Wave Rider 22 – Review October 3, 2018 – Posted in: Latest News, Expert Advice, Products, Blogs – Tags: , ,

Wave Rider 22 – Review

By Tom Kroyer (Running Coach – Break Your Limits)

The 22nd edition of the iconic Wave Rider is here. The Runbirds have been making this neutral runner since 1997. Its almost annual tweaks to the design, shape, fit and form are vocally debated amongst the Wave Rider connoisseurs each update. Was it like the 17? Does it fit as good as the 20’s?

A quick history on the Wave Rider, back in the day when the other shoe brands were going for (insert trademark here) cushioned runners, the folks at Mizuno went another direction, how can they make a shoe propel you as well as look after your feet… not just make another marshmallow shoe.

The clever folks at Mizuno invented the Wave plate, which is a thermoplastic, wave-shaped piece in the midsole of the shoe which is designed to act like a spring, redirecting downward energy into a forward motion. It also does other fancy things such as hold the shape of the foot. The Wave Plate has been the central part of each Wave Rider and gives it a certain feel not really found anywhere else amongst other shoes.

Ok, so now the 22 is here and what is different since the 21’s have now moved to the discount rack?

The first thing I noticed is that the ride in the 22’s is softer than previous models, you still get that classic whip feel through the shoe of a Wave Rider (as the wave plate is still the same) but the heal is definitely softer.

They do this by changing the design of the outsole right where your heal lands, take a look at the base of the wave plate where you will see these small holes on the bottom surface of the midsole. They allow air through providing a softer feel and more cushioning, especially if you’re a heal striker like me. So straight out of the box you don’t need to ‘break them in’ like previous Rider’s. It’s a nice ‘Ride’ from a fresh pair.

The other update you get from the 22’s is that it’s a touch more flexible than the previous versions through the forefoot. If there has been any issue I have had with the older model Riders is that they can be a little bit stiff.

The new re-designed outsole on the 22’s fixes this as they have added in another flex groove. Spin your old 21’s over and you can count 2 flex grooves on the outsole, have a look under your new 22’s and you can count an extra groove there. This new 3 groove design give a very positive feel to the Rider when you toe off.

The upper has had an update too with a full-length mesh upper all the way through, which provides that secure ‘hold your foot in place’ feel but if you are like me and love that ‘Knit Look” the new Knit uppers of the 22 should be landing at Mizuno Australia HQ real soon!

So in summary, it’s touch softer, a touch more flexible but still whips like a rider should.

For more info on the Wave Rider 22 click here

Review By Tom Kroyer (Running Coach – Break Your Limits)