Mizuno Wave Rider 27 Review (2023): Best Version So Far?The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a versatile running shoe with great comfort and stability.
A very good, durable, versatile shoe.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a timeless running shoe, the latest in a long line.
Its midsole material features the iconic Wave plate in Pebax RNEW and Mizuno Enerzy foam. The combination of the two ensures both forward propulsion and plenty of protection.
The upper has been modified for this more eco-responsible version, and the Jacquard mesh is more breathable and better fitted to ensure comfort and lockdown. Also, the outsole is noteworthy, proving its effectiveness and durability.
Overall, this edition of the Mizuno shoes is a success, enhancing an already highly acclaimed product.
Please read our full review of the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 for more information.
- Eco-responsible upper for improved comfort and lockdown
- Good energy return
- Plenty of cushioning and protection
- Versatile and long-lasting
- Too high heel-to-toe drop
- A “firm” underfoot feel that may not appeal to everyone
It’s hard not to feel nostalgic when you’ve known the Rider from the start. Lots of memories and, above all, the development of the series over the years mirrors the evolution of running in general.
Many runners may have started out with Wave Riders and have been running with them ever since. Mizuno understands this and is careful not to change its best seller too much from one generation to the next.
So, how does this twenty-seventh version measure up? We’ll find out in this in-depth review with over 200 miles.
With Enerzy foam, you get suppleness and lightness. It also works well with the Wave plate, providing superior cushioning. However, please note that the wave plate has been modified: it’s made from plant-based Pebax Rnew, and the edges have been raised.
Mizuno used plates long before the advent of carbon plates. These plates provide a kind of “torsion” to better distribute the shockwave from impact to a broader area, creating a stable platform. Brand regulars will be familiar with this, but novices should be aware that the feel is rather firm.
The stack height leaves little room for doubt: 38.5 mm at the rear and 26.5 mm at the front; the cushioning is substantial, with plenty of protection for any distance. As is often the case, you’ll likely see many runners with Wave Riders at the start of a marathon.
On the other hand, this reveals the shoe’s only real drawback: the 12 mm heel-to-toe drop, which, in my opinion, is too high. However, Mizuno, unlike Asics, its fellow Japanese competitor, seems reluctant to evolve for fear of losing some of its loyal followers.
The Wave Rider 27 is a few grams lighter, weighing 9.3 oz / 265 g in size 40.5. On top of that, it now has a new, improved plate, giving you a lot more bounce. This was already satisfactory, but now we feel more propulsion and the slight rebound induced by the foam.
Although this can’t be compared with dedicated speed shoes, let’s not forget the category to which the Wave Rider belongs: heavy mileage daily running. Nonetheless, the bounce/protection ratio is satisfactory.
Support and stability
With Muzino daily trainers, you get to experience a smooth ride owing to the raised edges of the plate, which improves stability. This was also already good in the past.
It’s hard to fault the shoe as the foot rolls along smoothly between the different stages of the gait cycle. The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a neutral shoe.
The new improved upper has been redesigned with more perforations for better breathability while retaining enough thickness to be suitable for summer and winter running.
Also, the gusseted tongue accompanies foot movement perfectly, while the new heel counter ensures a secure fit. The Dynamotion Fit technology gives a more precise fit, closer to the foot. However, this doesn’t get in the way of comfort and the mesh feels like a comfortable slipper.
In terms of sizing, the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 runs fairly large and it’s best to try them in-store if you can.
The outsole remains unchanged, with a thick layer of XT10 (durable carbon rubber) in strategic places, and flex grooves to ensure good flexibility.
As in the past, it offers good grip and strong traction, and I felt safe on the road, whether in dry or wet conditions.
The Wave Rider 27 is obviously a road workhorse, but it gets by with honors on dirt paths and non-technical terrain.
The strong point of the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is that it can do just about everything. There may be better models in every category, but the shoe pushes the cursor high everywhere and is clearly one of the most versatile models on the market.
From leisurely recovery jogging to tempo-paced long runs and fartlek sessions, the shoe adapts easily to the pace required and helps enhance performance capabilities.
However, its energy return is decent but not great. It gets the job done and will suffice for many runners, but more demanding athletes will prefer lighter and more responsive models.
Quality and durability
The durability of Mizuno Wave Rider shoes is well known, and this one is no exception. Whether it’s the quality of the engineered jacquard mesh or the X10 rubber, the shoe will accompany the runner well over the usual 1,000 km / 620 miles.
The upper is made from 90% recycled materials, and the plate is made from plants. Last but not least, the Wave Rider 27 is 100% vegan.
Mizuno has made a few changes to its iconic model with remarkable results.
With its excellent durability and versatility, the Wave Rider 27 will be the ideal training partner for runners’ daily sessions (and even potentially long-distance races).
However, more demanding and experienced runners will opt for a lighter model comes race day. Otherwise, the 27 is a true Wave Rider that enhances the series and will satisfy many runners, regardless of level, objectives or morphology.
|Heel height||38.5 mm|
|Forefoot height||26.5 mm|
|Weight (men)||280 g/9.9 oz|
|Weight (women)||235 g/8.3 oz|
|Features||Vegan, Heavy runner, Recycled materials, Eco-friendly|
|Outsole||X10 blown rubber, Flex Controllers (grooves)|
|Midsole||MIZUNO ENERZY, MIZUNO WAVE|
|Upper||Jacquard engineered mesh|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Comparisons – Mizuno Wave Rider 27 vs.:
Mizuno Wave Rider 26
Little has changed between these two versions. The main improvements are the more eco-friendly design, a redesigned upper for improved lockdown, a heel counter, and a new gusseted tongue.
Also, the Wave plate now has more pronounced sidewalls for greater stability and comfort than the previous model – WR26.
These changes will not disrupt the loya but they fully justify turning to this new version.