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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7 thoughts on “MIzuno Wave Rider 18 Review”

  1. I also got these shoes, but not to do a review. I won them in a giveaway from Mizuno. Like you, I bypassed the 17’s but I did try them on in a store and these do feel a bit heavier and higher profile, more like the 15’s (I have the gold 15’s too!).

    It took a few runs to break these in for me, but my main gripe is that the laces are short. I had to loosen them up a bit because these shoes seem narrow, and when I did, the laces are hardly long enough to double-tie :(.

    My favorite shoes right now are the Mizuno Wave Hitogami, but they’re mostly a short run/speedwork/tempo shoe.

    1. Yea, high profile is a good term.

      It’s funny, i actually like the short laces because I’ve had some struggle with trying to figure out what to do with super long ones.

      Funny, how there’s always things that make some people happy and others less.

      I should try out the hitogami. I’ve used the sayonara, but only liked it for racing shorter distances. Found it not as comfortable for long runs after a while.

      1. I love my Hitogami’s for racing- I did my 5K today in them. They’re about all I race in now, unless I’m doing a trail run (I don’t recommend them for trails, haha). I have also done some tempo runs and intervals in them. I would be scared to wear them for a long run or a longer race, just because when I do my longer runs I wear more of a shoe and would be scared to change that on race day. But I figure doing tempos in em, they’re great for 5K/10K

  2. They are so pretty!!! I have tried on Mizunos before but unfortunately they aren’t the right fit for my foot 😦 I wish they were because I hear such great things about them and love the look too!

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