MIzuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

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While, I don’t like to stay loyal to a single shoe or even a brand, I have always relied on Mizuno Wave Riders to get me through marathons. I started out first with the Waverider 15s back in 2012 and ran my first marathon in 3:24. After stocking up on the 15s for thousands of miles, I eventually ran out and upgraded to the 16s. As always I stocked up well enough that I actually never upgraded to the 17s, but my supply was starting to to run low. So when I had an opportunity to test out the Mizuno Waver Rider 18s through Fitfluential, I was okay with bypassing 17s straight to the 18s.

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First, let’s just look at the design, the colors and style. While sometimes I do get attached to a certain color (cough gold waverider 15s cough), I do appreciate how every year, the people at Mizuno mix it up, letting you spice up your running shoes a bit so you never get sick of them, even if you do continue running in virtually the same shoe every year. Although I run about 2500 miles a year and probably go through 6 pairs a years, so I appreciate the color changes and options! So keep it coming!

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Now back to the technical aspect of the shoe. Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe, for runners with a neutral stride. 

Neutral runners tend to have the following:

  • A higher arch that does not pronate, or an arch that collapses in very slightly.
  • Runners who usually show wear the outside corner of the heel, and in the center of the forefoot or the outside of the forefoot.
  • Like some cushion but don’t need it
  • Runners who do not need lot of stability features.

The great part about being a neutral runner is that you can pretty much run in any shoe and thus we tend to have less injuries. Great shoes like Wave Riders help us stay that way.

The Mizuno #WaveRider18 incorporates several key Mizuno technologies:

Mizuno Wave Technology® the reason behind a stable and “harmonious” ride from landing to toe-off.
Mizuno’s U4ic midsole, which delivers optimal shock attenuation, resiliency, and responsiveness in a lightweight shoe – weighing in at only 7.8 oz. (Women’s)
Dynamotion Fit™ which helps relive the stress our feet place on footwear – thus eliminating distortion and increasing durability.

Differences between the models

If you’re used to running in the Waver Rider 17s, you’ll notice these shoes are a little more heavy since they are 7.8oz (women size 7) vs. 7.2 oz (women size 7). Besides the weight, I cannot give more feedback. When I compared in with my 17s, I initially thought they were heavier, however, my 16s are 8 oz (women size 7)  vs. the 7.8 oz of the 18s. So technology is getting lighter! For those who complained (and I heard some) the toe box for the 18s is a lot bigger. Also, the shoes although a little lighter, definitely have more cushion for support. The backs of the shoes are also a little stiffer through the whole heel, vs. just half the heel in the 16s. I spent a week going between the 16s and 18s on my 6-8 mile runs and basically noticed little difference in my stride and effort.

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A worry for the future…

As mentioned before, I have noticed that the  18s compared to my 15s and 16s are wider in the toe box, a little more cushion and a little stiffer. Which for now was okay. I only noticed a small amount of difference and it didn’t effect my run too much. However, I am really hoping that Mizuno does not going into an even more cushion direct in the upcoming years. I like the support and yet lightness that Mizunoe Wave Riders offer and hope they stay that way.

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However, in the current time, Mizuno Waver Rider 18s is a great neutral shoe for short, long and everything in between runs. I even use them on easy trails, despite the weird comments I get from the true and proper trail runners.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is on sale now nationwide for $119.00!

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3 Things You Might Not Need For A Sprint Triathlon

Like most anxious little type As, I did a lot of research before my first sprint triathlon.  I googled my heart out, read some guides on Beginner Triathlete, and went to a few Triathlon Clinics at a local (okay it was a chain) sports store.

While I did learn a lot, at the end of the day, the triathlon clinic was there to sell me shit I might not need. Nice to have, but not need to have. Now, first I am no expert in triathlons. I do however enjoy running, biking and swimming. To date, I’ve only done one and while I did not take home any age group prize, I consider it a success. I didn’t drown and I made it to the finish line. In the end, unless you’re an elite athlete, that’s all that matters for any race you do. I do races because they’re fun, not because it’s my job (because otherwise I might have to starve and beg for change on the corner).

Like any addictive habit, its easy to empty out your wallet into many negatives collecting gear for fear of missing out, or just things that are nice to have. In the end, to find a balance between everything I love, I try to first separate what I need to have and what’s nice to have. Sure my collection of nice to have has grown, but it’s been growing over three years, and not in one day. Maybe it’s the accountant in me, but I don’t have a Warren Buffer trust fund to inherit, so I must spend my pennies carefully.

You Do Not Need a Trisuit – One piece, two pieces, & all the brands are hard to tell what you need. Sure, they’re nice to have and if you plan on doing more triathlons, they will be a nice investment, but if you’re only planning on doing 1 a year or less, I don’t think they’re required.

I wore a sports bra and a pair of shorts I love for all three legs of the triathlon. I ended up putting a running shirt on for the bike and run to avoid sunburning my ghostly skin that sees no sun. Otherwise, I have no clothing issues, even if I wasn’t wearing $180 trisuit on.

You Don’t Need a Wetsuit – Okay this is only half true since it depends on the weather, time of year, and where you’re swimming. I’m an awful swimmer and I didn’t find much advantage in the buoyancy for a short distance.  Only benefit to me would have been warmth if it was too cold.  However, if you are swimming midsummer in a pond or lake where the water is in the 70s, you don’t need a wetsuit. In fact, unless you’re A. used to swimming in a wetsuit (the sleeves can be constricting) and B. great at pulling it off in transition areas, it might just slow you down. After all, the swim leg is probably the shortest in a sprint triathlon ranging from 1/4th to 1/2 a mile.  Also, if the water is too warm, you might not even be allowed to use said wetsuit.

Don’t rent one out on race day just because the race company keeps sending you emails about the rental option and wetsuit benefits unless you tried it out at least once the day before the race. Just as with any sport, you shouldn’t try anything new on race day.  If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

And best advantage of no wetsuit? I didn’t have to worry about forgetting to retie my time strap on my leg. It might not look sexy, but neither do wetsuits ;).

You Don’t Need a Fancy Road Bike – Yes a road bike will be faster than a mountain bike. A fancier road bike will be faster than a lower tier road bike, but at the end of the day it is the carpenter and not that tools that make it work. I saw a kid blast past me on a mountain bike, and while I didn’t blast past many, I definitely passed more than a handful of roadbikes during my race.

A beginner road bike can start at $1,000 with everything included and unless you’re planning on going longer distance, and love road biking, it’s not really worth the investment. I’ve had my hybrid for 5 years and only recently upgraded to a roadbike because I wanted to start biking more than 20 miles at a time.

Similar to the roadbike, you don’t need the clip in pedals and bike shoes if you’re not used to them. It’s extra time at transition and clipping in and out can be tricky if you’re not used to it.

In conclusion there is a cost/benefit to every piece of gear from the bike to shirt to the Garmin. Things that are nice to have tend to be for a reason that’s beneficial in one way or another. However, it’s important to not get lost in the gear and stick to the basics to enjoy the sport. Or at least your budget. As with running, the further distance your triathlon goes, the more beneficial certain gear will be. If you’re doing an Ironman, I’m pretty sure you need to be pretty talented or miserable to get through it without the three things listed above.

One thing we can all agree that you need on race day is fun!

What’s your favorite piece of Triathlon gear?