Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

It’s been a long, long, long, time since I ran in a Mizuno shoe. Typically I like softer brands, while Mizuno is more firm. The last shoe I ran in was the Mizuno Wave Engima. 

The Mizuno Wave Rider Waveknit R2 is a specialized version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. This year Mizuno introduces the Mizuno Waveknit into many of their shoes and you’ll see it in several. Similar to the Nike Pegasus and Nike Pegasus Turbo (Both Nikes, just slightly different).

The Mizuno Waveknit R2 isn’t a “faster” shoe, but it does have a different knit upper to it. Due to the engineered mesh upper and knit, I’ve found the knit upper to be more forgiving to wider feet like mine. If you like the Mizuno Wave rider and want something different, try the Mizuno Waveknit. Think of it as the Wave Rider Waveknit. You’re getting the same bottom of a shoe but a fun change to the top.

Several years ago somewhere between the Wave rider 17 and Wave rider 20, the Mizuno Waverider went through a few drastic changes. It lost several people. Since then, our Mizuno rep has told me that they won’t be making any “big changes” to the Mizuno Wave Rider and will keep it relatively consistent from year to year.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Fit:

While I haven’t run in the Mizuno Wave Rider in several years, a significant issue people had last year was how “breathable” the upper was.  Breathability isn’t an issue in the Waveknit R2, and we haven’t had it as an issue with the Wave Rider 22 either.

By nature, Mizuno is one of the more narrow brands for the last few years. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and the 11 fits and felt the best. The Mizuno Waveknit R2 is more forgiving than the traditional upper, and there are no seems. If you have wider feet, you will appreciate the knit being so forgiving.

The engineered mesh has stretch and hold abilities so while it’s seamless, it doesn’t lose it’s shape. The Mizuno Waveknit R2 has a more natural and dynamic fit through its stretch. I like when any brand goes into a knit material because it fits more feet.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Ride:

As mentioned, Mizuno is much more firm and responsive brand. Mizuno technology uses a wave plate and wave construction to disperse energy. This year, the Mizuno Waverider and Mizuno Waveknit R2 are softer and smoother than previous versions. The softness allows you to roll through from heel to toe without the shoe feeling clunky.

How did they soften and smooth the Mizuno Wave Rider sole up? The sole is made up of a mix of two different foams.  Essentially a soft and firm foam. The soft foam is found right under the heel to add a more cushioned feeling and to reduce impact.

The signature wave plate keeps Mizuno on the firmer side and more responsive. The Mizuno Waverider is known to be a firm, everyday trainer, and that is exactly where it fits in for me. I have used it for most running from everyday runs to recovery, and long runs. The best sport for me is long runs, or a daily run. For recovery runs, I prefer something with more cushion.

Just something to note, I did notice was when running on a rocky or gravel road was the number of rocks that got stuck in the Mizuno Waveknit R2.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Conclusion:

The Mizuno Wave rider waveknit R2 is a great shoe if you are looking for a neutral shoe to add to your rotation. It is more firm than several brands but worth trying on.

If you have run in the Mizuno Wave Rider and are looking for a slight change, the Mizuno Wave Rider Waveknit R2 is the way to go. Since the bottom is the same in both the Mizuno Waverider 22 and Mizuno Waveknit R2, you’re getting the same technology but a different knit upper.

Personally, I like the fit of the Mizuno Wave Rider Waveknit R2 better because it allows for more space for those of us with wider feet. From previous versions of the Mizuno Waverider, the Mizuno Waverider 22 and Mizuno Waveknit R2 will feel softer, but it’s not a drastic change.


Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about tying your shoe.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Mizuno before? Have you tried the Mizuno Wave Rider or Mizuno Waveknit R2? 

Do you like white running shoes?

1 Comment

  1. Great comment about the rocks! I haven’t run in Waveriders in a few years, but I can see from your photo that the sole is still pretty much the same. I would get pretty large rocks stuck in that indentation in the middle of the heel pretty consistently. They are substantial enough that I would have to stop and pull them out while running.

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