Product Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 18s

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


I was pumped when BibRave contacted me with the opportunity to review a new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s! I was currently in a pair of neutral shoes with a very low heel drop (3 mm from heel to toe). I was starting to experience aches and pains I previously hadn’t due to this very low heel drop. I had some very painful Achilles issues as my mileage increased. I ran my last half marathon in this pair, and the back of my legs took several days to recover. So when BibRave and Mizuno wanted to pass along a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s to a group of BibRave Pros, I jumped at the chance to give them a try!

I put them on and jogged/jumped/walked around the house the first night. I could immediately tell the huge improvement in heel cushioning, so I went online to compare specs. My previous pair gave me a 3 mm heel drop and the Wave Rider 18s gave 12 mm. Ahhh relief! The Wave Rider 18s are a neutral shoe and weigh just 7.8 ounces. The upper and heel patterns are inspired by the Japanese “hado” principle, which is described as the vibrational life-force energy that exists in all living matter and has the power to create transformations.

Video from Mizuno Europe


Specs and Technology:

  • Weight: 7.8 oz.
  • Profile (Heel): 35.0 mm
  • Profile (Forefoot): 22.7 mm
  • Drop from heel to forefoot: 12.3 mm
  • Key Mizuno Wave technologies, including:
    • U4ic- Midsole optimal shock attenuation, durability and a superior ride.
    • X10- Durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear in high impact areas and supplements traction at heel strike.
    • SmoothRide- engineering that creates a smooth transition from heel to toe, increased flexibility, and more power at toe-off

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and Gracie

My first adventure with them was a 3.5 mile walk with Gracie to break them in. The next day, I started running in them to give them a true test. On my third 5 mile run, I noticed some discomfort on the bottom of my heel and in my toe box. I swapped the existing foot bed out with my Aetrex Lynco Sports Series Orthotics, which seemed to provide more cushioning and support. After wearing the Wave Rider 18s for two weeks, here’s my first reactions:


  • Very cute!
  • Great heel cushioning
  • Roomy toe box
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible


  • The shoe feels big – like there is a lot of shoe around my foot – which made me stumble the first few runs
  • The foot bed wasn’t comfortable

Shoe fit is truly unique, so what may work for me might not for others, and vice versa. I always recommend visiting a local store that specializes in running shoe fit and finding what works best for you.  My true performance test will be when I run in the Wave Rider 18s at the Portland Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on May 17. A 13.1 distance can definitely make or break my feelings on a shoe. I’ll come back and let you know how they worked out!

Join me, other BibRavePros, and Mizuno on Twitter for #BibChat at 8 pm CT on May 26 and June 30!