Mizuno Wave Rider 15 Review

The Wave Rider series has long been a favorite for high mileage road runners. The line is famed for durability as well as its smooth ride and plush high performance cushioning, which is why it is poplar with neutral runners looking for a shoe that can break up the miles without breaking the bank.

This Mizuno Wave Rider 15 review is going to take a look at the updates that Mizuno have made to the shoe in more detail as well as seeing how they performed out on the road.

Mizuno Wave Rider 15

Mizuno Wave Rider 15

The Wave Rider 13 was considered by many as the pinnacle of the Wave Rider series due to its snug fit, flexibility and durability. The shoe line lost some followers when the Wave Rider 14 hit the market as Mizuno changed the fit of the shoe and so runners who were expecting the tried and tested comfort that they had experienced before were left disappointed.

For such a controversial and much discussed line as the Wave Rider, I needed to thoroughly get to grips with the trainers before I could pass comment on them. I took them on all kinds of surfaces and distances as well as running a 10k race in them. I actually set a new PB for 10k yesterday wearing these shoes and although I cant say that the shoes were reason for my new found speed, they were very smooth despite being slightly stiffer than the trainers that I normally train in.

Mizuno Wave Rider 15 Upper

The firs thing that I noticed when running in these shoes is that the upper has changed dramatically from either the Wave River 13 or 14. The 15 has lower side ankle support and a wider ankle opening, which I guess has been done to minimize the potential for irritation.


More changes are noticeable in the upper of the  shoe and the 15 has been given a more snug fit which is evident from the heel all the way through the shoe to the roomy toe box at the front.

Wave Rider 15 Toe Box

The Waver Rider 15 has a Roomy Toe Box and Is Surrounded By Dual Layered Mesh

Sticking with the upper, the mesh on the outside of the upper is very lightweight with dual mesh surrounding the sides and roof of the foot to encourage ample ventilation.  A micro-mesh skirt circulates the section of the upper that is closest to the sole in order to provide extra support as well as a shield for dirt and dust.

Mizuno Wave Rider 15 Midsole

The Wave Rider 15 features Mizuno’s popular Wave Technology. The shoe has a wave shaped plate that extends throughout the midsole from the heel to the forefoot. This wave place works to dissipate the shock waves caused when you heel strike whilst ample cushioning protects you from the worst of the shock.

Wave Plate

Mizuno Wave Plate Technology (The black material embedded within the midsole)

This Wave plate is one of the reasons that the Wave Rider 15’s are a little stiffer than other running shoes. However you shouldn’t let this put you off as the shoes are very adept at handling high impact running and it is this stiffness that also means that the trainers are durable.

The Wave Rider 15 cushioning is both plush and durable. The EVA foam is a good choice as it is a material that doesn’t easily lose its shock absorbing properties and doesn’t easily become compressed to the extent that its function is impaired.

Wave Rider 15 Outsole

The sole of the Wave Rider 15 is similar to that of the 14s but with two small changes. The 15s feature arrow shaped lug patterns that are becoming popular with trail running shoes a the moment (do to their gripping properties) and the shoe also features Smoothride technology.

Mizuno SmoothRide Technology

Mizuno SmoothRide Technology

The Smoothride technology seeks to even out the jerkiness of your foot as it moves through the gait cycle. It does this by minimizing the fast acceleration and deceleration parts of the foot cycle such as toe off and heel strike. The shoe has two sections of hardened rubber which couple the mid and forefoot together. What this does is to bring the toe of the shoe more inline with the mid foot so that the point of contact during toe off is brought further forward. Although the impact that this technology has is difficult to isolate when running, the 15s do feel very smooth.

Mizuno Wave Rider 15 Performance

The shoes do feel a little stiff to begin with but after a few runs they soon start to loosen up and the ride seems to get smoother and smoother as they do. The 15s are very good at eating up long distance road miles as their Wave technology and ample cushioning makes them very good at protecting you when you are plodding along on tired legs.

For track and speed work I would still stick with something that has slightly more emphasis put on mid foot or forefoot running as the Mizuno Wave 15s are more adept for long distance road running.

The fit and durability of the Wave Rider 15s are one of their main strengths and anyone who preferred the fit and feel of the Wave Rider 13s is in for a pleasant surprise.

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