Mizuno Wave Sonic
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81% say it's true to size.
Overview of this review
I was fortunate enough to test the new iteration of RunRepeat and this is my introduction to Mizuno’s popular wave series of running shoes.
In the review below, I’d like to go more into detail of the pros and some of its limitations.
The shoe looks very minimalist with its approach. The shoe I was given was in flashy red with a fluorescent green sole.
I’ve seen the same color combination in some of the previous shoes I’ve owned – my NB 890 v2s.
... And the Feels - Upper
The upper is made from a material that’s reminiscent of the flyknit from Nike.
The wave-live structure on the upper is quite pleasing to the eye. The upper is super breathable and there is good ventilation throughout.
The construction is molded and there are no visible seams. This contributes towards bringing the overall weight of the shoes to just under 8 ounces (size 10) which are essential for racing shoes.
The lace system is stretchable and held up really snug without losing the tension during my runs.
I washed these shoes before this review and it dried within a few hours. The upper looks and feels solid.
The toe box felt nice and roomy for someone like me who needs to be roomy due to my high arches. Overall, no complaints in the upper department. Mizuno has knocked this out of the park.
Sizing was a tad smaller. Go half a size upper here with Mizuno. The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 6 that I’m testing right now also has the same issue.
The toecap, something often forgotten is nicely glued to the upper and doesn’t feel like it’s going to come off anytime soon.
The tongue is very flat with very minimal cushioning. Mind you, this is a racing flat and it’s paramount to keep the weight to an absolute minimum.
I personally didn’t have any issues with the tongue and it helped the shoe cup my feet nice and snug without constricting too much.
Moving on to the midsole, Mizuno’s famed “wave” technology plate is visibly absent. It’s merely a pattern on the EVA running all around the midsole.
Mizuno’s newly engineered U4icX (pronounced Euphoric, got it?) midsole is firm and this contributes towards the WaveSonic being quite responsive to short sprints.
Those who’re looking for a shoe that’s cushy and “pillowy” should look elsewhere.
The 4mm heel to toe offset is perfect for acceleration during the runs and the transition from strike to toe-off is natural and effortless.
Those who are midfoot to forefoot strikers will be in love this shoe. Once you hit the straps running, the cushioning of the shoe comes into play nicely.
Those who are familiar with Nike Speed TR will appreciate the WaveSonic. I've put some 50ks into these shoes and loved the responsiveness under my feet as soon as I start my sprint.
There isn't a lot of support for some of the overpronators, although the U4icX midsole isn't too forgiving here. The midsole is nice and flexible given its firmness. Mizuno has handled this balance exceptionally well.
My issues with the Mizuno WaveSonic were apparent when I started pushing past 8kms.
I was desperately looking for some cushioning and the firmness of the WaveSonic was telling. I was occasionally heel-striking and my knees started to hurt. This is where I felt if the WaveSonic was too firm for my liking.
The outsole is rugged and has held very well so far.
As you can see from the picture, the outsole doesn’t appear to have taken all the pounding it had from asphalt and concrete – thanks to the X10 blown rubber used. It has small lugs that helped with traction on some muddy sections.
It is uniform and there were segments along the outline of the outsole giving it the look of a trail-running shoe. It is for this reason that I took these out on a short trail run.
The Mizuno Wave Sonic offered great traction during my run and I almost forgot that I was wearing a racing flat. Kudos to Mizuno here.
The Mizuno WaveSonic is a no-nonsense racing flat that’s great for short to medium runs under 15kms.
Runners would appreciate the firmness and responsiveness of the shoes and at short runs, the cushioning and responsiveness feels almost magical.
With a super light and breathable upper along with great snug fit, Mizuno’s first iteration of WaveSonic is a step in the right direction. At $100, Mizuno has got its pricing right.
The Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 road racing flat is still with us. However, this will remain true for only a matter of months.
Will its eventual replacement, the new Mizuno Wave Sonic racing flat, enable one to run at what feels like supersonic speeds?
See the verdict below.
