Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11

8.7
8.7 score
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Editor rating: 8.7 / 10
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Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 Review Facts

The newest version of the Ekiden series is here – the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11. There have been many improvements from the previous version. However, the shoes kept the best technologies form the Ekiden 10 and while implementing many more in order to make this shoe a king among the minimalist road running shoes.

A redesigned G3 outsole and an improved U4icX midsole make these shoe even more responsive. Combined with a remarkable low weight design, the Japanese brand promises it will help you improve your race time.  As a minimalist shoe, it promotes a forefoot strike that many recognize as a more efficient and safe running style. These shoes are made for runners that want to go fast!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Optimum breathability
  • Increased responsiveness
  • Remarkable traction
  • Enhanced impact distribution
  • High energy return
Cons
  • Unisex style
  • Only one color available
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of this shoe has been redesigned in order to improve your speed and traction. The shoes come with a G3 outsole is made with a X10 carbon rubber to enhance traction as well as durability, especially in the high impact areas of the shoe. The new design of the outsole is what really makes a difference especially compared to other shoes of this type.

This time, the outsole features flat spikes instead of dots that provide better grip on asphalt as well as light trail conditions. The pattern does not need Flex Grooves to provide flexibility as the outsole works all together as a whole to provide the best experience. The rectangular lugs on forefoot area also help provide great traction for faster runs.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

This time, the Ekiden 11 was made with a combination of a U4ic and an AP+ midsole technology. Together, these technologies manage to provide an excellent balance between cushioning, lightweight, durability and comfort. The U4ic midsole compound claims to be up to 30% lighter than similar compounds. The AP+ technology bring extended durability to the midsole.

On top of that, the Mizuno Wave technology provides cushioning and stability like no other Mizuno technology. The Mizuno Wave technology combined with the SmoothRide engineering of the shoe enhance smooth transitions during the gait cycle. These technologies make it easier to accelerate and decelerate, especially for a minimalist shoes. The midsole technologies combined with the renovated G3 outsole allow for a speedy run. The great resilience of the materials and the dissipation and transformation of the energy while you run make these shoes extremely durable and efficient.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Air Mesh upper will keep your foot cool and dry. The comfortability of the shoe is due to the sock like feeling the upper provides. Using the DynamotionFit technology, the upper works with your foot to provide a more natural and comfortable gait cycle.

The secure fit of the upper gives the shoe remarkable responsiveness and comfort. It adapts to your foot like a second skin. You an expect minimum friction from the upper, thus decreasing the risk of getting hot spots and blisters, especially during long runs. These shoes provide a barefoot like ride with just enough protection and solid traction.
Weight
Weight

Weight

These shoes are very light. The average weight of the shoe is only 145 grams (5.1 oz.) They were built to be fast. Each component of this shoe has been designed to be lightweight, flexible and very efficient yet extremely durable and protective.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Air Mesh upper provides optimized breathability of the Ekiden 11. Even during the most demanding runs, these shoes will keep your feet cool and dry, allowing the best perspiration and evaporation of moisture.

Your body loses great amount of heat through your feet, so keeping them cool, will keep you cool overall. Also, keeping your feet dry decreases the chances of getting blisters and hot spots. The breathability and comfort of this is so good that you can wear them without socks.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

These shoes are the most comfortable shoes from the Ekiden line so far. The combination of the best technologies from Mizuno provide superior comfort while enhancing performance. The U4ic and AP+ technologies from the midsole provide just enough cushioning and responsiveness to make this shoe extra comfortable and lightweight at the same time. The impact distribution is remarkable thanks to the sock absorption properties of the midsole components.

The smooth transitions make it easier to run faster. The upper featuring DynamotionFit technology makes the shoe very responsive and adaptable and provides a second skin fit. Flexible, light, breathable and protective properties promise to make this shoe a very comfortable minimalist shoe.
Style
Style

Style

The Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 has a simple and classic design. There is a big Mizuno grey logo on each side of the shoe. The only downside is that this shoe is unisex and only comes in one color scheme, black/orange. However, though there are no other color options, the shoe is still a stylish one.
Durability
Durability

Durability

From the outsole, the Ekiden 11 is more durable than any other shoe in the Ekiden line. The X10 carbon rubber enhances the durability of the outsole. It provides extra durability on the high impact areas as well as great traction. And even though the U4ic midsole component is up to 30% lighter, it still is a very durable. The AP+ technology integrated in the midsole not only enhances cushioning and provides comfort, but also maximizes the durability of the midsole. The upper is very flexible yet durable as well. Each component of the shoe is made to last.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Minimalist and barefoot running claim to be beneficial for your body mechanics and the overall performance of your runs. These shoes promote a forefoot strike rather than a heel strike, lowering the impact of your landings which in turn may help your knees, hips and ankles.

