Mizuno Wave Rider 22

Being that the Mizuno Wave Rider is on number 22 of the model, it is obvious that this is a well-loved model of sneaker. Every update of this shoe comes with a tweak to its design to make it even better than the one before. The 22 has an updated full-length engineered mesh upper that delivers excellent breathability and a more adaptable fit. Mizuno has been making their midsoles softer and softer over the past few models and the Wave Rider 22 was designed to deliver a softer and smoother ride than its predecessor. This is a reliable everyday trainer and offers a ton of great features to ensure a cushioned, responsive, and comfortable ride. 

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Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wave plate and other midsole technologies deliver a responsive ride
  • Lots of cushioning throughout the midsole
  • Extra cushioning under the heel for more comfort and shock absorbency
  • Dual-rubber outsole designed to deliver a smooth ride
  • Breathable full-length engineered mesh upper
  • Great for short or long runs
  • Cons
    • Some users have said they run narrow compared to previous models
    • May run about a half size small
    • Key Features
      Outsole
      The Wave Rider 22 features an outsole that bears very similar to the one on its #21 predecessor. This version of the company’s popular everyday running sneaker adds a few more advances, just as it has over all of the other models throughout the year. Like its predecessor, the Rider 22 utilizes highly durable X10 carbon rubber at the heel to enhance durability upon impact. The rest of the outsole features a blown rubber which is designed to deliver a lightweight and softer ride. This will not only enhance the comfort level of the sneaker, but it will also deliver a bouncy ride. A slight change in the shoe’s outsole is the number of strategically-placed flex controllers. There is one more in the forefoot and a few more in the heel portion of the sneaker compared to the Rider 21. The primary purpose of these flex controllers is to act as mini wave plates and help to increase the flexibility and reduce the weight of the shoe.
      Midsole
      One of the most unique features present on this sneaker is Mizuno’s Cloudwave Wave Plate that is found in the midsole. This is a lightweight plastic wave that is both thermal and elastic and runs from the heel to the midfoot area to deliver a cushioned and responsive ride. As with all the updated versions of the Rider, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 features an even better wave plate than the one found in the 21. This updated wave plate offers a noticeable smoother heel-to-toe transition while still maintaining the firm underfoot feel Mizuno lovers have come to expect from this model of the sneaker. The midsole also features Smooth Ride technology which is a network of grooves throughout the midsole that create a smoother ride. Yet another great midsole feature is the shoe’s lateral crash pad which prevents the foot from moving side to side within the shoe. The rest of the midsole is made up of a combination of U4ic and U4icX materials. The u4icX is found at the heel of the midsole underneath the wave plate and allows for a softer impact on touch down. The U4ic material can be found throughout the remaining parts of the midsole and is very lightweight, durable, and shock absorbent.
      Upper
      One of the most noticeable updates found in the Wave Runner 22 is the addition of a full-length engineered mesh material. The Rider 21 also had engineered mesh in the upper but it was only found at the front of the sneaker. Mizuno chose to extend the engineered mesh throughout the entire length of the Rider in order to provide a more customized fit and to increase the shoe’s breathability. Within the upper, you will find Mizuno’s Dynamotion Fit which is integrated into the forefoot area. This material is made up of a stretchy fabric that will create a more adaptable fit. It is also found in the collar of the shoe and is placed there to prevent the heel collar from bending and getting misshapen. The heel counter of the Rider 22 is plush and wide but offers security for almost any heel shape, whether regular or narrow. The rider also features a premium anatomical sock liner which is engineered to provide a more natural and customized fit and to prevent hot spots and blisters. The insole of this shoe is removable so you can replace it with an orthotic or any other insole you prefer if you desire. Finally, this sneaker features Mizuno’s U4icX Strobel lasting board underneath the insole. This lasting board is meant to deliver a more cushioned and comfortable underfoot experience.
      Weight
      The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is a pretty average weight when it comes to everyday training shoes, especially since it features so many great technologies in its makeup. The men’s size 9 weighs in at 10 ounces while the women’s size 8 weighs in at 8.5 ounces.
      Breathability
      Compared to the previous version of the Rider, the 22 offers an even greater amount of breathability. By nature, the engineered mesh is incredibly breathable. Therefore, because this sneaker features a full-length engineered mesh upper, it is a very breathable shoe. The DynaMotion Fit at the front of the sneaker also allows for excellent airflow. The sneaker features Mizuno’s INTERCOOL ventilation system which is designed to reduce heat and humidity build-up inside the shoe during performance.
