Gear Review: Mizuno Wave Rider 18

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and FitFluential; however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Picking the right shoe is essential for a runner and there’s so many options out there between the toe drop, weight, and different styles. Mizuno really narrows down that playing field with the Wave Rider 18. Mizuno asked me to “test run” their Wave Rider 18, that was just released earlier this month, and they’ve been on runs with me from the cool mountain temperatures of Colorado, to the humid tropical runs in Florida, and most recently during my half marathon.

The Gear: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 (White/Dress Blue/Vibrant Orange)Mizuno Wave Rider 18

What I’m Liking

Hold on to your hats folks because there’s a lot of great things I have to say about this functional shoe. First off, the Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion for a comfortable ride. It really hits that sweet spot for runners that are looking for just enough support in their run.

The 12mm toe drop really helped me achieve a consistent mid-foot strike. Mizuno also credits the Wave Rider 18 with a refined toe spring and whatever’s there, I felt it–and loved the comfort.

The angle of the heel fit perfectly and prevented my foot from rubbing in the back. At the same time, the mid foot region fit very snug (not too snug) and really opened up in the toe box. I felt as though the Wave Rider 18 practically formed to my foot when I was running.

Mizuno was inspired by the Japanese concept of “Hado” that is the energy within that promotes powerful transformations, as they were designing the Wave Rider 18. They incorporated a smooth color transformation into their sleek design to display how every run can be transformative through the power of running. To top it all off, they displayed this Japanese influence once more by writing Wave Rider in both English and Japanese on the heel.Lake Eola Wave Rider 18

What I’m Missing

Weight would be a great thing to be missing, but the Wave Rider 18 is a little too heavy for my liking. I prefer my neutral shoes to weigh in the 8 oz range and these come in at 9.2 oz. Not a huge difference, but a notable difference and a small price to pay for the additional support.

A gator fan or someone that goes to/went to the University of Florida will go bonkers for these colors. I; however, could care less about UF and stay away from the orange and blue color combo as much as I can. In other words, this color’s just not cutting it for me, but Mizuno does offer two other color option for the guys that I think are much better than this color combo.

Final Thoughts

Mizuno really hit it out of the park between the functional and aesthetic designs. This is one functional, neutral shoe, that will make a variety of runners very happy and comfortable on their runs.

Buy the Wave Rider 18: MSRP $119.99


  1. Chris says

    They seem a bit pricy for me, but comfort is always a good thing. I wish my feet held up better over time…I always feel like my feet are holding back after longer mileage days.

    • The Weekend Warrior says

      Glad you liked the pictures. The swans that were sitting and flapping around were just too enticing, not to pose my shoes next to them.

    • The Weekend Warrior says

      Glad you liked the review. I was super jealous to see you ladies got the black and teal shoes. Those are some wicked colors.

  2. says

    I have ALWAYS worn Mizuno but then started having problems a few models back. Kept wearing them but still had problems. Finally decided to try another brand. Was recently sent a pair of these so anxious to see how they feel…maybe I’ll be back to Mizuno. Only time will tell!

    • The Weekend Warrior says

      Hope they work well for you! These were my first pair of Mizunos and they made a great first impression 🙂

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