Mizuno Wave Catalyst

8.3
8.3 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (9.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.3)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 6 user ratings
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Mizuno Wave Catalyst Review Facts
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Mizuno is a brand that tends to fly under the radar. They aren’t a household name like Nike or Adidas are, but some context into the company’s history can help to illuminate why people should start taking this company, and the Wave Catalyst Runners, seriously. Mizuno was founded over a century ago in Japan and manufactures a variety of gear for sports including golf, tennis, and running. According to Mizuno’s website, their mission statement is contributing to society through the advancement of sporting goods and the promotion of sports. With the Wave Catalyst Runners, this noble intention can be seen throughout every aspect of its design.

Pros
  • High breathability
  • Very comfortable upper
  • Variable width options
  • Excellent durability
  • Terrific stability
Cons
  • Pricy
  • Heavier than expected
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Mizuno’s patented X10 compound was used for the construction of the Wave Catalyst’s outsole. The primary appeal of this material is traction and durability, particularly around high-impact areas like the heel and toe. This design works hand in hand with the blown rubber material, providing optimal energy diffusion and overall foot cushioning. As a result, an evenly consistent and comfortable ride is maintained while wearing these running shoes. These highly comfortable and functional outsoles are a fantastic reflection of Mizuno’s goal to promote sports participation due to these positive aspects.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Wave Catalyst’s midsole is comprised of Mizuno’s newest and fanciest foam-based material, ostentatiously called the U4ic. This material impressively manages to present itself as both soft and highly firm, offering a comfortable responsiveness. How exactly this oxymoronic feat was achieved is a secret known only to Mizuno’s unparalleled engineering and design teams. The midsole’s base is much wider under the sole, helping to add just a tiny bit more stability. Another notable feature is the titular Wave plate; a plastic shank inserted in the midsole from the heel to ankle. This plate is intended to maximize cushioning and support, working as a sort of secret ingredient that sets these Mizuno shoes ahead of the competition.
Upper
Upper

Upper

In regards to the upper construction, the Mizuno Wave Catalyst uses Airmesh material that is highly breathable and comfortable. Stitched overlays are implemented on the inside and outside of the shoes, providing a fit that is secure without being constrictive. DynaMotion Fit, another interesting piece of Mizuno technology, has been implemented in the upper in order to provide a seamless fit that won’t cause chafing. The primary purpose of implementing these designs into the Wave Catalyst’s upper is to ensure that the shoes work with your foot, allowing them to move in a naturalistic and efficient way without any impediments.
Weight
Weight

Weight

At around 9 ½ ounces, the Wave Catalyst can be classified as a midweight shoe. While there are some running shoes and many minimalist shoes that are lighter, these Mizuno shoes offer a bit more backbone than these offerings. On the other side of the spectrum are much more protective and terrain-resistant trail shoes, but the Wave Catalyst doesn’t have the issues of excessive weight or bulk that often come with these styles of footwear. It seems as though this middle area of weight works to these shoes’ benefit, since they manage to reap the benefits of both design philosophies with minimal drawbacks.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Considering that these shoes are built to perform well over longer distances, it should come as no surprise that breathability was a primary focus in their design. The high grade breathability certainly comes in handy when running longer distances, such as a 5K or a half marathon. This impressive ventilation can be attributed mainly to the AIRmesh upper with its design that emphasizes airflow and cushion in equal parts. Other features that aid in these shoes’ breathability are its lighter weight and responsive outsole, which both work to eliminate excessive stress while running that could cause heat to generate. As a result, the Mizuno Wave Catalyst maintains cool and dry throughout the entirety of your running session.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

While these shoes are comfortable for the most part, one issue is worth mentioning. Socks are required when wearing the Wave Catalyst. This is because the lack of a seamless upper design can lead to chafing and blisters. That aside, these shoes have a padded tongue and collar that provides a great deal of comfortable cushioning on the head of your foot. In order to avoid a common annoyance, the Wave Catalyst’s laces differ from the traditional design. Instead of having a soft inner core, these laces are flatter and coarser. Through the experience of customers and RunnerClick contributors, this results in a more stable and sturdy grip between the upper and the foot. In summation, these shoes are wonderfully comfortable for runners with an average physique.
Style
Style

