Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The comfort level of the Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3 has received various levels of praise. Some say wearing the shoe feels like walking on clouds, while others report it is the most comfortable shoe they have ever worn. 
  • The XPOP midsole of the Sky Waveknit 3 is responsive, bouncy, and it performs just as well as it claims, according to some reviewers.
  • The shoe has a soft platform that helps ease the impact of running on hard surfaces, a user states.
  • Several wearers agree that the shoe offers excellent arch support.
  • A couple of users think the upper is breathable while still providing a secure fit.
  • Many buyers are impressed with the stylish appearance of the Sky Waveknit 3.
  • The lightweight quality of the shoe makes it ideal for hot, summertime runs, according to one commenter.
  • The shoe is flexible enough to be worn right out of the box, a few wearers have suggested.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The Mizuno Waveknit 3 is an expensive running shoe, as observed by some purchasers.

Bottom line

The Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3 has received many positive feedback from runners, including the shoe’s comfortability, supportive structure, and reliable features. Some, on the other hand, have disliked that the shoe is high-priced. Despite this, many users still consider the Sky Waveknit 3 as recommendable as it is “worth every penny,” and that, because of it, they would buy more Mizuno running shoes in the future.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 7% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

90 / 100 based on 20 expert reviews

  • 99 / 100 |

    Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 - It is not merely a reiteration; it is a reinvention!

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    The Mizuno Wave Sky 3 is a game changer right from the start. To begin with, the Sky 3 is very different from the Sky 2. 

    It is not merely a reiteration; it is a reinvention! With changes to the mesh in the upper, the midsole, and the outsole, the Wave Sky 3 is a sequel that outshines the original.

     

    Upper

    The new two-layered engineered stretch mesh features reinforced weave around critical areas of the midfoot and forefoot. It has a functional heat pressed logo around the midfoot saddle that supersedes the old-style stitched on a vinyl look of the previous model.  

    The leather toecap stitched on to the front of the predecessor has also been replaced by reinforced weave in the mesh. These changes have resulted in an overall modern look of the shoe with a significantly more comfortable fit.

    For me, the fit is more generous through the instep and yet still very snug and supportive with no tight spots. This is a critical improvement for those who wish to fit an orthotic into the shoe.  

    Inner lining

    Within the lining of the Sky 3, there are less palpable stitch lines, and the material is silkier than its predecessor. This benefits those who have any issues with sensation and who may be prone to blistering, especially if they were to wear the shoe barefoot.  

    The cushioning around the rearfoot and heel collar has remained relatively unchanged. It is both plush and snug; this provides a comfortable cushioned feel around the ankle bones and Achilles tendon.  

    Midsole

    Here is where there has been the most significant change since the previous version of the shoe. The Wave sky 3 is the first version of the wave sky range, not featuring the thermoplastic midfoot wave plate that has been featured throughout the Mizuno range for some time.   

    This change has resulted in slightly less torsion resistance through the midfoot and slightly more flex through the rearfoot. Functionally this change has, in my opinion, been a massive improvement to the shoe.

    There is now a smooth rear to forefoot transition when walking or running at no sacrifice to stability, weight, or cushioning. I would go so far as to say the new foam wave is a vast improvement on its predecessor.   

     

     

    For tech-heads who want more here, it is: The midsole is a combination of 3 elements, U4ICX, U4IC, and X-pop. The full-length top layer of Plush U4ICX provides ultimate cushioning.

    The bottom layer of responsive U4IC EVA foam provides shock absorption, and to top it off, between these layers within the midsole is a PU component called X-pop, which rebounds explosively while running, helping to drive you forward.  

    When I first ran in the Sky 3, I felt like I was running on pillows packed with gunpowder. This is my new favourite midsole overtaking the Brooks ghost by a margin of additional propulsion.   

    Heel counter

    The heel counter is classic Mizuno - solid medially and laterally, perfect for orthotic wearers, even thick ones.

