Shoe Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 16

By Emily Cooley

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Mizuno shoes. Like HUGE. I have 3 pairs of Wave Rider 15’s: one for work, one for road, one for trail… So many pairs that I have to special order different colors and put in different color laces to keep track. So with that said, I am fully prepared/qualified to give you a review of the new Wave Rider 16. And I really love these shoes.

Looks: First, the colors! The colors are amazing and sound as rad at they look: Rouge Red & Apple Green, Aruba Blue & Electric, Blazing Yellow & Imperial Blue. Second, I noticed that the upper is different. “Upper” refers to the outer material of the shoe. The 15’s material had a honey-combed look too it. The 16’s still have the breathable honeycomb, but now it is underneath a finer mesh. This fine mesh allows for the upper to move seamlessly with you. I can feel more ventilation, which will be perfect for the winter, so rain/snow can evaporate from my shoes faster. Second, the 15’s have a more durable strip of material that crosses the big and little toes. I have never blistered here, but the 16’s do NOT have this piece and I can already tell you that it allows for more freedom in the toe box. The shoe is still structurally sound but even more comfortable (if that was possible!)

Fit: I love the wave plate technology. It helps to dissipate impact forces, giving you a smoother ride. And thank goodness, they did not mess it up! The foot bed plus the wave plate felt like the same old amazing shoe – which is always comforting. As far as size, the shoe is slightly, slightly, longer! I needed to move from a 10 to a 9.5. You may also find that the shoe fits a wee bit better if you change the size. In the 9.5, I felt the same foot-contouring fit and support through the inside of my foot. Also, the smooth-ride technology and “rocker” is as great as ever! This technology helps your run be more “harmonious” (their word, not mine! But I agree…), smoother, less impact.

Ok, so any other changes? The Wave Rider 15’s weigh in at 8.7 oz (size) and the 16’s are 8.2 oz! Nice! Don’t know about you, but I like light shoes – especially when charging up the trail or zipping down the road! They also changed the material of the logo overlays to heat-bonded suede, which is just going to give you better control over the shoe.

Final words: I’m psyched. The colors are better. The upper is improved. The shoe is lighter. The shoe is still as responsive and as comfortable. A little sad about the size change but thankfully it still feels great when I went down. Overall, Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s for the win!!


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