Mizuno Wave Sky 2
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Overview of this review
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is a cushioned and comfortable shoe that doesn’t quite get it right.
It’s a tough recommendation because while it offers superior cushioning for long runs, the bulky design of the shoe makes it uncomfortable to run in.
Wearing Wave Sky 2 while the weather turned from 90 degrees and sunny to 55 degrees and raining, I had to opportunity to wear this shoe in many different weather conditions. One thing I did notice is that the shoe gets hot after a few miles.
I have to put most of the blame for the heat on the unnecessarily thick ankle collar. The collar was uncomfortable and distracting and it made my ankle and back of the foot get warm and uncomfortable.
I must admit it was a weird sensation. The toe box and midfoot area received normal ventilation, but the thick ankle collar made the back of my foot sweat like crazy on hot days! I do want to say I wore this shoe mostly in 70-degree weather, and it was fine on those days.
It wasn’t until the temperature hit 80+ degrees that the heat became an issue. But an issue it did become so I must say the Mizuno's Wave Sky 2 is a shoe to run in colder weather, especially if you have warm feet.
The fit of the shoe, on the other hand, was very good.
A solid lockdown in the heel and midfoot meant no slipping around, and the toe box area had plenty of room to breathe and move around. Even using the shoe on trails, the AeroHug upper hugged my foot and adapted to my foot movement as the run went on.
Taking the shoe right out of the box, a size 10 fit my foot perfectly! It was supportive while not being too tight. For reference I wear a size 10 in Adidas, Nike, Saucony, etc. and a size 10.5 in New Balance.
Built as a long distance running shoe, Mizuno did not disappoint in the comfort and fit of the Wave Sky 2. The shoe was as comfortable one month in as it was the first day. With no break-in period, you will be hitting double-digit mileage with this shoe in no time.
As we all know, going into double digit mileage can make us a bit lazy and focus less on our foot strike. Even while getting sloppy, and heel striking, the shoe still absorbed most of the impact, putting less wear and tear on the body.
Although I really didn’t like the added bulk and hotspot, the ankle collar did add a nice touch of support. I had a small Achilles problem from a mud run, and wearing these on my recovery run put really needed support and pressure around my lower ankle relieving a lot of pain.
The overall bulk of the shoe is something I am still struggling with. While the cushioning was soft and comfortable, I found myself mid run wishing I wore a different shoe. It puzzles me to this day, but every time I tried to pick up the pace in this shoe, it felt like it was slowing me down.
The shoe is constructed with a full-length U4icX midsole and cloud wave technology, all at a 10mm drop. The cushioning system is confirmation to any surface your running on. The multi-system cushioning foam provides exceptional cushioning with a good amount of bounce back.
Great cushioning does come at a price. As mentioned above, the cushioned midsole offers great comfort, but it can be really mushy when picking up the pace.
There is a running shoe out there for everybody, but not all shoes are made for everyone.
Being a collegiate cross country runner, my current discipline is an 8k. Although through training we often go over 10 miles, I’m mostly running short speed workouts.
The Wave Sky 2 was my shoe of choice for getting double digit training miles in, but I didn’t even consider it for runs where speed mattered. The weight, weird ankle collar heat and comfort issues, and mushy midsole made running speed workouts almost impossible.
Although the Wave Sky 2 plastic snap wave plate has a nice kick, it is missing that speedy toe-off. It worked just fine for long, slow recovery runs, but it’s a tough recommendation for any speed based runs. Weighing 11.5oz for the men's shoe it’s not the heaviest shoe on the market, but not a great choice for speed runs.
After 80 miles of road and some harsh muddy trail conditions, the shoe's upper and sole aged very well. The well built upper had no tears and showed no signs of worry. Likewise, the X10 sole looks to have 100s of miles left. There were no issues with traction, and while the sole of the shoe doesn’t have the deepest grooves, I never felt unstable in the rain.
As mentioned above, the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 has a very bulky design making it feel uncomfortable on the foot but also taking even more away from the design. In general, the colors and overall design are what you might expect from a Mizuno running shoe, nothing special that is.