    It is a combo of internal and external components with that beautiful Wave Sky logo emblazoned across the back. Tough, durable, and supportive, it provides that nice locked-in feel, many runners love when looking for a stable running shoe.  

    Outsole

    There are some notably awesome improvements here. First and most importantly, there is now full-length ground contact. What this means is that there is no section across the shoe where the outsole leaves contact with the ground.

     

     

    The benefit of this is, of course, maximum traction resulting in optimal stability. This means that anyone who may have any balance issues would feel safe and stable, making this shoe brilliant for runners at any level.  

    The other thing that this full-length contact does is really enhance that smooth transition from heel strike to toe off. The other notable feature is the addition of extra flex grooves in the forefoot, once more enhancing the smooth ride of this deluxe runner.  

    Overall

    The Sky 3 looks great straight out of the box, sleek and lean; its shape reminds me of a great white shark. My first feel notes were: Stable ground contact, bouncy, best downhill runner, smooth midfoot transition, great forefoot cushion, explosively propulsive.  

    I’ve run over 100km so far, and its one shoe I’ll continue to run in after I finish my review.  From day 1, it has been sublimely cushioned and supportive for my 90kg frame. After the distance I’ve run, it’s still as good as new in all aspects.  

    I’ve run between 5km and 14km with no issues at all. The terrain I have tested it on has been road, gravel, wet mud, grass, and footpath, and it has been fantastic on all surfaces, even holding nicely on the mud.    

    The US Men’s size 9 weighs in at 310g and has wave Sky has a 10mm heel pitch, it is a neutral running shoe, so it is perfect for anyone, orthotic wearers and neutral runners alike.  

    Comfort, propulsion, stability, durability, and flexibility all are near perfect! This is one of my two favourite running shoes of all time. I highly recommend you take the leap and join me in the Sky!

  • 92 / 100 |

    Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 - An absolute upgrade

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    The Mizuno Waveknit 3 is an absolute upgrade from last year's model. It got everything I loved from the R2s, and it's improved on the bits that I didn't fancy so much.

    As far as I can tell, there hasn't been really any extreme changes from last year's model. The major change that I've noticed is that the cushioning seems way less stiff than last year.

     

     

    This one change has improved the ride of the shoe incredibly. The previous version seemed like I was running on concrete slabs all the time, but with the new version, I can actually enjoy the slight stiffness of the midsole.

    As far as everything else, it seems like the weight hasn't changed much. The upper is still the fantastic Waveknit, and even the outsole pattern is exactly the same.

    Quick facts

    ⦁ Fits true to size
    ⦁ Weighs ~10.5 ounces (size 10)
    ⦁ Has a Waveknit upper

    Waveknit technology

    The Waveknit is one of the things that makes this shoe so enjoyable. It's so important that it's even in the name of the shoe.

    Essentially Waveknit is a knit upper that conforms to the shape of your foot. It's like a second sock (the sock is the best way I can describe it because it is so comfortable).

    It's nice and soft while taking the shape of your foot without suffocating your foot. There's no rubbing at all or hotspots. Really my only complaint is that it's a bit thick, and that might make the shoe get hot during runs in warm temperatures.

    The ride

    Running in this shoe pretty much felt like running in the R2s. The major difference I noticed was the softer cushioning. It's not Hoka plush, but compared to the R2s, it's way softer.

    It's still pretty firm but a lot more manageable. The firmness gives the shoe a bit of a push forward like a spike plate. This feeling is pretty much needed as the shoe doesn't make you feel fast at all.

     

     

    There's no real pop when you run in these shoes. While there is no pop, it doesn't feel like your running in dead shoes either.

    It's just a nice medium shoe really. If I had to describe it, it would be a spicy saltine cracker. It's sort of boring but not really. That's why I like to use these shoes for slower type runs and even long runs.

    On sixteen mile runs, I don't really care about having a fast, bouncy, run. I just needed to finish the run. The Waveknit R3s helped me do that. Even on two-hour sessions, my feet didn't ache or anything.