The Wave Sonic in A Nutshell
The new Mizuno Wave Sonic is said to be “a versatile road racing flat…” that delivers “a responsive ride ideal for 5K racing to longer uptempo workouts.” (Running Warehouse)
The shoe has a U4icX Wave – a non-visible foam unit located in the midsole. The Wave Sonic’s sole is blown rubber, with the exception of a hard rubber X10 segment at the heel.
At 7.7 ounces, the Wave Sonic is an ounce heavier than the Hitogami. (While that’s not substantive, those drawn to racing flats can be quite picky about weight.)
The Wave Sonic’s fit is nice and snug (“a sleek, glove-like fit,” according to Mizuno), but one which never feels tight. There’s a decent amount of flex in the forefoot, which will please those with inflexible feet.
On city streets and sidewalks, it’s readily apparent that the Wave Sonic delivers a nice snappy ride.
It is quite stable for a shoe without a medial post; in fact, the straight-ahead ride is comparable to that on the Asics GEL-DS Racer flat (a model that uses a medial post to reduce slight to moderate over-pronation).
The cushioning is smoothly protective and like other new models from Mizuno, the ride is no longer ultra-firm.
On a school track, there’s a good amount of ground feel. But an issue quickly raises its head on the oval. The Wave Sonic does not feel as fast as other flats.
Note: These are not your father’s Mizunos!
The fact that the shoe does not impart a sense of running at supersonic speed is unlikely to affect the fast Cheetahs or Bobcats who almost naturally gravitate toward lightweight flats.
But it may be discouraging to the mid-pack runner seeking a magical shoe that at least imparts the illusion of speed.
I think the low heel drop is a major factor here. It keeps the feet anchored close to the ground.
Those who like more minimalist shoes will be pleased by this, but natural high-steppers and heel strikers may find it to be problematic.
The Wave Sonic provides an admirable amount of bounce back, but this seems to dissipate pretty quickly.
There’s not a sense of forward motion momentum ramping up, as one can readily experience in the Wave Shadow.
Another factor is that the heel surface on the Wave Sonic is soft and indistinct. It is quite difficult to feel heel plants and this leads to an inability to sense one’s pace in the shoe.
While the Wave Sonic provides a fine level of cushioning – comparable to that on the New Balance 1400 v5, it does not appear to be quite as protective.
I experienced tenderness in my feet on the days after running in the Wave Sonic. Perhaps the Wave Sonic could use an additional half-ounce of foam in the midsole of each shoe.
The sole of the Wave Sonic appears to offer admirable levels of durability. However, the heel area looks to be vulnerable.
It may be feasible at some point to add a patch of reinforcing, tough rubber over the existing X10 heel surface.
Some runners like to use different shoes for different purposes, using three shoes in what’s called a rotation.
For Mizuno loyalists, the Wave Sonic is a good choice for a speed training and race day shoe.
The new Mizuno Wave Sky (11.1 ounces) can be used for recovery days, and the Wave Shadow (8.9 ounces) makes for a superb choice as a daily trainer.
Non-brand loyalists might augment the Wave Sonic with the Reebok OSR Harmony Road (10.7 ounces) for recovery days, and the Jack of all trades Adidas PureBOOST DPR (9.2 ounces) as the daily trainer.
Responsiveness – B+
The Wave Shadow provides what I would term as light responsiveness.
Stability – B+
The Wave Shadow is far from lacking when it comes to stability.
Cushioning – B- to B
I’ve run in the Wave Hitogami which provides a high level of road feel; so much so that some runners were hesitant to run farther than a 5K in it.
The Wave Shadow provides enough smooth cushioning to facilitate 10K and further runs.
Speed – C- to C
In practice, the Wave Sonic can and will provide those of fleet feet with fast times. But it does not deliver a sense of warp speed. And for some, perception is reality.
The Wave Sonic is a stunning looking comfortable and well-built racer flat from Mizuno. Although it’s not the fastest feeling flat on the market, it’s very reasonably priced at $100.