Personally, the blue and lime green colors along with the design remind me of a shoe from the early 2000s, and quite frankly the other color options don’t look much better.
Mizuno's claim that “THE SKY’S THE LIMIT” is short-lived with the Wave Sky 2. The comfort of the shoe is masked by a high price tag, bad design, and breathability issues.
It’s as if Mizuno rushed the shoe to market before sorting out all the kinks. Quite frankly this shoe feels like a missed opportunity by Mizuno, and let me tell you this shoe had great potential.
At $150 retail, it is a tough recommendation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really comfortable long distance running shoe, but quite frankly there are better options out there. Especially considering that the previous iteration of the shoe is half the price, as of this writing, my recommendation is to pick up the previous iteration of the Wave Sky.
According to Running Warehouse, “The Mizuno Wave Sky  is a highly-cushioned premium neutral running shoe best suited for daily training over any distance.”
Do we agree? See the verdict below.
The Wave Sky 2 from Mizuno weighs 11.4 ounces – a slight increase over the 11.1 ounces of the original Wave Sky, and has a 10mm drop. The weight increase is not felt on the road.
The shoe, in fact, feels lighter than its weight. To prove this, I alternated this shoe with the Wave Rider 21 – which weighs 10.1 ounces – to see if the Wave Sky feels noticeably heavier. It does not.
When it comes to fit, the Wave Sky 2 feels like just a slightly larger, somewhat roomier version of the Wave Rider. It fits well in one’s normal running shoe size.
The sole of the shoe is flared out on both the medial and lateral sides – front and rear. So I’d often look down and wonder, if just for a moment if I had on a pair of trail shoes.
The outsole and midsole remain unchanged from the original shoe. What’s different is the upper. The upper on the first iteration of the Wave Sky appeared to mix both retro and modern visual schemes. I liked it, but some felt that it did not look like a $150 shoe.
The upper on the Wave Sky 2 is most attractive – especially in the Directoire Blue and Cherry colorway, and the shoe now definitely looks modern and worth its price. It also looks like a big brother version of the Wave Rider 22.
The new upper provides plenty of toe room up front; an AeroHug saddle in the midfoot which, yes, hugs the foot; and a nicely padded soft heel collar which keeps one’s ankles locked down.
Although the heel collar is well padded, Mizuno did not go overboard here as it did on the Mizuno Wave Precision 13. (That model had so much firm padding in the rear that it bothered my Achilles tendon.)
The heel counter on the shoe is firm and properly protective.
The tongue on the shoe has enough padding that it stays in place. I was initially concerned about the large round shoe laces which often come untied. However, that’s not a concern with the laces on the Wave Sky 2.
The insole on the shoe is thicker than I’d like, so I replaced it with the svelte insole from the Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3, a workaround that succeeds while having the added bonus of trimming a modicum of weight.
A neutral shoe?
The Wave Sky 2 is technically listed as a neutral training shoe. However, Mizuno’s thermal plastic wave ensures a more than moderate level of stability from just in front of the heel to the mid-forefoot.
If you’ve run in the Mizuno Wave Rider in the last two or three years, you know that each version of the shoe appears to have more of a pillowy feeling, with more bounce-back and forefoot flexibility.
As each version of the Wave Rider is to its predecessor, the same is true when it comes to the Wave Sky 2 and the Wave Sky. Although the midsole and sole of both shoes appear to be identical, the Wave Sky 2 seems to offer a bit more cushion up front - while simultaneously being a tad more flexible, and delivering an increased amount of energy return.
Another way of explaining this is that the first Wave Sky was a very comfortable, cushioned shoe that took some time to break in. Initially, it felt stiff underfoot.
To the contrary, the Wave Sky 2 felt pillowy and cushioned from mile one onward. This can, in fact, be felt while walking in the shoe. And the increased bounce-back was also immediately apparent.
The Wave Sky 2 might have been called the Wave Sky Plus. In the words of a classic rock song, it’s “just a little bit better.”
On the road
The Wave Sky 2 is a very good pace shoe on concrete and asphalt. It will let you maintain a steady pace without much effort.
