Mizuno sent me a pair of their brand new Wave Sky running shoes to test out. Full disclosure, this is a sponsored review, but my views are 100% my own, and I was free to speak my mind. I went into this expecting not to have a ton of good stuff to say…read on to find out if I was right or wrong.
I used to run exclusively in Mizunos, especially the Wave Evo line. When that was discontinued, I’ve struggled to find Mizunos that had the same smoothness of the ride as the Evos. Everything I tried was just a bit too hard. I’ve run in several generations of the Rider (good shoe, for sure – see my reviews of versions 18 and 20 of the Wave Riders), Sayonara, Hitogami (both version 1) and a few others (like the Universe 5, which is my preferred 5K racing flat). They just didn’t hit the right mix for me.
I got the Wave Sky from Mizuno to evaluate for my blog, and I was skeptical as soon as I took them out of the box. I wore them around the house, and thought they’d be as firm as the Riders, which isn’t my style. I finally got them out on a run yesterday as I’ve been recovering from a sprained ankle.
Let me just say, I stand SERIOUSLY corrected. I was blown away by the ride. The shoe is firm when you walk around (thanks to the Wave plate, I’m sure), but once you load them up with force while running, they just melt. Not since the Wave Evo Cursoris have I felt a Mizuno disappear like this. I’m a forefoot striker, and found them really easy to strike that way, which is usually tough in a firm shoe. I then tried mid foot striking, and they were a dream.
I have to say, I expected to think they were fine but not for me. Now that I’ve run in them, I can say that they’re way better than fine – they’re actually an excellent shoe for mid distances (and I’d say they can probably handle a marathon really well, too), and would work well for pretty much any strike you run with. I wouldn’t wear them in a 5K as I like a racing flat for that use, but anything over 5K and any training run, I’d definitely choose them.
I would also note that the sole is completely covered in rubber. That’s not too common these days as most manufacturers have been cutting back on rubber to reduce weight. Mizuno clearly was thinking that the Sky would be a durable road shoe. They do weight a bit much vs others out there, but they’re not terribly heavy. That’s the price you pay for durability, and I at least recognize and appreciate them offering something that should last. Again, this speaks to the appropriateness of the shoe for middle distances up through the marathon.
Great toe box, heel cup, tongue, good lacing and hold…just really happy with this shoe, and a total surprised. Such a good reminder that you can’t judge a running shoe by walking around in it.
Honestly, I’m struggling here. I think the look of the shoe is a bit subdued. It’s not bad, but it’s just kinda conservative. I’ve been running in louder shoes lately, so this was a step backward for me, but I’d at least say most people will be fine with them. You just won’t be like, “Oh wow, that’s a hot shoe! I gotta get those!”
I noted their weight above, and would call that out in the ‘depressions’ section since it is a drawback. I just think this is an intentional tradeoff Mizuno made, and it’s no secret. If you need a durable shoe, then you likely will have more weight.
One thing I do think is valid as a complaint is on the pricing. $149 retail is on the higher end of the market, and just feels too high for a shoe that seems so conservative. I will say that the huge amount of rubber on the sole suggests these things will last a long time, so I expect you’d at least get your money’s worth (vs many similarly-priced shoes with more exposed foam on the sole).
to buy or not to buy
I think you can tell that I’m a fan of these, and I really didn’t expect to be, so that says even more about how much I ended up liking them since I was biased against them. I do wish they had some flashier colorways (though that’s not really Mizuno’s style these days), but otherwise, they are what they’re intended to be, and do a good job of being just that. I may have just accidentally stumbled on a new favorite shoe. They’ll at least be regulars in my rotation, and I’m glad to have them in there.
If you’re interested in learning more or picking up a pair of Wave Sky shoes, you can get them direct from Mizuno at this link. Finding a shoe that works for how your body moves is crucial to enlighten.your.body.