Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro (2024): Top Carbon-Plate Pick?The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is an innovative carbon plate running shoe with very strong propulsion.
An excellent, original, high-performance carbon-plate competition shoe.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is the Japanese brand’s answer to all its competitors, like Nike and its Vaporfly. The Wave plate is at last infused with carbon and combined with Mizuno Enerzy Lite foam for an explosive combination: the propulsion is impressive!
The particular geometry of the midsole gives the shoe a unique forward roll. But this risk-taking is detrimental to stability for a number of testers, which remains the only concern.
The engineered mesh is light and airy, with overlays in all the right places for a snug fit. The outsole is rubberized for excellent grip.
In short, the Wave Rebellion Pro is clearly a strong contender for the best carbon shoe title and will excel in races from 5K to marathons.
Please read our full review of the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro for more information.
- Very powerful forward propulsion
- Excellent durability for a carbon plate racing shoe
- Unique ride with its original sole geometry
- Elite performance
- The special geometry can lead to instability for some runners
- A demanding model, not accessible to everyone
It’s interesting to note that Mizuno has been using plates in its shoes since 1997, long before the new era of carbon plates. So, it may come as a surprise that it took them so long to release their first true competition model.
The Wave Rebellion Pro is the result of extensive research and risk-taking, with some unique features. So it’s time to put these new-generation “Super Shoes” into perspective by comparing them with other brands on the market. That’s what we’ll be looking at in this in-depth review based on over 120 miles / 200 km of testing combined with the feedback of several athletes.
The midsole features a generous layer of Enerzy Lite foam that frames the Wave plate, which is carbon-infused for the first time. But the most surprising feature is the Smooth Speed Assist technology, the result of the Smooth Speed Project. In a nutshell, this is the midsole geometry that the Japanese brand claims reduces fatigue, eases calf strain, and maintains an efficient right even at the end of the run when you’re tired.
Visually, the construction with the cut-out heel and the hole under the bottom area are impressive. Officially, the stack height dimensions are 39 mm in the heel and 33 mm in the toes. However, when I measured in the midfoot, I found a height of 52 mm. Nevertheless, the shoe is authorized for official races, as it’s within the guidelines set by World Athletics.
The result is quite incredible, with optimal shock absorption. Mizuno shoes generally have a firm cushioning with the plate, but with the thick layer of midsole foam, the feeling is between “soft” and firm and gives a lot of pleasure. The heel-to-toe drop of 6mm is classic for racers.
Just walking in them, you get the feeling that it’s going to be complicated to heel strike. The sensation of rocking forward with the rocker is very strong, making this a demanding shoe.
The propulsion is very strong when you push the ground, with a bounce that is both impressive and effective. With a weight of 7 oz / 199 g in 40.5, it’s one of the most lightweight and responsive shoes to date. Smooth Speed Assist helps save energy for performance. I could easily verify it when running: my cardio was much lower with these shoes than with any other model at the same speed.
Support and stability
This is the point that divides the testers. If I had to rely solely on my experience, I would have given it a ten because it’s one of the most stable shoes I’ve ever owned and it has never bothered me. But that’s not the opinion of everyone. There are runners who don’t feel safe in this shoe because of its lack of stability.
In my opinion, the explanation for this discrepancy in experience lies in the particular design of the sole. Therefore, it’s difficult to judge the stability of the Wave Rebellion Pro. The score for this parameter in our test is 8.5, but that’s an average. It’s fair to say that everyone will have to give it a try to see how it performs. The shoe is designed for a neutral gait type.
The mesh is very airy with good breathability, yet it’s thick enough for good summer and winter performance. There are inserts inside the structure for a very good fit.
The gusseted tongue is optimized and follows foot movement well. There’s no rigid cup at the heel counter, probably to lighten the load, yet the heel remains firmly in place. There are few seams, and comfort is good. The only point of caution is that some testers noted that they felt tight, especially at the forefoot(toe box). It’s best to try on the size, as it runs small. Watch out also if you have wide feet.
Another impressive feature: the G3 rubber outsole delivers top performance. Grip is excellent, even on wet roads, and transitions are fluid.
Therefore, you can use the shoes on non-technical trails like dirth paths, but it can be tricky on pebbles, for example. It’s on the road and on the track that you’ll really benefit from its traction.
The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is a pair designed to break records over distances ranging from 5K to the marathon. As such, they should not be used for daily training. All the more so, carbon-plate shoes facilitate effort and preserve muscles, whereas it’s important to put a little stress on tendons during training.
However, there’s no problem using them for speed sessions to get familiar with them, such as long runs at marathon target pace. Also, they don’t feel very comfortable at slow paces while you feel like you’re growing wings when you accelerate. All in all, it’s a race-day shoe.
Quality and Durability
The foam retains its properties for a long time, the mesh is tough, and the outsole is long-lasting. This gives the shoe good durability, especially if you keep it for important sessions, making the investment worthwhile.
Carbon footprint and animal welfare
The upper is made from 90% recycled materials, and the plate uses plant-based materials. Also, this model is 100% vegan.
The Wave Rebellion Pro is a unique shoe, a technology-packed little jewel of innovation with some pretty incredible geometry. Mizuno’s risk-taking, bold design delivers an impressive result that should pay dividends in races. However, this can differ from one runner to another, with some noting stability issues.
If it fits, consider yourself lucky and make the best of it! Indeed, overall, testers were unanimous about the shoe’s excellent responsiveness, which places it among the best in its category. It’s the ideal elite performance model for breaking records if you can master it.
|199 g/7 oz
|179 g/6.3 oz
|Carbon-fiber plate, Vegan, Recycled materials
|Mizuno Enerzy Lite, Smooth Speed Assist, Carbon-Reinforced Wave Plate
|Engineered Mesh, Gusseted Tongue
|5K, Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
Wave Rebellion Sonic
Entry-level model, a good training partner to complement the Pro.
Wave Rebellion Flash
The same foam but with a fiberglass plate instead. This shoe is more of a competition alternative for those who prefer a firmer, more stable, but less responsive model.
With its unique geometry, the Pro is very different from these two models and remains the best choice for competition.