When I first saw a photo of the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra shoe I was like…what the heck is this thing? It honestly looked like a basketball shoe and I couldn’t tell you what it was designed for. I knew for running but running fast? Easy runs? What was it? And it’s not cheap. At $250, you wonder what kind of shoe is the Wave Neo Ultra. I was mostly confused.
As we know, sustainability has become a new thing of 2022. The Wave Neo Ultra uses fully sustainable materials and also uses a new midsole called the “Enerzy Lite”.
Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra Quick Facts:
Weight: 10.9 oz
Heel To Toe Drop: 8 mm
Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra Introduction:
What exactly is the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra? It’s a maximum cushioned, sustainable racing shoe. It’s supposed to be premium (think your Brooks Glycerin 20 or New Balance 1080v12 but it’s also sustainable.
Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra Fit:
Usually Mizuno fits long and narrow so it came as a surprise when the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra fit bigger and I had a lot of extra room. It’s definitely the biggest and widest shoe I’ve seen from Mizuno.
The Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra upper is made from a nondyed sustainable knit upper. The entire upper is one single piece which in theory I like. It does however create some weird creasing and bagging in the shoe.
I strongly believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet and the Wave Neo Ultra doesn’t exactly do that. The first thing is the fit issue. It just fit weirdly and it took me a few plays with sizing to figure it out.
I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide and I found the 10.5 to be the best fit. It felt a little wide (which is super rare for me) but it ended up being the best fit.
The second with the fit is just the lack of any structure. It’s comfortable but if you are someone who likes structure in their running shoe, the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra is not going to be the best fit for you. It does breathe well and you don’t have to worry about it getting overheated.
Finally, there is a weird plastic piece on the side that seems unnecessary. Why is it there? It seems to just add bulk. Some brands make a sustainable upper and you aren’t sacrificing the upper for sustainability. This isn’t really the case and is not as good as other Mizuno offerings.
Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra Ride:
Really, I was most intrigued by what makes the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra a $250 shoe. So let’s break down the shoe.
The Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra features 3 different types of “Enerzy” foam:
- Enerzy Core
- Enerzy Lite
- Enerzy (regular?)
The forefoot has a significant rocker that is flexible and offsets the lower drop. It feels more similar to Mizunos other offerings despite only having a 5-6 mm drop. The shoe does feel bouncy and light, but it works best for easy training runs. It is fairly soft and you’ll find you have a lot of cushion.
Durability and Traction: I’m trying to find something that makes the Wave Neo Ultra worth $250 and I guess it’s got a great deal of traction and durability. If you are running in inclement weather you don’t really have to worry about that and I expect to last the full 400 miles. It don’t see it getting
I had no idea where the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra would fit into my rotation. At first I thought maybe Mizuno had finally made a carbon-plated racer to compete with other brands. But that’s not what this shoe is. Really it’s just been a basic, easy run or long run recovery shoe. It does that well, but I still can’t figure out why it’s basically $90 more than any other shoe in that category. I can’t think of a situation that I would prefer to spend $90 more for this over another shoe in it’s category. It’s great that it’s sustainable but it lacks in fit because of it.
Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra Conclusion:
Can I just type, I don’t get it? I appreciate sustainability but I don’t understand the cost of this shoe. It’s weird and rarely do I say a shoe “isn’t worth it”. Maybe someone from Mizuno will enlighten me. It’s a fine shoe, it’s just not a $250 shoe. I do like the ride, but it’s hard for me to get excited about a shoe that costs $250 and I can’t really tell you why. Plus, I do think the upper can use some work.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Easy/Daily Runs: New Balance 1080v12 , Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, Saucony Triumph 19, Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra
Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Reebok Floatride Energy X
Long Runs: Saucony Freedom 4, Hoka Clifton Edge,
Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12, Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL:PDX,
Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky,Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro,New Balance Fuelcell 5280, Nike Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro 2, Reebok Run fast Pro
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
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Quesitons for you:
Have you tried the Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra?
What is your favorite running shoe?