Most runners should be able to use the Wave Sonic on race day for 3.1 to 13.1 miles. Light, naturally gifted, runners may strap on a pair to quickly add 26.2 miles to the odometer.
Mizuno’s new addition to its racing lineup makes me think about my childhood. Wave Sonic makes me remember the video game I used to play and the term I started to use to express things happening at very high speed; “sonic fast”.
road shoe suitable for short distance races and uptempo trainings.
The shoe is around 220gr in weight and heel-to-toe drop of 4mm.The pair that I have is in Black and it has a look similar to that of some crossfit shoes. I can easily say that I use the shoe for daily use with a jean and received positive comments from my friends.
Shoe size is similar to other Mizuno models I have used. It has a glove-like fit and I believe that thin and seamless upper part plays an important role in this.
During the run, it feels close to your feet and reacts like a part of your own body. I believe that for fast races and training this is a very big advantage.
With a low drop, you can feel more freedom on your feet and this freedom can turn out to be a higher pace in your run.
As the other new shoe Mizuno introduced (Wave Shadow), Wave Sonic also has Mizuno X10 carbon rubber as an outsole material. This material is very durable, which is something missing in most of the racing flats.
The traction I felt on an asphalt road is good and I believe patterns in the outsole is one of the reasons for this.
Unfortunately, where I live is not known for perfect asphalt roads. Therefore, even if you run on asphalt, you should expect some foreign materials along the way.
With its durability, X10 carbon rubber won’t have any problem with materials such as glass, stones, trash etc.
More so, due to is low profile, I feel the ground and what’s on it, much more. For long runs, however, this can possibly create minor problems for the feet.
The new midfoot wave construction with U4icX promise to deliver enough cushioning for long distance. As a mild overpronator, what I felt on my runs is an elastic feel from the shoe. It's also very comfortable that the shoe has a 4mm drop.
The same material used in Wave Shadow was used for Sonic giving that similar bouncy, elastic feel.
I am certain that we will see more usage of U4icX in other Mizuno models especially for the race models as it sure creates some additional speed.
Upper unit of the shoe provides a very close feel and Mizuno already describes this as “sock-like construction”. It has a seamless mesh upper, which is also soft and comfortable.
In general, Wave Sonic has the logo printed which was moved to save some weight.
I believe that we are living in an era where anything is possible with the help of technology and people are seeking quicker and lighter shoes, therefore any kind of weight saving will be important during a selection process.
Due to my overpronation, I took the shoe only for short runs (4-6km). I am not sure whether it is due to its midsole U4icX material or just because I run on short distances, I felt enough support from the shoe.
Of course, my feet were much more free to move and when I look at that, while the shoe doesn’t support my overpronation, it was much better than my expectation from a racing shoe.
This is the first racing flat that I used, therefore cannot compare its speed on the road with other models. For me, however, it is a fast shoe and it's elasticity provides additional force during “pull/push” phase.
As a negative note, in the toe box area, there are more rooms for it to be called“sock-like”.
Does it create any problem for me? My answer is no.
However, I believe that since Mizuno puts emphasis on its specification being sock-like, it needs to be improved.
Off the bat, this is one slick looking shoe that is not bad as an everyday shoe. They were quite comfortable and snug on my feet, but that’s probably not why you’re here.
In regards to it’s running applications, this shoe is characterized as a lightweight running shoe primarily made for workouts, tempo runs, and even as a race day shoe. I’ll be touching on some of the most important factors when l look at running shoes: looks, fit, and ride.
Some shoes can look quite distinctive which can make them easy to identify and Mizuno isn’t any different in that sense, except for these. These are the outlier of the Mizuno line and for good reason, since they are the only shoe designed for faster-paced running.
They come in four colorways that include red-yellow-black, neon green-black, blue-black, and dark gray-black.
I received the dark gray and black and have no complaints on the colorway. They have enough color choices for someone to pick something that they like, but not too many to overwhelm you.
The fit is snug from collar and tongue to the toe box. I usually order a half size to a whole size up on most of my running shoes since most would be too narrow for my wide feet and am I glad that I did.
