Our verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro stands alone with its unique, aggressive geometry, perfect for midfoot strikers but unsuitable for the rest. The crazy stack height and wild midsole cutouts render it an excellent marathon racer, but it's not a good shoe for those with stability issues. If it aligns with your running style and your upcoming race isn't filled with tight corners, we found this one-of-a-kind shoe takes the crown for the most cushioned option in the market.

Pros

  • Exceptionally extreme in every aspect
  • Incredibly enjoyable and fun ride
  • Ideal for midfoot strikers
  • Abundant race-day legal cushioning
  • Outsole provides excellent grip, even in wet conditions
  • Less stiff compared to other racing shoes
  • Cosy and decently wide upper

Cons

  • Might feel really weird at first
  • Definitely not suitable for heel strikers
  • Subpar durability

Audience verdict

90
Superb!

Who should buy

Based on our tests, the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is an interesting option for certain types of runners:

  • Midfoot strikers in search of a well-cushioned marathon racer, provided they don't require additional stability
  • Mizuno aficionados eager to include the brand's top-performing racing shoe to their collection
  • Those ready to take on an unconventional, wild road racing shoe

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro

Who should NOT buy

For heel strikers and forefoot strikers, opting for this shoe may not be the best choice, as its benefits won't align with your running style. Instead, we suggest considering the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 (for heel strikers) or the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ (for forefoot strikers).

Runners seeking a reliable, risk-free option for their upcoming race might also want to bypass the Wave Rebellion Pro.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro

Several well-established racing shoes, such as the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Hoka Rocket X 2, provide solid performances without the specific demands of the Wave Rebellion Pro. These alternatives boast full-length premium midsoles and superior stability.

Breathability

We expect shoes that are priced at £260 to offer excellent breathability, but the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro disappoints us in this aspect. Our lab tests resulted in a modest 3/5 score.

This outcome was unexpected for us, emphasising the need for lab testing in running shoes. If we had only conducted the light test, we might have assumed the Wave Rebellion Pro was breathable—since the entire upper appeared that way. Sadly, this was not the case.

Despite the large ventilation holes we noticed under the microscope, the shoes didn't score well regarding breathability.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro microscope

In fact, these holes are the reason it got a 3/5 score; otherwise, it would have received the lowest score.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro microscope 2

Overall, it's a weird shoe that yields a weird result in this test.

And it's important to remember that, if not for the smoke test, all other signs indicated good ventilation, including the interior layer of the upper with hundreds of perforations.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 227 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

While shoes with low breathability sometimes make up for it with high durability, this one does not.

After we put the Wave Rebellion Pro through our Dremel test, it earned a disappointing 1/5 score. If these two factors are important to you, the Nike Alphafly 2 stands out by performing 5/5 in both areas, and it's similarly priced.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Toebox durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 161 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Competition shoes typically do well in the heel padding durability test during our back-to-back dremel tests, as they often have minimal padding in this area.

However, the Wave Rebellion Pro has a lot of padding in the heel seeking comfort for long-distance races. This is why its score is lower than average at 2/5.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Heel padding durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Average 3.1
Compared to 157 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

This shoe keeps delivering surprise after surprise.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro outsole

The outsole is designed with multiple cutouts to reduce weight and enhance flexibility. Mizuno has also included more rubber coverage compared to other racing shoes in an effort to increase durability.

Racing shoes tend to have softer rubber in the outsole in an effort to maximise grip, but we measured actually the opposite! At 81.5 HC, is even harder than most running shoes, yet it offers A+ grip.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Outsole hardness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 81.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 278 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

This shoe demonstrated twice the importance of conducting various tests to fully understand its features. As it happened with breathability, if we had only assessed the hardness and extensive coverage, we might have assumed this was a durable shoe. However, it's not.

Following our Dremel test, we observed a significant 2.6-mm indentation in the rubber. Essentially, one of the 262 mini-lugs vanished.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Outsole durability
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 139 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Mizuno definitely knew about this problem, and that's why they added those 2.6-mm mini-lugs, aiming to boost durability.

It's pretty clear they need to up their game for the outsole in the WRP v2. Maybe a quick trip to Adidas to snag some of that Continental rubber could do the trick!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Outsole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2.6 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

In the heel, Mizuno opted for a slightly stiffer design compared to many racing shoes, yet it remains flexible.

Considering its instability, we believe that the stiffness rating of 2/5 that we gave the shoe is actually lower than what would be ideal.

Weight

Weighing in at just 7.5 oz or 214g, the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is remarkably light for its size. This is achieved by not using a solid slab of foam for the outsole.

Instead, it has several cutouts that help minimise weight but also result in less foam underfoot.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Weight
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 7.55 oz (214g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Mizuno implemented a smart strategy with this shoe. They aimed to provide as much cushioning as possible without exceeding the 40-mm limit set by World Athletics at the official heel measurement point.

To achieve this, they removed a portion of foam from the heel, ensuring compliance with regulations as our measurement came in at 38.2 mm.

However, the midfoot offers nothing less than 51 mm, making it the most cushioned yet race-day legal shoes ever produced. That's Japanese innovation!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Heel stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 38.2 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, the shoe has a measurement of 33.3 mm, similar to many racing shoes, once again meeting World Athletics' standards.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Forefoot stack
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 33.3 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

And what about the drop? While the difference between the heel and the forefoot is 4.9 mm, that doesn't tell the whole story.