Apart from promoting more efficient running mechanics, this shoe comes with enough cushioning to keep you running comfortably for long period of time. The distribution of the impact forces provided by the U4ic midsole is remarkable. The SmoothRide technology makes for smoother transitions. The X10 carbon rubber compound gives the shoe remarkable traction. The upper also includes a toe cap that protects your toes from any kind of debris.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This is a very responsive shoe. Minimalist shoes in general tend to provide more responsiveness, and the Ekiden 11 is no different. The DynamotionFit promotes a more natural foot movement with a secure, second skin like fit.

Also, the combination of the U4ic and the AP+ technologies in the midsole make the shoe extremely responsive as well. These technologies transform the energy of the landings into more powerful take offs. As previously stated, the SmoothRide engineering from Mizuno allows for a smooth transition during the gait cycle. And let's not forget about the traction of the G3 outsole, allowing you to traverse over terrain with ease.
Support
Support

Support

Apart from being environmentally friendly, the PEbax Rnew plate, featured in the Wave Techology, provides great support for these minimalist shoes. The DynamotionFit is also very important and allows the upper to embrace your foot tightly to provide extra support when you need it the most.

The Ekiden 11 is a netural shoe and does not provide any extra support. The cushioning they provide is great for a minimalist shoe, but has not been built for over pronators or under pronators. We suggest for those who are interested in minimalistic running, to practice it before making this shoe your everyday running shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 are made to run over asphalt and are good for running marathons. They perform good when running on grass, but work best on smooth surfaces such as road and pavement. The G3 outsole with a renewed pattern will provide traction when running over smooth gravel tracks and grass.
Price
Price

Price

As these shoes as unisex and only come in one color, they have an average price of around $100 online. For shoes that have just been released, the price is quite good. The price of the shoes depends on the size though. It is definitely a reasonable price for a great minimalist shoes!
Traction
Traction

Traction

The traction of the Ekiden 11 has improved from the previous version. They kept the G3 outsole technology and the X10 carbon rubber compound from the Ekiden 10,but changed the lug pattern. Instead of a dotted pattern, the Ekiden 11 features lugs that look and feel like flat spikes.

The distribution of the spikes is very even throughout the outsole. Two rows of connected rectangular lugs go from the mid foot to the front of the shoe providing more flexibility and extra responsiveness to the terrain. Excellent traction when running over asphalt makes this shoe a great fit for marathon running and long runs. The X10 carbon rubber compound provides extra traction in the heel area for even more explosive take offs.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

From the highly flexible but extremely durable G3 outsole to the SmoothRide engineering, this shoe is truly flexible. And not only is it flexible but responsive and adaptable as well. The flexibility of the upper creates a very responsive feeling that makes this shoe fit like a sock. As soon as you open the box, you can see and feel the flexibility of these shoe. The technologies in the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 promote a forefoot strike. The flexible, responsive midsole and flexible upper adapt to the natural movement of your foot.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Shoes that provide a sock like feeling tend to be really stable. These shoes are no exception. A very solid and protective but flexible and light outsole provides good stability to the shoe from the bottom up. The great support the U4ic and the AP+ midsole components provide also adds to the stability. But what gives the Ekiden 11 minimalist shoes their stability is the DynamotionFit upper and the SmoothRide engineering. Together they have managed to create shoe that really feels like a second skin to your feet. The overlays in the upper generate stability by distributing the energy of your feet and translating that into great responsiveness. The shock absorption is great and the traction is remarkable.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of a shoe is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe. The Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 minimalist shoes have a 6 mm drop which is an average drop for minimalistic type shoes. That makes them great for running marathons and for transitioning into barefoot running.
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11
Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11

Key Features of the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11

• U4ic midsole
• AP+ midsole technology
• Pebax Rnew Wave Technology
• SmoothRide engineering
• DynamotionFit
• X10 Carbon rubber compound
• G3 Outsole
• Air Mesh upper
Bottom line
Bottom line

Bottom line

The Ekiden 11 are just as we expected them to be. Light, flexible and responsive like the previous version, but with more efficient characteristics. This lightweight, responsive shoe will help you be fast while keeping you comfortable, even on long runs. Amazing breathability and remarkable fit help enhance the performance of your runs regardless the conditions you are running in. Amazing traction makes them faster and excellent impact distribution makes them more energetic. For those looking for a great minimalist shoe that promotes a forefoot strike for better comfort and protection will want to consider the Ekiden 11. Honestly, this may be one of the best Mizuno running shoes to date.