In the middle of the shoe, it reaches its narrowest point where was the tightest. However, it wasn’t an uncomfortable level of tightness. The toe box and heel were just the right sizes to keep my feet locked in place without too much rubbing.
A feature that I liked was the thin tongue which was padded nicely. Some shoe tongues can get quite thick and bulky, but I felt like I received the same amount of comfort with this thinner tongue compared to bulkier tongues. The breathable upper is made of a nice mesh material.
The overall fit is nice and snug from the toes to the collar of the shoe. If you have narrower feet, I’d stick with your regular shoe size. If your feet are wider, I’d opt up for a ½ to even a full size up, but recommend to try a pair of these on before purchasing.
The shoe offers a firm ride that I believe definitely promotes faster turnover while offering a fair amount of cushioning throughout the shoe for shock absorption which is something that I liked.
However, it didn’t offer the same snappiness that many other flats provide which makes this flat slower than the other competitors. It does provide more comfort from their cushioning and while maintaining flexibility in the shoe.
Once broken in, they are a comfortable go-to tempo day shoe. They have only been used on a limited basis so I cannot attest to the long-term durability of the shoes, but I believe the cushioning and materials will be sturdy enough to outlast most other flats out there.
I haven’t tried them for a race yet, but just from usage in workouts, I can tell that they won’t be as fast as my other racing flats, but can definitely be used in that application still.
These shoes feel like they have tons more cushioning compared to other flats and you can see that in the heavier weight of the shoe. The men’s shoe weighs in at right around 7.8 ounces and the women’s version comes in around 6.7 ounces.
The sleek upper keeps the feet secured and while also providing breathability. They have a nice selection of colorways to choose from. The ride was good but didn’t provide the snappiness that I would expect from a faster running shoe.
When I received them, they were priced at $100 and I would’ve said to find a cheaper option.
At their current price tag of $60-80, I’d be more open-minded to recommend them since most other flats are in this price range and these seem like they would be much more durable than most others. However, I’d still recommend other flats before these given that these are much heavier.
The Mizuno Wave Sonic is a fast-paced competitive running shoe meant for faster running days such as tempo, track, or race day shoes.
They tended to feel slower for me which is why I preferred to use them for workouts where you just need a lighter shoe than your daily trainer, but you don’t need to go all out.
The shoes are slick and quite durable compared to most other racing shoes on the market. For the price point nowadays on these, I’d recommend these as workout shoes. If you are looking for race-day flats.
I would recommend that you look elsewhere since there are tons of racing shoes that are lighter and cheaper than these. However, if you love Mizuno shoes, these will definitely be a good option for you to run faster workouts and races.
I always wanted to test a Mizuno, they look fancy, fast and they have some oriental touch that I love.
I like the old school style, like some vintage models of Asics of the former top runner Onitshuka Jayhawk that has been turned into a simple street sneaker (don't try to run with the actual ones please).
Back to the point, I will exposé the brand new Mizuno Wave Sonic and why they are a quite good try.
I would like to start saying that these shoes are, in my humble opinion, for 5k, 10k, Triathlon (Sprint and Olympic) and/or fartlek. They were not designed for half Marathon, daily running or long runs.
As you could have read on my last review for the Reebok Zprint 3D, I and my people from swimbikewrite.com are oriented to triathlon. Therefore, we base our analysis on those parameters and state-of-mind.
First impressions were quite good, I like that minimalistic look. As a Spanish guy, wearing as well a fast shoe with your flag colors (red/yellow) at your feet look is quite impressive.
The shoe's weight was 220gr and they have a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm. This model will replace, the Wave Hitogami 4 (drop 9mm and 210gr).
Generally, we like the look, the colors, and the tongue. Now let's get picky and go further.
I like the zig-zag pattern though I have to say that I am sometimes a little skeptical about those "super flat" patterns and how the grip is going to be after a couple of kilometers or wet conditions.
Most of the outsole is blown rubber and at the heel part, we could find the compound X10, increasing durability.
In this case, the performance was better than expected and they behave well.
