Verdict from 4 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The testers have welcomed the lightweight structure of the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3, stating that it allows them to run for extended periods.
  • Consumers believe that the midsole unit has a reactive construction that encourages energized steps.
  • The upper unit is lauded for providing a cloth-like wrap that is not irritating to the skin of the foot.
  • A couple of runners have welcomed the appealing color schemes that are available for the Wave Shadow 3.
  • This Mizuno running shoe has a price that is deemed affordable by some purchasers.
  • The general quality of the materials is deemed robust and reliable.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few testers have complained about the low ceiling of the forefoot section, causing some irritation on the skin.
  • The upper unit’s textile is quick to tear apart, according to a consumer.

Bottom line

Neutral, pronated foot motion is the target gait progression of the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3.  The responsive midsole and the accommodating in-shoe feel are elements that people say contribute to the performance of those with regular strides. Also, the quality of the materials and the price are appreciated. On the other hand, the low-volume forefoot and the flimsy textile of the upper are criticized.

The Wave Shadow 3 is a road running shoe that is meant for daily speed training sessions and urban adventures.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

The Mizuno Wave Shadow 3 is similar to its predecessor, the Wave Shadow 2, save for a few changes to the upper unit. These seemingly minor and visual alterations to the facade are actually meant to open up the silhouette for enhanced airflow. Gone are the stitched-on overlays and the multifaceted heel structure; in their place are two textiles that are responsible for security and comfort.

Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of a cushioning system that offers targeted support to the forefoot and the heel. The latter gets extra attention through the Mizuno Wave layer that runs from the heel to the midfoot. Rearfoot strikers are the ones who are likely to benefit from this accouterment.

The sizing scheme of the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3 suggests that it is true to size. However, runners are encouraged to test a pair first in-store before buying to ensure an accurate fitting with the shoe.

The structure of the Wave Shadow 3 caters to neutral pronators. Thus, fit specifications include moderate widths of the heel and forefoot, as well as medium heights of the arch and the toe box.

The semi-curved shape of the platform and the form-fitting quality of the upper unit also affect the quality of the fit. These elements promote the capturing of an agreeable coverage and ride through adherence to the foot-shape.

The external pad of the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3 is made of X10, a layer that is derived from carbon rubber. The material protects the base of the midsole from the abrasive nature of the ground. It has a durable construction to allow it to last long. Also, it is responsible for doling out traction, which is highly essential for the efficacy of the performance.

The heel and forefoot sections are decoupled to responsibly isolate the impact shock generated by the striking phase. When the foot lands on the heel, the force dissipates exclusively on that part, leaving the other areas to smoothly complete the step.

Shallow flex grooves make the platform a bit flexible. These trenches fundamentally sanction the natural bending capacity of the foot as it gears itself for the toe-off phase.

U4ic is a Mizuno technology that offers reactive cushioning in a lightweight yet durable package. This full-length piece is designed to support the foot and keep it energized as it takes each step. Additionally, it attenuates impact during the landing phase. U4ic is a staple in many modern Mizuno shoe series, gracing long-running rosters like the Wave Creation and the Wave Prophecy.

The Mizuno Wave is a thermoplastic piece that is wedged in the heel part of the platform. This layer is designed to bolster the structural integrity of the platform while also maintaining in-shoe steadiness. Moreover, it assists the foam part of the midsole when it comes to receiving the impact shock.

The Premium Sockliner is a layer of soft cushioning that is placed right above the primary midsole system. It is thin yet soft and flexible. It provides a smooth surface for the foot to enjoy while inside the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3. It can be removed or replaced with a new insert.

SmoothRide is a slightly convex platform construction which is helpful when it comes to leading the foot through the step smoothly and efficiently.

The Mizuno Intercool is made up of a ventilation system within the midsole unit. Small holes permit air to enter and exit the shoe, staving off the feeling of stuffiness.

Running from the front to the midfoot part of the Mizuno Wave Shadow 3 is a cloth-like mesh. This element aims to deliver smooth and non-irritating coverage. It has a stretchy construction to mimic the shape and motion of the foot. Also, it has breathing holes to further encourage a cool and dry in-shoe experience.

The heel part features a ribbed textile which helps with the security of the heel.

The padded tongue and collar are designed to cushion the topmost portions of the foot, namely the Achilles tendon, the ankles, and the instep. The foam within these parts also aims to avert in-shoe wobbling and accidental shoe removals.


How Mizuno Wave Shadow 3 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 33% road running shoes
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Top 30% Mizuno running shoes
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Top 32% neutral running shoes
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The current trend of Mizuno Wave Shadow 3.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.