It also makes for a decent trail shoe on basic surfaces, and there’s enough cushioning that one need not worry about running on hard rock trails. The forefoot cushioning up front will protect sensitive metatarsals on virtually any surface.
The wave plate facilitates both midfoot landings and heel strikes. One can sprint for brief periods of time in this shoe, but it’s doubtful that one would select the Wave Sky 2 to wear on race day. (This is not its intended function.) As this is the case, one might consider using the shoe as part of a two or three shoe rotation.
In the rotation
A Mizuno loyalist might want to consider using the excellent Wave Shadow 2 as a short to a mid-mileage trainer and race day shoe, with the Wave Sky 2 used for longer run days and as a post-race recovery shoe. The Wave Rider 22 might be added to the mix as a shoe that slots between the other two.
If one is ecumenical when it comes to running shoe brands, the New Balance 1400 v6 makes for a great fast-paced trainer and racer. That shoe can be used on days when one is not running long slow distances in the Wave Sky 2.
In my look at the original Wave Sky, I found the shoe to be the equivalent of the excellent Brooks Glycerin 15. And I presciently added, “I expect that it will only get better in the future.” Mizuno has maintained and improved the quality of this attractive, well manufactured, and highly durable trainer.
At $150, the Wave Sky 2 is not a bargain shoe, but it may be viewed as a bargain for the runner who puts in long mileage training days. This shoe is up to the task and will serve that runner for hundreds of comfortable miles.
The Wave Sky 2 should also be considered as a first shoe for the new runner, and as a highly protective shoe for runners with sensitive feet and those battling against Plantar Fasciitis. (I found this to be one of the best shoes to wear during a PF flare-up.)
First things first – this is a GREAT shoe in its category and will be ready for any number of miles right out of the box. The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is a thick-cushioned shoe with a higher heel-to-toe drop. It is meant to absorb plenty of shock and provide lots of cushion while also having a good grip on any surface.
The main source of competition will likely be from the Brooks Ghost line. Just like the Ghost, this shoe is designed to provide plenty of cushioning and lots of comfort to the runner. It is a neutral shoe which means it should allow the user’s foot to roll naturally.
Big fan of the color blue!
These aren’t the shoes to set a PR with as they are more for comfort than speed. Personally, I think this is the best thick cushioned shoe on the market, and if the Brooks Ghost is still the top shoe in this category, then this shoe is the Ghost-buster.
Reviewing from the ground up…
Tread & outsole
The tread consists of these thick lugs with strips of rubber in each. The lugs are to allow traction even in muddy or gravel areas while the thin rubber on each lug grips well on normal surfaces such as pavement and brick (my main areas of running).
The only time I’ve seen something like this was on my Topo Magnifly 2 shoes, and if you read that review, then you’ll know I love those shoes, they are still my go-to pair.
Just like those, the tread on the Sky 2 never once failed me. Whether I was going uphill, downhill, running on gravel, wet brick, dry or whatever it was, the tread grabbed it every step of the way.
Notice the “lugs” on the outside with the thinner rubber pattern inside — great traction.
The outer sole is a blown rubber which is thick enough to absorb shock but doesn’t provide much in the way of rebound.
I’m fine with it for two reasons: (1) rebound always goes away after so many miles and (2) a rebound might seem nice, but it throws off the normal gait just a little. This is just a personal feeling on rebound and while I welcome the neutral hit and release, others may prefer to have more bounce in their shoe.
I also found the transition from heel to toe to be one of the smoothest ever. This is mostly thanks to the PEBAX Wave Plate technology, which was also used in their Wave Shadow series.
This is a plate they place inside the outsole which goes above the heel area and comes out right around midsole. The purpose is to absorb more of the shock while allowing the foot to move naturally in its forward direction.
The orange is the plate. You can see where it is beneath the heel and comes out in the midsole of the outer (the tread area).
Just like the Shadow series, the U4ic (pronounced “Euphoric”) and U4icX were used to create a midsole that can handle shock from the foot strike while still providing a cushioned feel.
Because of how thick these shoes are (11mm drop) I felt that there was plenty of cushioning no matter how hard I might land. I even put these to the test with some hill work, and when coming down a bit too much on my heels the midsole and outsole combined to provide plenty of cushion with a good grip.