Examining the cross-section of the shoe reveals an unconventional geometry: instead of a gradual decline from heel to forefoot, the thickest portion of foam is situated around the midfoot.

This shoe is specifically tailored for fast runners who use a midfoot striking technique, and we can confirm it is not suitable for heel strikers and likely many forefoot strikers as well.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Drop
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 4.9 mm
Average 8.6 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole is only 3.6 mm thick, placing it on the slimmer side. Nonetheless, we found that it feels comfortable and seems more than ready to take on the longest races!

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Insole thickness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 3.6 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 293 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.

Yes, the insole was quite standard, so let's return to the bizarre stuff.

Unlike most racing shoes that provide a single layer of bouncy foam, Mizuno chose a dual-foam setup comprising a plush foam and a brick-like foam, aiming for a balanced ride.

The first foam we assessed is Mizuno Enerzy Lite, the one closer to the ground. It's a firm (30.4 HA) TPE foam that is lightweight and durable, but it somewhat lacks energy return—one of the features we appreciate most in racing shoes.

When paying a premium price for a shoe, we expect premium foam, and unfortunately, Enerzy Lite doesn't meet the mark.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Midsole softness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 30.4 HA
Average 21.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 225 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Secondary foam softness

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

The other foam in this two-part midsole setup is Enerzy Lite+, a PEBA foam that's both soft and impressively springy. In our durometer tests, it scored a 16.0 HA measurement, and it certainly feels wonderful underfoot, offering massive energy return.

To fight with the top-tier shoes, the next version of the Wave Rebellion Pro should use only this foam. Mizuno just needs to slightly adjust the formulation of the layer closer to the ground to make it a tad firmer in order to boost stability.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Secondary foam softness
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 16.0 HA
Average 25.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After chilling the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes to simulate cold conditions, we retested the Enerzy Lite's softness and recorded a durometer reading of 32.5 HA.

With only a minimal 6.9% increase, this shoe delivers an exceptional, world-class performance, ensuring that racing in cold temperatures—which is ideal for this shoe due to its limited breathability—becomes a fantastic and enjoyable experience.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 6.9%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 224 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

With a whopping 51 mm of stack height in the midfoot, we knew that stability might be a challenge, regardless of the carbon plate and how firm one of the foam layers is.

After our testing, we found that the shoe is best suited for neutral runners who have excellent technique. It can be a bit tricky, especially when taking corners, but it also offers a unique and fun ride!

Torsional rigidity

Equipped with a plate, the shoe was poised to get the top score for torsional rigidity—and indeed, it secured a score of 5/5! We could barely twist it.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

In the heel, Mizuno opted for a slightly stiffer design compared to many racing shoes, yet it remains flexible.

Considering its instability, we believe that the stiffness rating of 2/5 that we gave the shoe is actually lower than what would be ideal.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

In the midsole, we discovered a width typical of running shoes, aimed at ensuring a stable ride for midfoot and forefoot strikers.

This design works well, and while a wider option could have been intriguing, we recognise that the potential weight increase might have been a concern for performance.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 113.0 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Back in the heel, we're diving again into the eye-popping details.

With a super slim width of just 78.6 mm, it's pretty obvious that this shoe isn't meant for any heel strikers out there.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 78.6 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro comes equipped with a plate sandwiched between the Enerzy Lite and Enerzy Lite+ foams, leading us to anticipate a high score in our stiffness test.

Surprisingly, with a result of 42.8N, it isn't exceptionally stiff, and there's a reason behind this.

Contrary to most racing shoes, the plate isn't entirely made of carbon fibre. Instead, it's a blend of 70% nylon and 30% carbon fibre. Additionally, the plate features an opening in the forefoot, further decreasing the stiffness.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 42.8N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After chilling the shoe in the freezer for an additional 20 minutes, we conducted the test again and found that it required 57.9N of force.

A 35.4% change is quite significant compared to other high-end racing shoes. This is definitely another aspect where Mizuno needs to improve for v2.

Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 35.4%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The desire from Mizuno to make the shoe as light as possible likely caused them to leave out the option of having a heel tab. Not a big deal, anyway.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 98.0 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The toe space isn't super roomy, narrowing down to just 75.2 mm at the toe cap. But let's be real, it's a racing shoe, so that's kind of what we're signing up for.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 75.2 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 172 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Although we haven't noticed any unwanted shifting from the tongue, its lack of gussets (full or semi) could potentially lead to a subpar experience during races or speed workouts. This is something that really shouldn't be found in a shoe with a £260 price tag.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue is a mere 1.8 mm thick, aligning with expectations for racing shoes, yet it's more cushioned than many of its competitors.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Tongue padding
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro 1.8 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 295 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The desire from Mizuno to make the shoe as light as possible likely caused them to leave out the option of having a heel tab. Not a big deal, anyway.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Heel tab
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro None

Removable insole

While some competition shoes feature glued-in insoles, the Wave Rebellion Pro opts for a removable one, and we appreciate it.

However, the shoe's distinctive narrow heel and wide upper indicate that many aftermarket insoles may not fit seamlessly.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Removable insole
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

There aren't any reflective elements, but honestly, who needs them for road races?

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro Reflective elements
Test results
Wave Rebellion Pro No