
-100%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The moment we stepped into the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, we were struck by the exceptionally roomy upper for being a competition shoe.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 upper

Our tests quantitatively echoed this outstanding level of comfort, with measurements revealing a notable maximum width of 98.1 mm.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 98.1 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The spaciousness in the big toe area mirrors that of a daily trainer, offering ample room for toe splay at 77.6 mm.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 toebox

This feature positions the shoe as an excellent choice for those who find traditional racing uppers too restrictive.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 77.6 mm
Average 78.1 mm
Compared to 150 running shoes
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
91.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The absence of a gusseted tongue, particularly in a $250 shoe, strikes us as a significant oversight, more so in this model given that its upper lacks the ultra-snug fit characteristic of other supershoes, which prevents the tongue from shifting side to side.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue features virtually no padding, with our measurements revealing a mere 1.3-mm thickness.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 lacing

The lacing system just works. But we would have loved to get premium, notched laces.

Yet, this aligns perfectly with our desire for minimal weight and maximum performance!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Tongue padding
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 1.3 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 274 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Given that the upper adopts a classic engineered mesh design rather than a bootie or sock-like structure, there's no necessity for a heel tab, allowing Mizuno to shave off some weight.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 heel

On the heel's exterior, there's an intriguing detail—the geographical coordinates marking the location of MIZUNO ENGINE, the brand's hub for research and innovation in Osaka, Japan.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Heel tab
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 None

Removable insole

Differing from many supershoes, Mizuno has designed the insole without being fixed to the last, enabling the easy swap for custom orthotics or alternative third-party insoles.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Removable insole
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

This feature also stands out as a delightful exception among supershoes—reflective elements!

While nighttime races might be rare, the potential for an early morning tempo run means enhanced safety with this thoughtful addition.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2 Yes