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
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
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.
WeightMen: 10ozWomen: 8.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 12mmWomen: 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.
Heel heightMen: 32mmWomen: 32mm
Forefoot heightMen: 20mmWomen: 20mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
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90 / 100 based on 2 expert reviews
Mizuno Wave Rider 22: A second chance at a first impression
The last version that I laced up helped me log the miles and speed work required to notch my sole overall marathon championship five years ago.
Conversely, I almost didn’t even try them on because previous models had been too heavy and rigid to provide the forgiving feel and comfort required for such an arduous task. With this in mind, I was very eager to give this latest version the benefit of another go around as I conclude my latest training cycle.
Upper & Fit
From the outset, it is easy to see that the main update to this recent iteration is the upper. It boasts of an engineered mesh that is both breathable and very comfortable.
The shoe required almost no break-in period and felt very supple along the heel collar and through the lateral forefoot, two main places that can be troublesome for medium to large framed runners as well as those with wider feet, as this shoe does not generally come in multiple widths.
Like most Mizunos in my personal experience, they seemed to run about a ½ size short. If I were to give it a good comparison, standing in the shoe initially reminds me of the feel of the old school Brooks Ghost 5, a shoe that is on my Mount Rushmore of trainers.
The heel counter certainly has some structure to it but does not feel overly rigid or restrictive to natural ankle movement. After 55 miles of wear, it is maintaining its integrity well, with no wear spots nor pilling on the fabric. This is a tremendous feat for the miles I have logged in the extreme heat of late summer in southern Iowa.
As a matter of fact, the plush upper and heel materials leave the foot feeling caressed rather than chafed. It is immediately apparent that some great attention was paid to ensuring that the upper wicks moisture well enough to compensate for the added weight to this shoe compared with previous models.
On this note, the only downfall to the upper is just that - unnecessary weight.
While the bird logo is ever present on the lateral border of the Mizuno brand, this year (and it appears for the past 3 models of this shoe) the designers elected to place a stitched on piece of TPU or similar material at the midfoot as the logo on both the lateral and medial sides of the shoe.
While minuscule on its own, this superfluous design cue, combined with other curious choices, has the cumulative effect of tipping the scale of the shoe overall to the double-digit mark on the scale (almost 10 oz. for men's size 9 compared with around 9 oz just a short 5 models ago).
While previous models and competitors opting for a more modern welded or 3-D printed logo, it is interesting that this throwback has made a reappearance again on this model.
Midsole and Insole Cushioning Systems
One thing that stunned me with the Wave Rider 22 is that it has changed in terms of the overall proportion of cushioning and structure. The last model that I donned almost had the feel of a racing shoe on shorter speed sessions.
As mentioned earlier, the shoe has put on some weight, gradually gaining nearly a full ounce per shoe in recent years. The tradeoff is noticeable: while the shoe does feel heavy on long distance runs, the extra foam and Cloudwave support plate technology in the heel of the shoe cradle the foot more smoothly and with a less stark perception of ground reaction force for those with a naturally heavy heel strike.
For those with a more midfoot or forefoot strike (myself included) the 12mm heel to toe offset, coupled with the well-apportioned heel padding, can become overpowering when working through pure speed workouts on the track or for race pace days. I liken the shoe in this way to a midsize luxury sports sedan. It looks great and feels like a $50,000 machine, but you don't expect it to bury the needle or go 0-60 in any big hurry.
In terms of overall feel, the insole maintains the tradition Mizuno holds for very ample, yet beefy insoles. The Dynamotion Fit insole has already started to mold to my foot and when heated up and moistened by the first mile or two, it feels like a Tempur-Pedic mattress immediately underfoot, a friendly mediator between the runner and Mizuno’s legendarily firm midsole and arch support.
Where there are shortcomings here again is the cumulative effect of added weight. While the upper wicks quite well and stays moderately dry, the insole and strobel are noticeably less permeable and weigh one down after a good lather has been built in the workout.
With the presence of the Wave plate, it would be great to see some sort of moisture relief ports built into the strobel and midsole to allow a sort of additional drainage to address the shortcoming à la Asics’ Gel Noosa.
Outsole & Durability
The outsole of the shoe also holds true to recent form with Mizuno’s premium line of running shoes, with SmoothRide blown rubber compound in the forefoot and X10 carbon rubber compound in the heel for greater durability.
Thus far, I have noticed no appreciable wear and tear to the shoe. In fact, despite being used for track, treadmill and one 10 miles out on gravel and pavement, the sole unit looks almost as it did right out of the box.
The presence of flex grooves in the forefoot and a de-coupled heel unit give the shoe some flexibility but feels much more structured than the Riders of old. Much as previous models have, the shoe almost gives off the air of being a go-between of neutral and stability trainer.
Where this shoe really showed great comfort and feel was in the workplace. As a worker in the field of Physical Therapy, I primarily stand on either tile or hard concrete masked with a very thin carpet. Having worn these shoes for over two weeks in, they are truly a shoe that has helped fight the daily fatigue of standing long hours with the wave plate lending a helping hand to firmly grip and support the arch when the day gets longer than expected.
In the same vein, as a walking shoe, the Ride 22 felt superb underfoot when using a more heel to toe gait pattern as opposed to my habitual forefoot land and release that tends to fall more in line with my running stride.
