Mizuno Wave Rider 23 review

It’s a good everyday trainer which could also be used for some longer distances. The biggest difference compared to the Wave Rider 22 is the upper. If you liked the 22, you’ll like this version too.

I was surprised by this shoe and its comfort. It is a good shoe for heel strikers because of the plush landing due to the wave plate and the foam in the heel being a bit softer.

The wave plate gives the shoe a bit of a firmer feeling, but the softer foam in the heel compensates for this. I didn’t have any hotspots in this shoe and could easily log some longer distances in this shoe.

Pros

  • comfortable daily trainer
  • well-fitting upper
  • breathable mesh
  • balanced cushioning
  • true-to-size
  • durable outsole

Cons

  • not an 'excting' shoe

Mizuno Wave River 23 was a pleasant surprise

This is the first Mizuno shoe that I’ve ever tried and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Before you start running in a shoe you have certain expectations about how a shoe might be, that’s the whole reason why you consider that shoe and might try it on.

The reason I never tried Mizuno before is because, based on the looks of their shoes, I thought they would be quite stiff and quite firm and that’s not the type of running shoe that I like.

But once in a while, you have to try something new and after testing lots of brands I knew I had to try Mizuno. And obviously, you should never judge a book by its cover.

Plus, this is the 23rd edition of this shoe and there must be a reason why there are so many editions, it can’t be a bad shoe if you make it that far.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is a neutral road running shoe and has a 20 mm forefoot stack and a 32 mm heel stack giving it a 12 mm offset which is the same offset as in the previous model.

These days that’s a bit on the higher side of things, but it wasn’t that noticeable in this shoe.

No complaints on the upper

They have changed the upper compared to the previous version.

The Wave Rider 23 has a double engineered mesh upper, it is quite breathable, but since it is a double layer that is quite tightly knit it does provide a bit of warmth during the colder months.

There is some padding in the heel and tongue, but it isn’t as plush as some other running shoes out there.

Well-balanced cushioning

The midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is the same as that of the 22nd edition of this shoe.

It is made up out of two foams, the majority of the midsole is made out of Mizuno’s U4ic foam and besides the U4ic foam, they also used their softer U4icX foam as part of the midsole in the heel area.

The U4icX foam makes this shoe more suitable for heel strikers. There is also a thin layer of U4icX as a top layer directly under foot.

And obviously, we shouldn’t forget the plastic wave plate in the heel which helps with stability and shock absorption.

Durability for hundreds of miles

The outsole of the Wave Rider 23 has also remained the same compared to the 22.

It has the same reinforced rubber outsole as the previous edition. It gives nice traction and is durable. I’ve logged about 100 kilometers in these shoes and I still don’t see any wear on the outsole.

True-to-size

I had my regular running shoe size and they fit me just fine. The fit is quite snug, the upper does hug your midfoot quite a bit, but in a nice way.

Performance

I did a 15k race in this shoe without any trouble. No hotspots and just a pleasant ride. It’s not a shoe with exciting new technologies or interesting sounding materials, it is just a good shoe.

It is not a very flexible shoe and although it is a neutral running shoe it does give you some light stability due to the TPU plate underneath the midfoot.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is pretty comparable to the Brooks Ghost 12. The Brooks Ghost 12 has a bit more medial support than the Wave Rider 23, but the Wave Rider 23 has a softer heel than the Ghost 12.

The midsole underneath the forefoot is a bit softer in the Ghost 12 than in the Wave Rider 23. The upper of the Ghost is a bit more plush than that of the Wave Rider. Both are good everyday trainers and can be used by different types of runners.

Which one is the better of the two depends on personal preference. Both are good for heel strikers, although personally, I think the Wave Rider is a bit better for heel strikers than the Ghost

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Mizuno Wave Rider 23 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 4% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 3% Mizuno running shoes
All Mizuno running shoes
Top 3% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Mizuno Wave Rider 23.
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Author
Marijke van den Hamer
Marijke van den Hamer

I’m Marijke, on social media also known as Heart Runner Girl. I love trying new things and inspiring others to get moving. I’ve started running in 2014 and I run races all over the world. My favourite distance is the marathon, but I also run shorter distances. I’ve ran the Berlin Marathon in 2017 and the Paris and New York Marathon in 2018. My goal is to one day become a six-star finisher.