    Longevity 

    As of this review, I currently have 110 miles logged onto these shoes, and the ride still feels the same as out of the box.

    I even used the shoe for a week and a half straight without rotating it out with another shoe. This didn't let the cushioning rest or anything, and the shoe still feel fine.

    The outsole of the shoe has shown basically no wear. It's like I didn't even run with the shoe at all. It's got a fair bit of rubber covering the outsole, which is probably why. I can confidently say the traction and outsole won't wear down anytime soon.

     

    Verdict

    I'll continue to use this shoe. However, it's going to be used for only long runs and slow-paced runs for me.

    The weight isn't really heavy, but I prefer using lighter shoes with pop for any fast type workouts.

  • 90 / 100 | Seth James DeMoor | Level 4 expert

    [The shoe] ...very comfortable through the collar... [and] that midsole, just nice and responsive but supportive as well.

  • 94 / 100 | JackRabbit | | Level 5 expert

    The Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3 is a great topiont [sic] for runners who run moderate mileage and appreciate shoes with a soft, comfortable feel, trend-forward style and a floating sensation under foot.

Become an expert
  • The new Sky Waveknit 3 from Mizuno presents a combination of reliable technologies that aim to deliver a “floating” experience. It offers both style and functionality, appealing to users who highly regard aesthetic, while also targeting long distances. This neutral running shoe provides a comfortable cushioning and promotes natural movement.
  • This shoe uses Waveknit in the upper, which is known for its sock-like fit. This material provides a soft sensation and a dynamic stretch. The Waveknit is paired with AIRmesh for optimum airflow inside the shoe.
  • Mizuno employs several features in the sole unit for the ultimate functionality and performance of the Sky Waveknit 3. The midsole’s construction is spearheaded by the new XPOP foam and a variety of the brand’s proprietary technologies, all of which guarantee high-level responsiveness and a consistent transition phase. Meanwhile, the outsole’s popular X10 rubber delivers durability and comfort simultaneously.

The moderate structure of the Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3 allows the shoe to accommodate runners with low to medium foot volumes. It is also offered in a wide range of sizes. The Sky Waveknit 3 is available in Medium width for both the men’s and women’s versions.

Mizuno’s X10 outsole is made from a trusty carbon rubber, thus ensuring durability, especially at the heel and forefoot areas. Additionally, the X10 rubber equips the shoe with the necessary traction to efficiently carry out the transition phase. It is also characterized by a flexible quality, as it allows an easy and natural movement.

The outsole has an integrated ventilation system called the Intercool. It effectively prevents heat and humidity from building up inside the shoe, thus keeping the runner cool and dry.

The Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3 introduces the all-new XPOP, a next-generation foam made from polyurethane (PU). This material brings to the shoe a responsive quality, as well as an ultra-soft feel without sacrificing performance.

The U4ic serves as the main midsole component of the Mizuno Sky Waveknit 3. This full-length foam gives the shoe the cushioning and shock absorption for a smooth running experience. The U4ic boasts of being 30% more lightweight compared to other midsole materials. A variant of the U4ic, known simply as the U4icX, could be found in the heel area. It provides an additional layer of underfoot cushioning, which results in softened impacts during footstrike.

The Mizuno Foam Wave is also another new introduction to the brand’s running shoe line. It ensures a smooth-sailing activity over pavements. It also contributes to a stable ride. Combined with the XPOP foam, these two features provide the shoe with the floating sensation it boasts of.

SmoothRide Engineering gives midsole a rocker-chair effect. It reduces the rates of acceleration and deceleration for a more consistent transition. 

The AIRmesh is a soft and smooth upper material the equips the shoe with a comfortable, skin-friendly sensation.  It is made from a lightweight fabric, which contributes to quick airflow through visible pores in its surface. Aside from breathability, the AIRmesh also offers flexibility as the soft material allows for unrestricted movement.

A new Waveknit upper construction delivers comfort and natural mobility. Although tight-knit, the material is known for its stretchable quality. It is designed to continually adapt to the shape and movement of the foot.

Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com