In terms of overall appearance, the shoe is also holding up structurally quite well in the toe box and toe cap, which has been a recent problem for me as a father of three pushing a jogging stroller with a rather stiff foot controlled parking brake.
Like a broken record, the only thing that could make the shoe better would be a less is more approach with the carbon rubber in the heel (which is quite large and usually only placed in the heel rather than the full length of the outsole for weight savings).
In terms of versatility, the overall design of the shoe is impressively chameleon-like.
With a style reminiscent of the MetaRun from Asics, this shoe exudes an aura of class and panache with understated colorways and contrasting accent colors (there is also a black with gold trim version for the Steelers or Hawkeye fan in you) that look as sharp on the roads as they do at the bar after 5, in the halls at work or at school.
They also seem to hold their color quite well in the upper due to the muted tones. In contrast to previous years, those seeking a bright and flashy number may need to look elsewhere for this year's model has strayed away from multiple colorway options (Although the Rider 21 boasted a vibrant Team USA-like edition and the Rider 20 featured a lime and gray number that looked pretty sharp and stands out in the crowd).
For those of us with a relaxed enough dress code for athletic footwear, but who need a modest color scheme, this shoe is up to the task of providing long lasting support in a professional looking package.
- Generous fit in the forefoot and toe box for a tapered lasted shoe
- Superior heel cushioning, firm arch support, and overall feel to the foot
- Versatile color schemes ideal for going between work and play
- Above average breathable and quick-drying upper
- At MSRP $119.95 it is a bargain for those wanting premium cushioning and stability for a neutral shoe
- Very stiff feel and limited flexibility, even for a traditional-style neutral trainer
- At 12mm offset, the shoe has one of the highest offsets still offered in the industry
- Decreased moisture management performance from insole to the midsole and beyond
- Limited colorways and lack of vibrant colors may turn off those seeking to stand out from the pack
The MizunoWave Rider 22 has evolved from its roots as a sporty middleweight champ into a premium, high mileage trainer with above class features and durability ideal for those seeking maximum protection from the ground.
For the purpose of this review, I’d like to thank Mizuno for providing me with a pair of the Wave Rider 22. No additional compensation was provided and the review process objective over the course of a normal life cycle of my daily training shoes.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
There are more technical Mizuno shoes – Mizuno Wave Sky 2, and cheaper Mizuno shoes – Mizuno Wave Ultima 9 but neither of these shoes combine the last shape and toe spring of the Wave Rider 22, that make it the best Mizuno shoe in the line. In fact it is really quite difficult to think of an alternative training shoe available on the market with a faster and smoother heel to toe transition at any pace.
Updates to Mizuno Wave Rider 22
- This shoe is crafted for those who want to tackle a variety of activities to the next level. The upper area of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 has a full-length engineered mesh. This updated material is focused on delivering a breathable coverage. It also adapts to a variety of foot shapes which results in a comfortable ride.
- Like the previous version, the shoe has the same features but with updates in the design of the midsole area. With the modification of this section, a smoother and softer ride is created for the user to enjoy throughout the run.
- With the perfect combination of a soft material in the heel area and new flex grooves, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 offers a softer ground impact. Because of this, an agreeable heel-to-toe transition is encouraged.
Mizuno Wave Rider 22 size and fit
The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is a neutral shoe that is engineered for road running activities. The footwear has noticeable upgrades to improve comfort and fit, while still providing most of the benefits delivered by its predecessor. When it comes to size, the shoe follows the standard measurements. The available widths are D - Medium, and 2E - Wide for the men's version and B - Medium and D - Wide for the women's version.
Featured in the outsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is the X10. This material can be found in the heel area of the shoe. It is made up of durable carbon rubber that aims to provide enhanced grip on different paved surfaces.
Flex Controllers are strategically-placed in the high flex areas of the outsole. The primary purpose of this technology to act as miniature wave plates. These wave plates are essential for increasing flexibility and reducing weight.
Lying in the forefoot area is the Blown rubber. This component of the shoe aims to increase responsiveness and cushioning.
Utilized in the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is the Cloudwave. This technology is composed of a redesigned plastic wave that is thermal and elastic. It runs from the heel area to the midfoot to create a bouncier and more cushioned ride.
The Premium Anatomical Sockliner is incorporated into the footwear. This material is vital in helping to provide a more natural and customized fit. As a result, a softer underfoot feel is experienced by the runner.
Minimizing the rapid deceleration and acceleration of the foot is the work of the Smooth Ride. This technology is described to be a gender-specific network of grooves that aims to create a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
A more cushioned and lighter version of the U4ic is used in making the footwear. This version is called the U4icX Heel Wedge. With the utilization of this technology, it delivers a softer and more pillowy underfoot feel. This is significant for the runner during the ground impact.
Optimal shock absorption is offered by the U4ic. This lightweight midsole material delivers a resilient ride and improved durability as well.
The Dynamotion Fit is integrated into the upper section of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. This stretchable material lies in the forefoot area to create an optimized fit. It also has the collar construction that is responsible for preventing the heel collar from bending and twisting under load.
Lying in the forefoot area is the Dual Zone engineered mesh. This component of the shoe is updated to improve response to foot movements. This is significant in providing a distraction-free fit.
Mizuno added the U4icX Strobel Lasting board into the shoe. This feature's primary focus is to deliver a more cushioned and comfortable feel underneath the foot.