Our verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion breaks away from convention with a prominent heel cutout exposing its fibreglass Wave Plate. This lightweight, all-pace, high-stability shoe not only looks good to us, but also provides ample cushioning for those long runs. Yet, concerns about durability emerged in our lab, particularly given its near £210 price tag.

Pros

  • Unique geometry
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Responsive midsole
  • Versatile for both tempo pace and long runs
  • Superior heel lock
  • Remarkable stability
  • Spacious toebox

Cons

  • Potentially overpriced at £190
  • Lacks outsole durability
  • Thin oversized tongue

Audience verdict

83
Good!

Who should buy

While this is an interesting shoe, it may not suit everyone. We recommend it for:

  • Runners looking for a versatile shoe capable of handling both easy and speedy training sessions, even on the track.
  • Those seeking a running shoe that offers ample cushioning for extended runs, all packaged in a lightweight design.
  • Mizuno aficionados who wish to broaden their rotation with a shoe that can do it all in the roads and dirt paths.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion

Who should NOT buy

If you're a runner who tends to wear out the outsoles on most running shoes quickly, we advise steering clear of this Mizuno. You might want to consider a comparable running shoe with a more robust outsole, such as the Puma Deviate Nitro 2.

This shoe may also be a poor fit for runners with narrow feet since it runs wide. If you're looking for narrower shoes that can also serve as reliable speed training partners for long runs, consider options like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 or the Hoka Mach 5.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion

Breathability

In the past decade, breathable shoes were hard to find, but that's not the case anymore. That's why we felt a tad let down when, after our smoke-pumping test in the lab, the Wave Rebellion only scored a 3/5. This result seems low for a shoe that costs £190.

But we do have some good news. We discovered breathable sections on the medial side of the shoe when we put it under the light. This feature isn't always present in all shoes, and we truly value it. It's beneficial for runners who tend to get blisters on their arches.

Nevertheless, nothing helps understand this shoe's subpar breathability better than a microscope. The Wave Rebellion is constructed from a thin but dense engineered mesh, and it doesn't feature any ventilation holes.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion microscope

Mizuno believed a thin mesh would suffice, but it's clear that isn't the case. 

Mizuno Wave Rebellion micro

Test results
Wave Rebellion 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 222 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Though we weren't blown away by the breathability, this is just the beginning, and there's room for improvement. We moved on to our durability test for the upper. Here, we use the Dremel in the same way on every shoe, allowing us to compare the damage accurately.

With the Wave Rebellion, the outcome wasn't as impressive as with the Nike Alphafly 2. However, it was sufficient to get a score of 2/5, which isn't a bad result by any means in this test.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Toebox durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 156 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We conducted the same Dremel-based test on the heel.

This Mizuno running shoe mirrored its earlier performance in the toebox, earning a score of 2/5.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Heel padding durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion 2
Average 3.1
Compared to 152 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

This outsole is one of the most fascinating we've encountered recently. Mizuno has deviated from the conventional outsole pattern, opting for a multi-lug arrangement that includes a large cutout in the heel's center—where the fiberglass Wave Plate is visible.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion outsole

This particular design choice explains why Mizuno went with a 84.0 HC rubber, which is harder than average. They're attempting to counterbalance the lessened ground contact area due to the reduced rubber. 

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Outsole hardness
Test results
Wave Rebellion 84.0 HC
Average 80.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 273 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

Yet, we encountered an issue. As we used again the Dremel to gauge the outsole's durability, we were taken aback by the extent of the damage.

The lug was simply ruined. Regrettably, we have to report that Mizuno's strategy to enhance durability didn't worked at all. And you want a £190 shoe to last as much as possible.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Outsole durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion 3.9 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 134 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

It's important to remember that this isn't your average running shoe outsole—it's a multi-lug configuration that performs exceptionally well on both roads and dirt paths, and it's really nice for taking sharp turns.

We recorded the outsole thickness as 3.7 mm, which is probably too low given the poor durability shown before.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Outsole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion 3.7 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Tipping the scales at a featherlight 8.7 oz (247g), we certainly classify this as a delightfully light shoe.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion cutout

Of course, the ingenious cutout in the heel we've previously mentioned deserves abundant credit for this weight reduction.

Test results
Wave Rebellion 8.71 oz (247g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Boasting 36.4 mm of foam in the heel, this lightweight running shoe is capable of any long run even for heel strikers. The superior cushioning that we felt underfoot was truly impressive, and the lab-based measurement provided just the validation we needed.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Heel stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion 36.4 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

We found a substantial 28.7 mm of foam in the forefoot area during our measurements.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion forefoot

This is indeed enough to endure any workout, and it's plenty to satisfy the needs of forefoot strikers.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Forefoot stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion 28.7 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

Kudos to Mizuno on this one! Lately we're seeing some pretty wild differences between a brand's stated drop and our meticulous measurements.

