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 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. I’ve found the knit upper to be more forgiving to wider feet like mine. If you like the Waverider and want something different, try the Waveknit. Think of it as the Waver ider 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 shoe and will keep it relatively consistent from year to year.
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. It 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 knit 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. It 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.
As mentioned, Mizuno is much more firm and responsive brand. Mizuno technology uses a wave plate and wave construction to disperse energy. This year, it’s 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 it 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 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 shoe.
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 Wave Rider and are looking for a slight change, the Wave rider Waveknit R2 is the way to go. Since the bottom is the same in both the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2, you’re getting the same technology but a different knit upper.
Personally, I like the fit of the 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 Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2 will feel softer, but it’s not a drastic change.
Long Runs: Mizuno R2, Hoka Cavu 2
Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro
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Questions for you:
Have you tried Mizuno before?
Do you like white running shoes?