The blue midsole fits into the white outsole in a zigzag pattern. Quite comfortable!
Mizuno also used their Aerohug technology which is supposed to provide a great fit for the foot. I have no idea exactly how it works, but what I felt was a shoe that hugged my foot snugly while somehow never feeling tight. Even after 15 miles, my legs felt good, and my feet felt un-restricted.
I mention this because on longer runs, the feet can swell a bit and it will make the wearer need to stop and redo the laces to provide a more comfortable feel. This is not the case for me with the Sky 2, because I am not building up for any particular race, a 15 miler would normally start to make my legs feel some pain. So no pain and no need to readjust the laces was very welcomed.
Upper & toe box
The toe box was neither too larger nor too narrow. Other shoemakers such as Brooks tend to make their toe boxes bigger especially in height, while some might make theirs a little smaller.
Mizuno, in my opinion, hit the center of the road quite well. I may have narrow feet, but I did not have to tighten the laces over to get my foot to stay in place, yet there was enough room to allow some toe splaying, which is always nice and more natural.
Not an overly large toe box but still a fair amount of room.
Using my patent pending “place my hands inside the shoes and swing my arms like a windmill” test, I noticed that these shoes did not breathe overly well. Which is a way of saying I didn’t feel the wind on my hands while swinging them around goofily. Much to my surprise, my feet never once felt hot.
This is probably because the new sockliner not only provides a good fit, but it also pulls the moisture from the sock area while allowing air into the shoe. After some longer runs, I even noticed how damp the thick tongue and heel area felt despite my feet feeling nice and dry. A good sign that this sockliner/upper setup works.
The tongue is a thicker one, as I mentioned, but it stayed in place nicely without causing any extra rubbing or annoyance. Also, the laces worked quite well and did not need to be readjusted due to coming loose after “X” amount of miles.
Overall, the entire upper design created a smooth and comfortable feel around the foot for any length of run.
My favorite part of this shoe: the heel. It did everything I want a heel of a shoe to do. It wrapped my heel nicely, provided good support, and most importantly it did not rub the back of heels raw any anytime.
As much as I love Brooks shoes, this is where they failed me. The heel of the Ghost would constantly slip on me and also cause rubbing, something most thick cushioned running shoes seem to do. I am unsure exactly how Mizuno got around this homogenous issue, but it is GREATLY appreciated!
Outer layer breathes while the inner wicks moisture. Also, notice the Aerohug label.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is hands down my favorite pair of shoes in the thick cushion category. While others struggle with issues such as heel rubbing, an upper area that either feels too tight or too loose or even a sockliner that rubs and creates blisters, the Sky 2 feels great on foot right out of the box.
If you want a shoe with more cushion then just wave goodbye to the other brands, get this one, and make the Sky the limit! You thought I wouldn’t use those puns at least once? Well, I did and in the same sentence… you’re welcome!
The Wave Sky 2 is Mizuno’s ultra-cushioned daily trainer. It is great for long distance runs. I have run in these shoes for about 75 miles so far. The best word to describe them is "plush".
The cushioning is noticeable from the first stride and the ride is comfortable throughout a run. I put them on the first time and ran over 9 miles. There was no break-in period and the shoes continue to feel cushioned and supportive after several runs.
The upper of the Wave Sky 2 has a breathable forefoot. My feet do not get hot in these shoes and there is good airflow in the toe box. The toe box is roomy and there is ample room for my toes to spread out while running.
The lacing system is adjustable and comfortable, which allows for a glove-like fit around the mid-foot. This is also enhanced by the tongue which is well padded.
The heel is very padded and wraps ankle providing added support. I saw some other reviews that complained about the heel being odd feeling and warm, but I did not have this issue.
I mainly run on a treadmill, so the heel was comfortable without being stuffy. This design contributes to the plush feel of the shoe, which is what Mizuno seems to be going for with the Wave Sky 2.
Midsole & cushioning
The midsole of the Wave Sky 2 gives the shoe the bulk of its plushness and absorbs shock on every step. After long runs, my legs feel fresh and recovery time is minimal. I assume the combination of the wave plate and ample foam in the midsole has something to do with this result.
