Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is not a shoe that receives a ton of marketing or that people are lining the doors on the day it launches. BUT it’s a good shoe. The basic and workhorse trainers (like the Brooks Ghost or Saucony Ride) receive minimal glory, but they are what really keep you healthy.

They are not the $200 shoes, but thankfully, not every running shoe is. Every runner needs a basic and boring running shoe in their rotation. It’s a shoe that’s durable, isn’t fancy, and you can trust it won’t change too much from year to year.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9 oz

Heel Toe Drop: 10 mm

Price: $140

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Introduction:

The Wave Rider 26 isn’t glamorous. It’s a great daily trainer to keep you healthy, but you probably aren’t going to set PRs in it. Honestly, that’s fine! There is a need for these types of shoes! It is one of the few 12 mm drop neutral trainers left! One thing I appreciate about these consistent trainers is their updates aren’t massive or drastic. You don’t have to worry about crazy updates.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Fit:

I am a big fan of the color choices Mizuno has put out over the last couple of years. The muted pink of the new Mizuno Wave Rider 26 was calling my name. But, we know by now color is not everything (or anything) with if the shoe is good. Like ASICS, Mizuno usually has a long and narrow fit. I like to say these shoes are long and lean. The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 does come in wide but even then it’s not “super wide”.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review

The upper uses recycled materials but is also plush. I was worried about the thicker material because I didn’t want my feet to roast in the Mojave Desert. The material does breathe well, and you don’t have to worry about overheating. Plus, when it gets wet, it also dries quickly. I’ve run into a few shoes that type of upper doesn’t dry well at all. Lately, that isn’t the case.

The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Mizuno Wave Rider 26 does just that. The ankle is padded, and there is no discomfort. The tongue is gusseted and stays in place, so you don’t have to worry about that. There are no hot spots, and the shoe breathes well…really what more do you need in daily running training shoe?

In running shoes, I typically wear between a size 10-11 wide. I’ve generally worn a size 11 wide in Mizuno, the same with the Wave Rider 26. I like the extra width!

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review
Padded heel

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Ride:

Mizuno has started making their shoes more environmentally friendly (hoorah!!), and they claim their wave materials emit 25% fewer CO2 emissions than normal PEBAX. I do appreciate when brands are transparent versus saying: yes, our shoes are more environmentally friendly.

So what has changed in the Mizuno Wave Rider 26?

The midsole has been updated. The Mizuno “WAVE” plate disperses energy from running impact. It feels like it’s been extended further to spread even more energy.

Important to note is Mizuno is a unique brand and shoe that feels “way different” than other brands. There aren’t a lot of brands that are this firm, so when someone wants to change from Mizuno, they will likely go into a softer shoe. Anyway, that’s just how the WAVE plate works because it’s a firm piece of plastic absorbing energy.

Mizuno uses “ENERZY” which has added some softness to the shoe for the past couple of years. This new foam has made Mizuno softer in the last couple of years. My guess is so they’ll become more mainline.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review

Durability and Traction:

Mizuno is a brand you can trust to be durable. The Mizuno Wave Rider 26  is no different. I’ve put about 100 miles on the Wave Rider 26, and I don’t feel like sliding around or falling. I believe I’ll get about 400 or 500 miles out of them. I’ve taken it out in inclement weather and dunes and haven’t worried either time about falling. Plus, the upper doesn’t hold too much water in stormy weather and dries quickly.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 uses the X10 Outsole, made of durable carbon rubber. This allows it to stay as durable as it is.

The Wave Rider 26 has always been a daily trainer for me, and that’s what it continues to be. While you can pick up the pace if you prefer, it’s just an easy run shoe. I like a lighter, faster shoe for workouts and even more cushion for easy runs.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Shoe Review
The firm piece of pink plastic you see is the wave plate

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Conclusion:

The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is a good shoe. If you are looking for a solid trainer, this is a great option especially if you like a firmer ride. It won’t get a lot of glamors, but you can trust it will stay consistent year after year. Hey, it’s on it’s 26th version, so people must like it.

Who is the Mizuno Wave Rider 26 made for?

It’s a neutral running shoe that does fit more narrow. It also feels more firm than either brand. So if you are looking for a slightly slimmer fit and firmer shoe, it could be for you.

Who shouldn’t buy the Mizuno Wave Rider 26?

This is not designed to run fast. While available in wide, it’s not a wide shoe. If you are someone who likes a soft and plush ride, than it might not be the shoe for you.

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Antepes Muscle Runners, Tracksmith Eliot Runner, New Balance 1080v12,  Saucony Triumph 19, Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra, 361 Centauri

Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly

Long Runs: ASICS Superblast

Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12Hoka 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 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Mizuno Wave Rider 26?

What is your favorite daily trainer?

1 Comment

  1. I began my running journey in something called the Mizuno Mondo Control….yep, heavy and motion control, funny thing…I now run mostly in neutral shoes, sometimes I look for something with some support…Hoka, On, Nimbus are in my rotation…..odd thing, if you asked me, I’d say I wasn’t a Mizuno person, then I looked at older marathon photos….Wave Inspire in a lot of them…who knew?

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