Mizuno Wave Kien 3

7.0
7.0 score
[Editors rating (7.0)] = Runnerclick score (7.0)/10

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Editor rating: 7.0 / 10
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Mizuno Wave Kien 3 Review Facts

Running on rugged trail terrain could get intense if you don’t have the proper footwear. The Wave Kien 3 from Mizuno presents an even mixture of comfort and stability into an efficient trail shoe. The Kien 3 is built to withstand some of the most callous of surfaces, from a heavy road to an outright trail terrain. Laced with high-quality technology from Mizuno, the Kien 3 provides the right amount of protection and traction to keep the wearer going at all times while keeping them comfortable for the entirety of their run. The loud neon yellow/black color scheme will also make a statement while out there in the trail.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight feel
  • Comfortable
  • Durable outsole
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable upper
  • Excellent traction
Cons
  • Frequent movement of tongue causes irritation
  • Responsiveness is subpar
  • Few color options
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole is extremely important when it comes to an effective trail sneaker. The Wave Kien 3 is equipped with the X10 carbon rubber; a material that protects the entire sole, and is very durable. The primary responsibility of the X10 rubber is to protect the sneaker from typical wear and tear that tends to occur after logging in a high volume of miles. The outsole for the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is also engineered to provide top quality traction for those rough patches when running in a trail environment. Although this sneaker is considered a trail shoe, the lugs aren’t big enough to deter a runner from utilizing the Kien 3 on the road; transforming this sneaker into a versatile asset to a runner’s shoe closet.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

After wearing the Mizuno Wave Kien 3, you will feel as though you were running on pillows. The midsole of the Kien 3 is laced with Mizuno’s exclusive EL8 technology in hopes of helping runners become the most elite version of themselves. EL8 is a compound that helps keep the shoe feel lightweight by delivering cushioning and responsiveness. The midsole also has a unit featuring Mizuno’s Wave Technology towards the back, used to help with comfort by taking on shock. There is also a removable insole that could stay in or be taken out depending on the runner’s preference.
Upper
Upper

Upper

When wearing the Kien 3, you can always count on your feet being cool and dry during your run. The upper maintains a stretchy texture thanks to the Dynamotion Fit system; allowing the foot to move naturally without any restriction. The Mizuno Wave Kien 3 contains AIRmesh, which is an extremely breathable material and will allow air to enter with ease. The upper also has stitched overlays which adapt to the contraction of the lacing system. The round lacing will help provide a good fit when tightened.
Weight
Weight

Weight

When it comes to a shoe that is meant primarily for the trail, you can’t expect something too light. For the average sneaker size of each gender, the weight for men is 10.2 ounces, and for women at 9 ounces. The added weight is likely due to the durable trail material in the outsole and midsole. If the Kien 3 was made to be a lightweight trainer, this weight would be considered questionable, but since it is meant for unstable surfaces, this weight is totally acceptable. Despite the high measurement, the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 does not portray a bulky image, and in fact it has a lightweight feel thanks to the cushioning in the midsole and the breathable upper.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Kien 3 allows a great amount of airflow within the sneaker. AIRmesh lets air enter the sneaker in order to maintain coolness and dryness for the feet. Reviewers have claimed that the upper in the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is much more breathable in comparison to the previous version, so you can expect a drastic improvement. No matter how hot or humid the weather is, the Wave Kien 3 has your back when it comes to deterring moisture. When running off-road, there is a slight chance that you might be in an area where there are puddles or a significant amount of water-based gravel. It makes sense to be wearing a sneaker that eliminates the moisture from your feet.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is an overall comfortable trail shoe. Testers were extremely satisfied with the comfort in this shoe, especially in the upper. The Dynamotion Fit system is a stretchable material that allows the runner to move naturally, opposed to feeling restricted which equates to a poor run. The cushioning from the EL8 technology in the midsole provides runners with a soft platform to land on whenever they take their next step. The removable insole is also a great comfort option depending on its effectiveness with the runner. This insole adds cushioning to the underfoot, so you won’t feel severe discomfort due to the rigors of foot striking. A common complaint from reviewers has been the tongue. Some runners have stated that the tongue moves frequently while running, causing foot irritation. This uncomfortable part of the Kien 3 has a high potential for blisters and generally irritated skin, so it may be best to stay away from thin socks while wearing the Mizuno Wave Kien 3.
Style
Style