Style

While these shoes may appear fairly basic at first, closer examination will reveal much more under the hood. First off, a variety of color options are available for the Wave Catalyst. This is a nice design feature not always implemented in quality running shoes like these. Even looking beyond the color, however, will reveal a stylish and innovative design. At the center of this design is the RunBird logo, a beautiful graphic symbolic of Mizuno. This symbol is rooted in the Japanese conception of athletics and it serves as both a badge of quality design and an indication of deeper cultural significance.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Mizuno has a stellar track record when it comes to their build quality, and these shoes are certainly no exception. These shoes are durable enough to be considered a long-term companion on your running sessions, lasting a year at the very least. They won’t wear down quickly at all thanks to the exceptional quality of the materials and design. Because of this, complaints regarding the Wave Catalyst’s durability are rare to the point of seeming nonexistence for these shoes. However, this design expertise may have come at the cost of flexibility, so runners looking for a more forgiving shoe in this aspect may need to weigh the pros and cons here.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Similar to how durable these Mizuno running shoes are is how protective they manage to be as they provide full foot coverage with several layers of protective cushion. The majority of this protection can be found near the bottom with its dense midsole and impervious outsole. Thanks to a combination of interesting design elements and materials that make up the U4ic foam midsole and the X10 outsole, these two elements work to protect the arches and soles of your feet from injuries ranging from tendonitis to a sprained toe. The upper portion has less protection than the bottom but this in no way suggests that it doesn’t still feature an impressive line of defense. The slightly diminished protection here is simply for the purpose of providing airflow to the inside.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Something that is truly remarkable about these Mizuno running shoes that greatly contributes to its positive reception is how they manage to be highly responsive while still providing excellent comfort and durability. One way in which this is accomplished is through the use of lighter material, such as the U4ic midsole and X10 outsole. Comparable levels of cushion offered by these elements would weigh considerably more in shoes that don’t use this technology. As a result, the Wave Catalyst avoids the pitfall of burdensome weight that often diminishes the responsiveness of the shoe. On the subject of the outsole, other design choices present in this portion of the shoe helps to further improve the overall responsiveness, including the overall design and the use of rubber with varying levels of firmness.
Support
Support

Support

One tradeoff present with the design of the Mizuno Wave Catalyst is a greater measure of support at the cost of added weight. Fortunately, this tradeoff isn’t as noticeable thanks to some clever design choices on the part of the manufacturer. The combination of X10 outsole compound and U4ic midsole foam provides a smooth ride without having to add much to the shoe’s weight. Another terrific supportive feature in the Wave Catalyst is the variability they offer for sole width. Runners with wider feet would normally have to order shoes in larger sizes to accommodate their particular feet; with variable width sizes, this is no longer the case. In terms of support, the key takeaway here is that runners will be satisfied with these Mizuno trainers.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The terrain these running shoes are best suited for is road running and competing for mid-to-long distance events. The amount of durability and protection is high enough to handle the demands of trail running, but a lack of appropriate traction on the outsole makes this less than ideal. When comparing the Wave Catalyst with similar Mizuno shoes, or other brands for that matter, it is clear to see that they were designed for high-mileage running. Because of that, it’s not about what kinds of terrain can be accommodated but how much could be tolerated at one time.
Price
Price

Price

Considering that these shoes are a bit out of date among Mizuno products, it makes sense that they are currently priced below average on online retailers such as Amazon. However, this shouldn’t suggest to prospective buyers that this is a below-average product. Especially for runners with wider feet who often have trouble finding shoes to accommodate them, the Wave Catalyst is a terrific deal for the price it is listed.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Mizuno Wave Catalyst offers a level of traction that is adequate for use in standard running environments. Some might go so far as to say that the traction offered is above average, but little to no evidence supports this hypothesis. The best way to describe it is that it is good enough and likely won’t cause problems for the average runner.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This is the one downside to these running shoes and their excellent combination of cushion and responsiveness. Despite having a surprisingly low weight for the features, one aspect that still remains from its design is a disappointing rigidity. This doesn’t come at the cost of responsiveness, but it does limit the terrain options for runners wearing the Wave Catalyst. There’s still plenty to love about these trainers, but flexibility is not one of them.
Stability
Stability

Stability

While these Mizuno running shoes offer a disappointing rigidity, one silver lining to this drawback is how incredibly stable the Wave Catalyst are as a result. Due to a tight fit and very shock absorbent material, runners can rest assured that using these trainers will not result in excessive slipping and sliding. A smooth and stable ride is guaranteed, provided that they stick to the lower-intensity terrain these shoes were intended for.
Drop
Drop

Drop

A 10mm difference in elevation is present between the heel and forefoot of these shoes, mostly due to the midsole. This is a standard level of heel drop for middle-of-the-road running shoes. Because of this, the majority of runners will have no problem adjusting to these shoes but runners who prefer more neutral footing in their footwear will have a tougher time with the transition. Individuals looking for a flatter foot would be better off looking into trail shoes or minimalist barefoot-style running shoes.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features


  • Performance engineered support

  • Even pressure distribution on the sole with a blown rubber forefoot

  • Designed for heel runners, midfoot runners, and runners with plantar fasciitis

  • 10mm heel drop

  • Airmesh upper provides breathability, cushion, and protection

  • Highly responsive while comfortable and durable

Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

To summarize, these trainers have a ride that is firm yet comfortable. Stability and support are certainly present and to an impressive degree, especially when considering the modest weight. The level of comfort in these trainers may encourage runners to use them in casual environments as a daily driver rather than just for competitions and training.. Significant mileage does not cause significant wear, and a thorough survey of customers’ feedback found very few problems with durability. To sum it up, the Wave Catalyst from Mizuno can be considered a go-to running shoe for those who want medium underfoot support, high grade durability, and just the right amount of padding.