Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal 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

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

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.

Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / 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

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

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.

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.

Summary

We spent 6.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

4 reasons to buy

  • Many runners valued the lightweight and flexible construction of the Mizuno Wave Universe 5.
  • The U4ic technology in the midsole is resilient and offers a smooth ride.
  • The G3 SOLE technology promotes great ground feel and superior traction.
  • Some took note of the comfortable construction of the Universe 5.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners mentioned that the Wave Universe 5 looks ugly compared to the previous version.
  • According to some reviews, the shoe becomes too tight when worn with socks.
  • Others felt that the shoe lacks the necessary cushioning and support because of its light construction.
  • The Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is expensive.

Bottom line

The Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is a lightweight running shoe that offers minimal arch support, flexibility and smooth transition with every step. This shoe will not disappoint runners who are looking for a durable, fast and superior ride. With the technology used, this shoe is really a great racing partner.


Rankings


Ratings

4.7 / 5 based on 47 ratings

5 star
83%
4 star
13%
3 star
0%
2 star
2%
1 star
2%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

89 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

    The Mizuno Universe is a shoe that will appeal to two niches in the running world. First, those who like to run fast and want as light a shoe as possible to allow them to do that. Second, those who just want a very minimal shoe with a roomy, comfortable fit.

  • 84 / 100 by Running Times • Running Times • Level 5 expert

    And yet the mid-sole still impressed our testers as enough for racing up to a 10K, although they pegged it as more for 5Ks or track intervals.

  • 90 / 100 by Minimalist Running Shoes • Nicholas Pang • Level 4 expert

    I know a lot of runners hate (maybe dislike) the design of the uppers but I love it!

  • 97 / 100 by Fellrnr • Jonathan Savage • Level 3 expert

    The Mizuno Wave Universe‏‎ is one of the lightest running shoes available, and it's surprisingly comfortable. The Universe is a great minimalist shoe, and I use it to provide strength training for my feet and ankle muscles.

  • 94 / 100 by Gear Selected • Charles Rodmell • Level 2 expert

    My feet were comfortable throughout the race and at the end, they were ready to go the following week. What a joy.

  • 89 / 100 by The Middle Miles • Becki Pierotti • Level 2 expert

    I'm wearing my usual size, but it's definitely a snug glove-like fit, so if you wear socks with your flats (though with this particular flat, I'd really recommend you at least try them sockless), you may want to go up half a size

  • 86 / 100 by Gear Patrol • Jack Seemer • Level 2 expert

    These are among the lightest racing flats available, the perfect combination of minimalist cushion with feather-light performance.

  • 92 / 100 by Running Shoe Review • Henry Hart • Level 1 expert

    I was surprised with the durability of the upper given its thickness and while I have only ever used it on road, track and occasionally well kept grass, it stayed mostly intact for longer than I expected.

  • 82 / 100 by Klein Runs • Klein • Level 1 expert

    Not the best durability, but it is a FAST shoe.

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Updates to Mizuno Wave Universe 5

  • Mizuno drastically changes the Wave Universe 5 that from a racing flat it can now be seriously considered as an excellent barefoot-style shoe. The stack height speaks for itself as the 13mm heel and 11mm forefoot are substantially lesser than the previous 18mm and 13mm measurements before. By having this new height and by lowering the drop even more, serious minimalists will find a really fast shoe with just enough protection in the sole and just a little cushioning than barefoot running.
  • The upper is even more flexible and really feels more like a sock with rubber as the buffer between the ground and the foot. It hugs the foot really well with a little padding provided by the insole for some cushioning and enhanced fit.
  • Mizuno introduces for the first time in this line the U4ic midsole. To compensate for the skeletal structure of the sole, this midsole foam makes the ride a bit softer and acts as a second level of protection after the rubber in the outsole.
  • Past concerns about water getting into the shoe due to the drain holes are effectively addressed as Mizuno completely removed those drainage holes.
  • With huge changes in the 5th version of the Mizuno Universe, the result is a shoe that is even lighter than ever. It is incredibly less than 3 ounces, which is a substantial drop in weight from any of the past models. The new weight, fit, and responsiveness will clearly tempt runners to blaze the road in this shoe.
  • Finally, and for the first time ever, the Mizuno Wave Universe is available in women’s sizes. For the past four iterations, the women runners have to contend with something that is not tailor-made for them. With gender-specific fit, the female part of the running world should be able to enjoy more the venerable Wave Universe line.

Mizuno Wave Universe 5 size and fit

The fit in the Universe 5 is different than that of the former model. It has slightly more room in the forefoot and half a size larger than standard length. The sufficient space in the heel and snug midfoot that lead to a spacious forefoot accommodate practically almost all kinds of foot shapes and measurements. As long as the runner gets the right size, the fit should be very comfortable. Available widths are D and B while sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.


Outsole

Mizuno uses its proprietary G3 outsole or the configuration of dots in the forefoot for added traction. The nubs on the outsole are fairly regular, which gives the shoe more than enough bite on the road, gravel, or light trail. Mizuno cuts a concave near the midfoot for a little flexibility upon impact. It is a feature that makes the run a bit softer to protect the foot and the legs from the almost there outsole and midsole.


Midsole

The technology that anchors almost all Mizuno shoes-the Wave technology-is located in the midsole. This flexible, thermoplastic material lends cushioning and shock-absorbing features. Additionally, it is patterned after the waves in nature that returns back some of the energy for a more dynamic run. Working hand in hand with the Wave, where cushioning is concerned, is the U4ic midsole foam. It is a very resilient and responsive foam that is lighter than most of the foams in Mizuno’s fold. Indicated in the midsole of the shoe is the SmoothRide technology or the series of grooves in the midsole that enable shoe flexibility and smooth transitions.


Upper

The upper is superbly breathable and flexible courtesy of the AirMesh. A sockliner adds step-in comfort and fit. This is an upper that is barely there and lends little or no support to the arches for a truly minimalist style of running.