Although it is a relatively stiff shoe, the Wave Sky 2 is ultra-cushioned. The stiffness in the forefoot does not take away from the cushioning, instead, the shoe has a soft landing with good energy return. It is a perfect combination for a daily trained used on long runs.
Outsole & durability
The outsole of the Wave Sky 2 is extremely durable. After about 75 miles of running, they show very little wear. The outsole holds up better than most shoes I have run in.
The landing pad on the shoe is also enough to provide a stable run and to allow for my toes to spread out while running. It is generally designed well for road work. You maintain good contact with the surface while running and the tread does not have a lot of crevasses where rocks or other debris can get stuck in it.
Colors & style
The shoes I am wearing are black with lime green highlights. Mizuno has a couple other colors available in this model. The color options are relatively conservative, which makes sense for a daily trainer.
The styling is also pretty conservative. In appearance and fit, the Wave Sky 2 comes across as a substantial shoe made for long runs and maximum cushioning. It is made for logging lots of miles and it looks and feels the part.
- Decent energy return
- Good arch support
- Breathable upper in the forefoot
- The sock-like fit
- Good ankle and heel cushioning
- Laces up nicely
- Priced a little high
The Wave Sky 2 is an ultra-cushioned, comfortable shoe designed for logging lots of miles. It is what I'm looking for in a daily trainer.
The main drawback of the shoe is its weight. However, in a daily trainer weight is always a trade-off. If you are willing to give up a little weight, you get lots of cushioning and support in return.
With that said, it would be good to see Mizuno work on lightening up the shoe in the future, without sacrificing the shoes cushioning and ride. The Wave Sky 2 is priced a little higher than some other Mizuno models, but the durability and construction of the shoe justify this.
Updates to Mizuno Wave Sky 2
- The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is a road running shoe that is best for runners who have neutral foot motion. One of the significant updates of this Mizuno shoe is the Aero Hug. It is designed to quickly adapts to the foot's motion, providing the runner a more comfortable running experience/
- Another update is the use of the Dual Zone engineered mesh. Mizuno uses this new material with the aim to offer a flawless and distraction-free fit.
Size and fit
Mizuno made the shoe available in medium widths for both the women's and men’s version. In the upper area, the presence of the Aero Hug technology improves the overall fit of the footwear. It is sure to offer a more comfortable fit for those who are medium-footed. The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is available in standard running shoe length when it comes to the size.
In the forefoot and heel section lies the X10. This material is made up of a durable carbon rubber that aims to deliver enhanced traction. The right amount of grip provided by the outsole is essential in handling different paved surfaces. This outsole material is also present in the Inspire 15 running shoe.
A lighter version of the U4ic is utilized in the midsole of the Mizuno Wave Sky 2. This full-length material is called the U4icX. With this component of the shoe, it aims to deliver increased responsiveness. A softer and more comfortable underfoot feel is also offered because by this midsole unit.
The midsole area of the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 uses the Cloudwave. This technology is described to be a redesigned elastic and thermal plastic wave that runs from the heel to the midfoot area. As a result, it creates an incredibly springy and well-cushioned ride.
A gender-specific network of grooves called the Smooth Ride is integrated into the shoe. It creates a smoother heel-to-toe transition that the runner would enjoy. This technology is significant in minimizing the fast acceleration and deceleration of the foot.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 utilizes the Aero Hug. It is defined as an innovative fit system that plays a vital role in the performance of the shoe. The primary purpose of the Aero Hug is to adapt to the foot motion and movement. As a result, a comfortable fit is achieved without compromising breathability and support.
Mizuno added the Anatomical sock liner. With the focus of adding a layer of cushioning underneath the foot, the runner is sure to experience a hassle-free and pleasant ride.
For a better response to the foot's movements, the Dual Zone engineered mesh is used in making the footwear. The mesh in the forefoot area is updated to promote a distraction-free fit.
The u4icX Strobel Lining is stitched from the upper unit to the full-length fabric. The goal of which is to provide a more agreeable underfoot feel.