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I own a running shoe from the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

I usually prefer a shoe with a narrower forefoot, but I still want to give the Rider 18 a try. I personally choose this shoe because it is lightweight and I read a lot of reviews mentioning how durable and comfortable the shoe is. 


Breathability and Comfort

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has a mesh upper coverage and I expected the shoe to be breathable. However, when I first tried the shoe, after running a few minutes, my feet started to feel a burning sensation and sweat a little. Maybe it was because of the warm weather in my country. I tried running in the Rider 18 one evening and the feeling is much better – no more burning sensation and it feels more breathable.

The shoe has a padded tongue and collar which gives added comfort and support. The laces are good. They stay exactly where I wanted them to stay and they secure the foot comfortably. My only complaint is the length of the laces. It’s too long for my preferences.



Another thing that I don’t like is the inner seams under the logo. I experienced irritation, especially with thin socks.

It’s a good thing that I’m not a fan of sockless running, otherwise, I’ll experience the worse. Every time I go for a run with my Mizuno Rider 18, I’d make sure to wear a thicker pair of socks.


Though the Rider 18 looks bulky on my feet, I still like the overall fit of the shoe.

My feet felt so relaxed while running. The forefoot is wide and there is enough room in the toe box, allowing my toes to move comfortably.


I dislike the shoe’s firm U4ic midsole foam. The shoe also lacks the flexibility despite the presence of the flex grooves in the sole.


The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 utilizes a non-marking carbon rubber in the outsole.

There is the X10 carbon rubber in the heel and a softer blown rubber in the forefoot area. I was impressed by the overall durability of the shoe’s outsole unit.



I have been running with this shoe for several times already and the sole still looks good. The dual mesh upper material of the shoe is also durable.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 vs. Adidas Duramo 6

Compared to my Duramo 6, the Rider 18 is more durable and feels lighter. I really like how lightweight the Rider 18 is. But considering the soft and flexible ride of the Duramo 6 and its breathability, I would say that I like the Duramo 6 better.

The Adidas Duramo 6 have a narrow forefoot and a spacious toe box. It looks good on my feet (not bulky) and I did not experience irritation in this shoe. The upper coverage is also more breathable compared to the Rider 18.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Spacious toe box


  • Looks bulky on my feet
  • Upper mesh is not breathable enough especially on warm weather
  • Inner seams under the logo irritate the skin
  • Cushioning is too firm


lightweight and durable road running shoe. These are basically the reasons why I gave this shoe a try.

Since I am disappointed with the shoe’s breathability and firm ride, I’m not sure yet if I will consider buying the newest version of the Rider series.

| Level 1 expert Verified
Hi I'm Lovebel and I'm an avid runner who runs at least 50km a week. I run mostly for leisure at our local parks and events. I like to meet other running enthusiast so feel free to approach me when you see me on the jog trail. I won't bite! I'm also just as passionate with my home baked goodies and my book collections!

Updates to Mizuno Wave Rider 18

  • Mizuno itself admits that the previous model was sort of a hit and miss so it had to go back to what gave the line so much success in the past. In the Rider 18, the same springy or curved forefoot utilized in versions past, is featured. This gives the shoe a much better transition going forward.
  • The outsole gets a little boost as well where durability goes. Mizuno adds a little more rubber in the heel and forefoot sections. It also means a little more cushioning to handle impacts. Changing the outsole pattern is another significant modification in the latest incarnation of the Wave Rider. From large and circular pattern, it has been changed to the rectangular-shaped configuration. The change also results to numerous fair-sized cut outs, which result to better flexibility.
  • Going back to an earlier model of the Wave Plate is also in dealt in the 18th version of the Rider. Because it is designed to be firm, runners can get more stability and a little pop in this shoe.
  • The upper, however, gets a majority of the changes. A loose fit was a major factor in losing that Rider magic before, so Mizuno did away with the welded and printed overlays for a more substantial and stitched version, including the Runbird logo. Mizuno ditches the seamless one-piece version for a two-piece design for more structure and hold. Located in the upper is a new eyelet row overlay for enhanced durability.
  • Overlays in the heel has been removed to feature a single patch with a tiny reflective material. Despite the overlay being removed, the heel counter continues to be firm. The overall result is a much better heel and midfoot hold. There is improved locked down feel in this shoe.
  • To compensate for the firmness of the sole, a premium insole can be trampled upon by runners.

Size and fit

The fit of the Rider 18 has changed relative to the earlier model. A relaxed feel in the heel and midfoot is a bit noticeable, but there are no longer any security concerns as the enhancements ensure a functional lockdown in these areas. The roomy forefoot gives runners a more comfortable fit for long runs. Medium and wide are the available widths of this shoe. Sizing runs true in the Wave Rider 18.


The Rider 18 uses numerous rectangular-shaped rubber configurations. It gives the shoe more flex. Mizuno covers the heel with its ever-reliable X10 carbon rubber for more durability and traction. This outsole technology is also used in the Wave Rider 22 and in other well-known Mizuno shoes.

The forefoot uses softer blown rubber with a slightly more aggressive pattern than the rest of the outsole.


Reverting to past model of the Wave Plate does the trick for the 18th instalment of the rider. It brings back the trademark torsional rigidity and firmness in the cushioning for more shock attenuation and responsiveness. Adding to the firmness of the ride is the U4ic midsole foam.


A two-piece upper with minimal, but more substantial overlays covers a large part of this section. The mesh is highly-breathable while the overlays enhanced the midfoot security. Mizuno places a small logo on the heel for some reflectivity with a hidden heel counter holding the heel in place. The tongue and collar are well-padded for improved comfort.


How Mizuno Wave Rider 18 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 34% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 36% Mizuno running shoes
All Mizuno running shoes
Top 31% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Mizuno Wave Rider 18.
Compare to another shoe:
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.