The grip is quite good on asphalt and running tracks. For those who will run in abrasive conditions, it doesn't have enough cushion for long runs, but plenty of responsiveness.
In our test, after 10km at a “happy” pace, we started to feel those consequences. Generally, they are for what they are, fartlek, sprint till Olympic distance. So between its limitations, it performs quite good.
Midsole & Upper
This midsole is quite new in Mizuno as far as we know, the component U4ciX is responsible for that energy boost and responsiveness. It has good cushioning in the forefoot.
The upper is the one part I really like as it was comfortable and has the lightweight feeling when you run without socks. The mesh is quite breathable so it makes the shoes quite useful on warm and hot days.
Size & Fit
The shoe is built into a half-sock model, with the tongue attached to the midsole just on one side. That is sometimes good, on other occasions like in the Reebok Harmony Racer, it's just a mess.
The tongue is perfectly cushioned to be worn without socks and the interior is comfy enough for that purpose.
Sometimes, when one has big feet and the tongue is attached just to one side, you have problems with the shoelaces at the other side of the tongue. It starts being painful right after putting them on. This is not the case for Mizuno Wave Sonic.
The fit is a little bit smaller than it should be but that's normal for the Mizuno models. When I use socks I use the size 41 and 40.5 without them.
As they look perfect for triathlons, I tried the non-socked version size and went for the 40.5. It fits just perfect but I have to say that a couple of mm more of free room would have been even better.
We know that these type of shoes, the fast ones have to fit but in this case, we miss a little more of room inside.
- Looks good
- Fast enough
- Comfortable without socks
- The tongue may cause problems when you try to step in at the T2 due to that half-sock fit
- The general size is smaller as you would think
- If you turn to hit the ground with the heel, those buddies are not for you
Is the Mizuno Wave Sonic for Triathlon?
It is, that is for sprint distance or Olympic ones. For longer distances, we would not recommend it, as it isn't cushioned enough. We all know that during a half marathon we won’t keep the marvelous technique from the first 10K.
At the end of the day, it is your call.
Updates to Mizuno Wave Sonic
- The Mizuno Wave Sonic is a neutral running shoe that’s created to perform on the roads. Unlike most of the brand’s line of footwear, this model doesn’t have a lot of overlays or bells and whistles that make the façade pop. Its simple design allows it to cater to those who have the taste for an all-around shoe that’s simple in form, yet efficient in performance.
- The underfoot platform is also straightforward in its design and construction. There aren’t a lot of extra components, save for the bouncy wave unit in the midfoot section. The full-length platform isn’t very substantial in size, as well. The external side of the platform has a durable rubber to shield it from wear and tear.
Size and fit
The neutral trail running shoe has the standard running length. It accommodates the regular preferences of consumers when it comes to sizing. It comes in the standard medium width of D for men and B for women, respectively. It caters to those who have medium to narrow foot dimensions.
The shoe’s outsole features the very stylish zigzag-patterned blown rubber. It’s created to hold onto the asphalt with ease and sureness. Also, the strategic placement of the material allows for smooth transitioning of the foot from the toe-off to the landing position.
The midsole unit of the Mizuno Wave Sonic has the U4icX Wave construction, which is responsible for the popular ‘bouncy’ feel, as well as the cushioned underfoot environment. The material is also lightweight, so it’s able to encourage the runners to put extra miles on the shoe on the promise of a fairly inconsequential weight profile.
The U4icX is a full-length foam that carries the foot responsibly throughout the run. It’s designed to have a responsive and springy nature, so it allows the foot to take more energized steps.
The one-piece knit upper of this Mizuno shoe provides a sleek, glove-like coverage to allow for a more natural running gait for the user. Also, the material was designed to deliver a soft and seamless feel against the skin.
The seamless overlays are added to the upper to reinforce the overall structure. These overlays are of minimal weight, so they do not put any unnecessary bulk or heft to the façade of the shoe.
The lace-up closure helps in securing the foot in place. It also prevents any wobbling of the foot inside the shoe.