Mizuno Wave Rider 21
Though it’s not as recognizable as other athletic companies, Japanese-based Mizuno has gained an extremely loyal following thanks to its carefully engineered lines of sports equipment and activewear. For well over twenty years, the Mizuno Wave Rider footwear line has been its most popular series of running shoes. Each new release takes into account what runners are looking for the most and works to incorporate these desires into the new design.
Over the years, each model has increased substantially in lightness, breathability, and support. Though these features never waver and continue to improve over time, it’s obvious that the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 has prioritized comfort over everything else. With added heel cushioning, a removable sockliner, and improved airflow, a comfortable and responsive stride is offered to runners of all levels.
-Provides pain relief
-Limited color options available
-Does not fit true to size
Flex Controllers are incorporated into the sole’s tread pattern to improve range of motion. Reviewers were pleased that Mizuno kept this feature, as they commend it not only for its durable traction but also for its added responsiveness.
The Cloudwave is a thermal plastic wave placed in between the midfoot and heel wedge for greater energy transfer. SmoothRide consists of a curved platform that eases the foot's motions and promotes a more natural stride.
Unlike previous models, this version features an anatomical sockliner for greater support and responsiveness.
As the foot moves, it stretches and bends easily to accommodate the runner and ensure greater durability. The brand's logo features prominently on the shoe’s lateral side, providing additional structure without weighing it down.
This is aided further by a synthetic heel clip at the back. The lacing system provides a secure yet unrestricted fit, thanks to its flex eyelets. Finally, additional heel padding is featured on this model for even greater comfort and protection.
Despite the abundance of advanced features built into the shoe, all of them are carefully engineered to have as little mass as possible. Natural movements never feel impeded or weighed down, and runners can confidently go about knowing that they are properly supported yet unrestricted.
Though this seems subtle, many reviewers have noticed an improvement in this shoe’s ventilation. Hotspots are better targeted, especially at the forefoot and heel, and a drier and more comfortable wear is provided.
As an added bonus, many reviewers noted that their chronic pain was relieved while wearing this shoe. Men’s sizes are also offered in three different widths: narrow, medium and wide. Women’s, on the other hand, are only offered in narrow and medium. Despite these options, most reviewers have recommended going half a size up when purchasing these shoes.
Furthermore, some consumers claim that the color options they purchased looked noticeably different from photos featured on the product listing.
Though this model can easily hold up to roads and sidewalks, it is not designed for hiking or trail-running. Not only will the sole wear down more quickly, but its mesh upper will also begin to tear apart after only a few months of use. As with all footwear, proper maintenance and correct usage are the keys to making this shoe last longer.
The materials constructing its outsole and midsole work together to provide high levels of shock absorption and energy transfer while giving the foot a soft yet sturdy base. Furthermore, its breathability reduces the likelihood of blisters and infections created by excessive sweat.
The combination of the Cloudwave feature and SmoothRide technology within the midsole encourages a natural range of motion as well as an added boost to each step. The engineered mesh constructing its upper adds further responsiveness by increasing breathability and a greater stretch with each movement.
Additional heel padding not only gives greater comfort but also works to reduce pain and the likelihood of long-term injuries. The shoe’s lacing system makes use of flex eyelets to provide a secure fit without being too restrictive. These features are aided even further with the inclusion of an anatomical sockliner, keeping the foot in place as the runner moves around.
Those who participate in marathon running have praised this shoe for its sturdiness as well its ability to safely carry them across wet and dry terrains. Some reviewers have said that this shoe’s tread pattern could easily work for several types of outdoor sports. Unfortunately, the shoe’s mesh upper does hold it back from being fit for use on more rugged landscapes.
Many similar models with the same amount of advanced features can easily run for much higher. The cost is also quite low when compared to Mizuno’s other running shoes. Reduced prices still can be found on Amazon and eBay, as long as buyers check the listing reviews before making a purchase.
Those to participate in marathon running felt that these shoes kept them moving along safely even during sudden weather changes. However, the construction of its upper limits the number of uses it could offer.
This is aided further by the addition of Flex Controllers within the tread pattern. The shoe’s various midsole materials add to this feature by providing durable cushioning that supports the foot without being cumbersome. The upper further enhances flexibility with an engineered mesh upper that stretches and bends along with the foot’s movements.
Both its outsole and midsole take on the tasks of shock absorption and energy transfer, thereby ensuring smoother and more controlled movements. The removable sockliner is curved to better fit the foot’s shape, keeping it from wobbling. A lacing system, heel clip, and padding around the collar maintain a secure and structured fit.
-U4ic midsole for lightweight cushioning
-U4ixC heel wedge absorbs impact
-Cloudwave feature for greater energy transfer
-SmoothRide technology promotes natural motion
-Dynamotion Fit design for greater airflow and enhanced fit
-Fewer color options than previous models
-Different width options available for men and women
-12mm heel-to-toe drop
-Does not fit true to size
With a lightweight feel and added heel cushioning, this model keeps runners completely secure and comfortable in their movements while reducing the likelihood of long-term pain. It is not without its disadvantages, however, as many reviewers have recommended buying them at least half a size up.
Still, once they have found their perfect fit, it’s safe to say that a number of buyers will easily be converted to the Mizuno brand when it comes to their perfect athletic shoe.