This time we clocked a 7.7 mm with the caliper when Mizuno claimed 8 mm. Now, that's some cool Japanese precision!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Drop
Test results
Wave Rebellion 7.7 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

At 4.1 mm, the insole checks out just as we anticipated—it won't cause any trouble and it's comfortable enough for long runs.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Insole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion 4.1 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Living up to its reputation, Mizuno delivers another moderately firm midsole with this shoe.

Registering at 24.3 HA, the Enerzy Lite foam offers a springy ride. However, don't expect an ultra-soft feel under your foot. It provides more of a classic running experience.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Midsole softness
Test results
Wave Rebellion 24.3 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 220 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Mizuno Wave Rebellion Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

Sadly, the shoe becomes noticeably firmer in colder temperatures. After leaving it in our freezer for 20 minutes, we took another measurement and saw a jump to 33.5 HA on the durometer reading.

This is a significant increase of 38.1%, which lags behind the performance of an average shoe.

We do wish Mizuno had chosen to use Enerzy Lite+ (PEBA) for this one, which would be appropiate given its MSRP. 

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Wave Rebellion 38.1%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 219 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Wave Rebellion proves itself as a trustworthy option for anyone seeking a fast-yet-stable and lightweight running shoe.

Torsional rigidity

Mizuno's first step to achieve stability is to integrate a fiberglass plate into the midsole. This feature is actually why we awarded it a solid 4/5 on our torsional rigidity test.

Test results
Wave Rebellion 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 271 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Simultaneously, Mizuno opts for a stiff heel counter, ensuring stability for heel strikers and preventing heel slippage.

This might come at the expense of comfort, and we found it worthy of a strong 4/5 rating.

Test results
Wave Rebellion 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 255 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The third element that enhances stability is the shape of the shoe.

With a forefoot width of 115.1 mm, this Mizuno model is undeniably wider than the average running shoe, outpacing most of its speed-training rivals.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Wave Rebellion 115.1 mm
Average 113.6 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

However, the heel is slightly narrower (87 mm) compared to most other shoes on the market. But the difference is small, so we don't see it posing a problem for any runner.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Wave Rebellion 87.0 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Some runners assume that shoes with a plate will always be super stiff, but that's just not true. Shoes with Pebax or fiberglass plates, like the Wave Rebellion, stay pretty flexible, unlike those with carbon-fiber plates.

To prove it, we only had to apply 26.1N of force to bend it 90 degrees. That's less than most running shoes ask of us!

Test results
Wave Rebellion 26.1N
Average 29.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 275 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

In cold temperatures, the shoe does get a tad stiffer—we needed to apply 32.3N of force to bend it 90 degrees.

But here's the thing. Most of the shoe's stiffness stems from the fiberglass plate, which isn't affected by cold. So, the actual difference ends up being minor.

In reality, it's just a 23.7% increase. A truly outstanding performance!

Test results
Wave Rebellion 23.7%
Average 36.3%
Compared to 275 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Mizuno has a clear affinity for crafting shoes suitable for wide feet, and this model proves it once again.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion feet

With a roomy measurement of 101.7 mm, the upper comfortably accommodates nearly all foot types, eliminating any need for a wider size. However, if you have narrow feet, you might want to consider another shoe like the Nike ZoomX Streakfly.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Wave Rebellion 101.7 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 293 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The shoe's roominess isn't limited to its widest part—it extends to the toe area as well. Our precise measurements clock the toe region at a generous 79 mm.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Wave Rebellion 79.0 mm
Average 78.0 mm
Compared to 167 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

For a speed-focused trainer like this, a gusseted tongue is essential. Mizuno meets our expectations by incorporating a semi-gusseted one. It effectively keeps the tongue in place during our runs, offering a comfortable fit without any hint of constriction.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Wave Rebellion Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Mizuno has certainly prioritized weight savings when it comes to the tongue of the shoe. We found ourselves wishing for a bit more padding, though.

The Wave Rebellion comes with a mere 0.9 mm of padding in the tongue, which gives it a feel more akin to a racing shoe!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Tongue padding
Test results
Wave Rebellion 0.9 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 290 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

Removing the insole isn't a problem at all in this Mizuno speed training shoe.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Removable insole
Test results
Wave Rebellion Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Sadly, we noticed that Mizuno has opted not to include any reflective elements on this shoe, which is quite disappointing.

Could this decision be again in pursuit of weight savings? It's likely!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Reflective elements
Test results
Wave Rebellion No