Style

The most commonly seen color combination of the Wave Kien 3 is quite loud. This color scheme of black/saf yellow aggressively stands out when on the run. The neon yellow color rests within the inside of the sneaker, as well as the rounded laces and the midsole. The upper is black with neon yellow outline; a combination that proves a great fit when staying visible outside. The Mizuno logo proudly occupies the entire midfoot, so everyone on the street, field, or woods will know you’re running with Mizuno. One of the biggest complaints from reviewers has been that there isn’t even color varieties for the Mizuno Wave Kien 3. While this primary color scheme is very “out there”, having more choice for the consumer would definitely benefit this trail shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The lifespan of a trail shoe is typically determined by the amount of durability that particular shoe contains. Starting with the outsole, this sneaker has a durable carbon rubber called X10, which is used to protect the sections of the outsole that are prone to wear and tear. By directly applying an abrasion runner to these parts, runners will be able to put in a lot of miles without the worry of losing traction or their sneaker in its entirety. The upper is also made with a strong mesh material that isn’t bound to tear easily; making it more convenient for the runner to get exercise is more unstable environments.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Mizuno Wave Technology in the midsole of the Kien 3 does an outstanding job at protecting the back of the foot by taking on the downsides of foot striking on hard surfaces. There is a unit towards the rear of the midsole that is designed to fully absorb the impact created by foot striking. The removable insole is meant to cushion the underfoot so that it isn’t bothered by the shock that comes from foot striking. Trail surfaces tended to have natural items such as tree branches or rocks, so it goes without saying that the Kien 3 was designed in preparation of those elements based off of the sturdy outsole and comfortable, cushion-saturated insole.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

While there are responsive elements in the Mizuno Wave Kien 3, this part of the shoe has been critiqued the most by testers. The midsole contains the most responsiveness from the whole sneaker, thanks to the EL8 technology. Besides having soft cushioning, the EL8 is known for its rebound capability. EL8 is able to obtain the energy gathered from the foot’s initial contact and utilize it towards the runner’s next step. The runner will be able to bounce from one step to the other without feeling dragged down, even with the weight measuring at slightly 10 ounces. While responsiveness isn’t necessarily a highlight of the Mizuno Wave Kien 3, it is still present so that the runner can move efficiently.
Support
Support

Support

The Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is considered a neutral running shoe. Those with medium or high sized arches will be able to reap the benefits of the Kien 3 the most. Essentially, runners who don’t need any type of arch support can take the Kien 3 and use it as a reliable running sneaker. There aren’t any evident support features, you shouldn’t expect much support for these sneakers, as Mizuno’s primary focus was to create a sustainable trail shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

If you haven’t noticed by looking at the lugs on the outsole, the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is most definitely a trail sneaker. Its peak potential is on trails, mountainous ground, off-road, and other unstable environments. Despite being primarily a trail shoe, testers have stated that the Kien 3 easily transitions between trail and road. So whenever you are out on an unstable surface and see a smooth road surface coming up, don’t be afraid to get onto it and keep moving. The Kien 3 would do very well when mountain climbing, or running/hiking in a forest.
Price
Price

Price

The original price of the Kien 3 is reasonable for a quality trail shoe. Being priced at slightly over $100, the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is a steal for runners who want the “best of both worlds” in a road and trail sneaker. Those who are looking for a pair of sneakers for each terrain, they are likely to be charged at least the same amount for each shoe, so why not pay one price for features that are present in one shoe?! A trail shoe with high-end technology such as the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 would go for beyond $150, so this sneaker should be a no-brainer for trail runners.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Traction is crucial for a trail sneaker because it’s what you need in order to move on unstable surfaces. Those who have thoroughly reviewed the Kien 3 have noticed that the traction on this shoe is very reliable, as it grips onto the surface confidently. The X10 material on the outsole is also responsible for delivering this type of traction on a variety of surfaces. The lugs on the outsole are noticeable from the side but aren’t too deep to the point where the sneaker is unable to be used on the road.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is average when it comes to flexibility, but has the right features needed in order for the foot to move naturally. Since the upper is a soft mesh-like material, it is evident that the foot is able to bend naturally. The midsole, however, isn’t as generous when it comes to flexibility. The sole isn’t necessarily stiff, but it has so much material in between the underfoot and outsole that it takes slightly more effort to move that part of the shoe in comparison to the upper.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Stability is essential for a trail shoe because the runner needs to be balanced and secure while on an uneasy surface. The feature that’s primarily responsible for keeping the foot in place is within the upper. The overlay system has been applauded by reviewers because it kept the heel in place regardless of how tough the run was. The overlay also secures the shoe onto the foot so that it doesn’t accidentally come off and disrupt the runner’s momentum. These overlays are stitched onto the shoe, so there won’t be a time where they will loosen up and decrease the amount of stability that the sneaker has.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of the Kien 3 is 9 millimeters for both men and women. The drop of the Mizuno Wave Kien 3 is slightly lower than the typical running sneaker. This lower measurement encourages the feet to stay close to the ground. This is likely to reduce the shin pain and other effects from consistently making contact with the ground.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Lightweight EL8 compound
• Mizuno Wave Technology
• AIRmesh
• Dynamotion Fit System
• Comfortable midsole
• Durable outsole
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Mizuno Wave Kien 3 was built to last throughout different varieties of terrain and beats out its predecessor by a long shot. This sneaker excels in comfort, traction, and performance. Being made with such high quality, the Kien 3 will be able to survive however many miles you want to run in whatever type of terrain. This versatile sneaker is above average in both road and trail environments, and is a reliable solution to neutral runners, for a reasonable price.