Facts

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    Discontinued
  • Terrain
    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
    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
    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
    Price
    $120
  • Weight
    Weight
    Men: 9.2oz
    Women: 7.8oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    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
    Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Release date
    Unknown
Show more facts

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

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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.