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Mizuno Wave Rider 20

Published on 20/01/2017 00:00

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Mizuno has always been a benchmark in the world of running shoes. With these sports shoes, the Japanese brand wanted to update one of the most outstanding products in its catalogue. Have they achieved any major improvement over their predecessors, or have they just added a number to this model´s name? Let´s analyse it.


Technical assessment









Wet traction


Dry Traction


When you open the box and take a look at the Mizuno Wave Rider 20, the first thing that springs to mind is that perhaps they are not the most aesthetically pleasing shoes you have ever seen, and you'll probably find them a little "leaden" if you like very light sports shoes. Nevertheless, sometimes appearances are deceptive and before dishing out a sentence, I'd better test them and see what this new Japanese model can offer. Therefore, I'll put my running shoes on and off I go!

First impression
My first impression is that the new Mizuno Wave Rider 20s are comfortable to wear. They seem like shoes with which you can exercise frequently, without ruining your joints (that is, provided you weigh less than 80 kg). Maybe they are not the lightest shoes I have ever put on, but they do not give you a feeling of heaviness, and they really weigh 290 g. Therefore, with this feeling of comfort and acceptable weight, it now remains to find out if they respond well on the ground.
The updated upper part makes the wearer feel as though the foot is well supported, with no room between the foot and the shoe, and it gives great comfort thanks to the use of 3 layers of fabric. The shoe carries the whole heel and the central part of the foot very well, leaving much freedom in the toe area, so that we feel tightly fastened, but without the foot feeling suffocated. Another thing that has caught my attention is the tongue, which is thick enough to tie the strings tightly without crushing the metatarsals.

Protection and reinforcements
In terms of protection, this shoe is built with an important reinforcement throughout the back, so the heel is very well protected. At the front the protection is minimal, since the only reinforcement that we see is the one on the toes, so if we run a track that is a bit rocky, it will protect us only minimally. However, the surface for which these shoes is designed is asphalt, so on this surface we will be well protected.

In the back of the shoe we find the distinctive logo of the Japanese brand in a metallic grey colour that serves as a reflective, to be seen at night or in dark areas. The logo is small and it is the only reflective that is on the shoe, so for that reason it would be good to have another reflective on the side of the shoe.

The protection of the ankle not only fulfills its function of protecting us, but it is even more meant to give stability to the tread (designed for neutral runners). The truth is that the feeling when running is one of good stability, with a good tread and a pleasant feeling of efficiency.
The insole of the shoe is really comfortable and adapts quite well to the shape of the foot.

The midsole is composed of a material called U4ic, except the part of the heel which is made from a material called U4icX. These two materials provide very good cushioning, achieving a good balance between lightness and comfort.
The sole does not bring any news in comparison with its predecessors. That is because the rubber compound used in the sole by Mizuno has shown very good results in terms of response and durability, so the Japanese brand has preferred to leave what is already working well.

As I already mentioned, a very good balance between lightness of the shoe and good cushioning has been achieved. Perhaps it is not my favourite drop (12 mm), since I prefer low drops that give me more freedom in my running technique, but the feeling of running fast is good (3:20 min/km - 3:30 min/km) and they behave well even during series at a pace of 3:05 - 3:10 min/km. It is true that at faster speeds than those a little more lightness would be appreciated, but you can not have everything. On the other hand, these are shoes with which one can run daily with great ease, at distances of up to half a marathon, and even compete in a marathon wearing them without any problem. It must be said that I weigh 68.5 kg, so the weight is also a big consideration. For people over 80 kg, maybe it is better to stick to running tracks under 21km.


The sole
As I said before, the sole is composed of rubber, a compound that Mizuno has used with its predecessors and received very good reviews. They have produced a sole with a good grip on asphalt and durable, so they can not be criticised in any way for not having introduced innovations in this respect.

Behavior at different rates
With a weight of just 290 g, it's a shoe that performs wonderfully at a pace of 3:30 min/km, with a more than good reactivity, and that is appreciated when you like to notice how the shoe responds each time you accelerate.

The profile of runners to whom we recommend the shoe
The suitable profile for these shoes would be a runner of between 60 and 80 kg, who seeks to run daily the distances between 5 and 21 km. Those demanding runners who like to train hard with series of more than 500 m will also get a very good response from this footwear.
It is true that we could wear these to run a marathon, but I would only recommend it to runners with a good running technique, good muscle base and experience, since there are other models more suitable for the great majority of the public.

* Upper comfort and flexibility in running
* The support it provides to the entire posterior and medial part of the foot.
* The feeling of lightness - the cushioning it provides.

* Lack of reflectors that protect us in dark areas.
* For people with wide feet they may feel a little tight since the medial area of the foot is fastened very hard, even for me with my narrow foot.

My height

174 m

My weight

68.5 kg

My clothing size


My birthplace


Soy un enamorado del deporte en general, y de la montaña en particular. Me encanta todo lo relacionado con el mundo del rendimiento deportivo, y a ello quiero dedicarme, ayudando a los deportistas a conseguir sus objetivos con éxito.

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