Facts

  • Discontinued
  • Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    $120
  • Weight
    Men: 9.2oz
    Women: 7.8oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 12mm
    Women: 12mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Unknown
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Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The general consensus from a good number of reviews show that the 18th version of the Rider is a comfortable shoe.
  • It is a value for the money investment.
  • Many comments focused on the spacious toe box for plenty of toe splay.
  • It has excellent arch support.
  • The Rider 18 is relatively lightweight for a neutral trainer.
  • A handful loved the pop coming from the midsole.
  • The heel to toe transition is quick, according to several runners.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Quite a few runners saw the soles of the Rider 18 getting separated from the upper.
  • Several disliked the firmness of the ride.
  • Some were disappointed because it required a break-in period.

Bottom line

One of Mizuno’s most popular lines goes back to what worked for them in this version of the Rider. With a more form-fitting upper, runners will get to experience again the superb arch support, firm and responsive cushioning, and efficient movement through the gait cycle. This is a very solid option for those looking for a high-mileage trainer that has noticeable stability and shock-absorbing features.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

81 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews

  • 75 / 100 | Lovebel Talisic

    A few strides with The Mizuno Wave Rider 18

    I own a running shoe from the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

    I usually prefer a shoe with a narrower forefoot, but I still want to give the Rider 18 a try. I personally choose this shoe because it is lightweight and I read a lot of reviews mentioning how durable and comfortable the shoe is. 

     

    Breathability and Comfort

    The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has a mesh upper coverage and I expected the shoe to be breathable. However, when I first tried the shoe, after running a few minutes, my feet started to feel a burning sensation and sweat a little. Maybe it was because of the warm weather in my country. I tried running in the Rider 18 one evening and the feeling is much better – no more burning sensation and it feels more breathable.

    The shoe has a padded tongue and collar which gives added comfort and support. The laces are good. They stay exactly where I wanted them to stay and they secure the foot comfortably. My only complaint is the length of the laces. It’s too long for my preferences.

     

     

    Another thing that I don’t like is the inner seams under the logo. I experienced irritation, especially with thin socks.

    It’s a good thing that I’m not a fan of sockless running, otherwise, I’ll experience the worse. Every time I go for a run with my Mizuno Rider 18, I’d make sure to wear a thicker pair of socks.

    Fit

    Though the Rider 18 looks bulky on my feet, I still like the overall fit of the shoe.

    My feet felt so relaxed while running. The forefoot is wide and there is enough room in the toe box, allowing my toes to move comfortably.

    Ride

    I dislike the shoe’s firm U4ic midsole foam. The shoe also lacks the flexibility despite the presence of the flex grooves in the sole.

    Durability

    The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 utilizes a non-marking carbon rubber in the outsole.

    There is the X10 carbon rubber in the heel and a softer blown rubber in the forefoot area. I was impressed by the overall durability of the shoe’s outsole unit.

     

     

    I have been running with this shoe for several times already and the sole still looks good. The dual mesh upper material of the shoe is also durable.

    Mizuno Wave Rider 18 vs. Adidas Duramo 6

    Compared to my Duramo 6, the Rider 18 is more durable and feels lighter. I really like how lightweight the Rider 18 is. But considering the soft and flexible ride of the Duramo 6 and its breathability, I would say that I like the Duramo 6 better.

    The Adidas Duramo 6 have a narrow forefoot and a spacious toe box. It looks good on my feet (not bulky) and I did not experience irritation in this shoe. The upper coverage is also more breathable compared to the Rider 18.

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Durable
    • Spacious toe box

    Cons

    • Looks bulky on my feet
    • Upper mesh is not breathable enough especially on warm weather
    • Inner seams under the logo irritate the skin
    • Cushioning is too firm

    Conclusion

    lightweight and durable road running shoe. These are basically the reasons why I gave this shoe a try.

    Since I am disappointed with the shoe’s breathability and firm ride, I’m not sure yet if I will consider buying the newest version of the Rider series.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Solereview

    The Wave Rider is a firm riding shoe which plays both the neutral and motion control card.

  • 85 / 100 | Running Competitor

    Firm but responsive ride that runners have been accustomed to for many years, only with a more nimble ride. It feels slightly softer in the forefoot during toe-off.

  • 50 / 100 | Runner's World

    While testers appreciated the midfoot fit, several complained about rubbing or slipping around the ankle, and many rated the ride as "average."

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Updates to Mizuno Wave Rider 18

  • Mizuno itself admits that the previous model was sort of a hit and miss so it had to go back to what gave the line so much success in the past. In the Rider 18, the same springy or curved forefoot utilized in versions past, is featured. This gives the shoe a much better transition going forward.
  • The outsole gets a little boost as well where durability goes. Mizuno adds a little more rubber in the heel and forefoot sections. It also means a little more cushioning to handle impacts. Changing the outsole pattern is another significant modification in the latest incarnation of the Wave Rider. From large and circular pattern, it has been changed to the rectangular-shaped configuration. The change also results to numerous fair-sized cut outs, which result to better flexibility.
  • Going back to an earlier model of the Wave Plate is also in dealt in the 18th version of the Rider. Because it is designed to be firm, runners can get more stability and a little pop in this shoe.
  • The upper, however, gets a majority of the changes. A loose fit was a major factor in losing that Rider magic before, so Mizuno did away with the welded and printed overlays for a more substantial and stitched version, including the Runbird logo. Mizuno ditches the seamless one-piece version for a two-piece design for more structure and hold. Located in the upper is a new eyelet row overlay for enhanced durability.
  • Overlays in the heel has been removed to feature a single patch with a tiny reflective material. Despite the overlay being removed, the heel counter continues to be firm. The overall result is a much better heel and midfoot hold. There is improved locked down feel in this shoe.
  • To compensate for the firmness of the sole, a premium insole can be trampled upon by runners.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 size and fit

The fit of the Rider 18 has changed relative to the earlier model. A relaxed feel in the heel and midfoot is a bit noticeable, but there are no longer any security concerns as the enhancements ensure a functional lockdown in these areas. The roomy forefoot gives runners a more comfortable fit for long runs. Medium and wide are the available widths of this shoe. Sizing runs true in the Wave Rider 18.


Outsole

The Rider 18 uses numerous rectangular-shaped rubber configurations. It gives the shoe more flex. Mizuno covers the heel with its ever-reliable X10 carbon rubber for more durability and traction. The forefoot uses softer blown rubber with a slightly more aggressive pattern than the rest of the outsole.


Midsole

Reverting to past model of the Wave Plate does the trick for the 18th instalment of the rider. It brings back the trademark torsional rigidity and firmness in the cushioning for more shock attenuation and responsiveness. Adding to the firmness of the ride is the U4ic midsole foam.


Upper

A two-piece upper with minimal, but more substantial overlays covers a large part of this section. The mesh is highly-breathable while the overlays enhanced the midfoot security. Mizuno places a small logo on the heel for some reflectivity with a hidden heel counter holding the heel in place. The tongue and collar are well-padded for improved comfort.