      Comfort
      The Wave Rider has been considered to be a comfortable shoe throughout the 21 previous models and the 22 is no exception. Mizuno updated the wave plate in the 22 and made it slightly softer, therefore, adding more comfort. The cushioning provides an excellent amount of response as well as comfort too. The plush tongue and heel collar will keep your feet comfortable within the sneaker and will keep you from getting uncomfortable irritating blisters and hot spots. The new full-length engineered mesh upper will conform to any foot shape and keep you snug and comfy as well, especially with the DynaMotion Fit in the forefoot area. This technology delivers enough stretch to adapt to your foot while keeping you secure and comfortable. This model of the Rider is slightly wider than its predecessor but not by much. It should be noted that this sneaker comes in both regular and wide widths.
      Style
      The Wave Rider 22 is a pretty snazzy looking running shoe and comes in a decent number of colorways. It definitely looks like an everyday running shoe but not in a bad way. The sleek silhouette will look great on any foot with the full-length breathable mesh upper. The holes of the mesh vary in shape in almost a crochet-like pattern to give them a little bit of a unique flair. These sneakers are not only comfortable but they are aesthetically pleasing as well.
      Durability
      To increase the durability upon impact, the Wave Rider 22 features Mizuno’s X10 carbon rubber in the heel of the shoe. This is the most durable carbon rubber out there and it allows for longer wear in high impact areas and supplements traction upon heel strike. The rest of the outsole utilizes blown rubber in order to deliver a smoother ride. Although this rubber is not as durable as the X10, it is durable enough to protect the materials present in the midsole. The wave plate also provides durability because it protects the midsole from unnecessary sagging and wear. Since the upper is made from engineered mesh, it does not have a whole lot of protection against unfortunate sharp objects you may come across, but it does have enough stretch in it to flex with your foot so it shouldn’t wear in high abrasion areas. The toe has a great overlay to protect from your toes poking through the mesh while the eyelets found on the lacing system are reinforced with the same material to keep them from tearing.
      Protection
      These shoes will keep your feet protected against abrasion and an uncomfortable run. The U4ic and U4icX materials found in the midsole will absorb shock upon impact to keep your joints from experiencing harsh jolting. The X10 carbon rubber found at the heel and the blown rubber found throughout the rest of the outsole will protect your feet from harsh underfoot conditions. The padded tongue and heel collar will help prevent blisters and irritation as well.
      Responsiveness
      One area in which the Wave Rider 22 shines is in its responsiveness. Like many of its predecessors, the wave plate helps to deliver a springy run. The durable rubber outsole works in conjunction with the midsole to provide shock absorption and energy transfer while you run. The sneaker also encourages a smooth and bouncy ride thanks to the combination of the SmoothRide and Cloudwave technologies found in the midsole. When the flexible upper, wave plate, durable rubber outsole, and midsole materials combine, the result is a smooth, springy, and shock-free ride.
      Support
      The Rider 22 is engineered to be a reliable everyday trainer and delivers just the right amount of support for neutral runners whether you are tackling short or long distances. The dual-rubber outsole is designed to help support the heel and forefoot area with its durable and lightweight configuration while the technology-filled midsole is made to provide energy return, cushioning, and shock absorbency. The full-length engineered mesh upper hugs your foot and delivers just enough flex to provide support and comfort. The sockliner found in the shoes’ upper keeps your foot in place and the padded heel counter keeps your heel snug and supported.
      Terrain
      Like its predecessors, the Rider 22 is designed to be a road running sneaker for the everyday neutral runner. Users have commented that it performs well on the road as well as on well-groomed trails. It does not boast an aggressive lug system so it wouldn’t be a great choice if you are tackling technical terrains. Rather, the X10 carbon rubber and blown rubber featured on the shoes’ outsole is best suited for running on asphalt or concrete. Several users have said that the Wave Rider 22 works well on both wet or dry terrain.
      Price
      Like the previous models of the Wave Rider 22, the shoe is priced at $120. This is a great value for such a technology-packed sneaker. Experienced runners understand that you have to pay a little more to get the comfort, support, and performance of a great running shoe. For what you get, you can’t go wrong with paying this much for the Mizuno Wave Rider 22.
      Traction
      The dual-rubber outsole found on the Rider 22 ensures a great amount of traction throughout your run. Many users have commented on how well the sneaker has carried them over both wet and dry terrain with ease. Both of the rubbers found on the outsole help to grip the pavement even if it starts to rain.
      Flexibility
      The Rider 22 definitely scores high in the flexibility column when it comes to an everyday running shoe. The Flex Controllers found on the shoes’ outsole help the sneaker to flex with your foot’s movement from heel strike to toe-off. The durable X10 carbon rubber found at the heel of the outsole is firmer than the rest of the outsole which is made of blown rubber for a reason. The midfoot to forefoot features the softer and more flexible rubber to help aid in flexibility. The midsole of this sneaker is packed with technologies that all work together to work with the rest of the shoes’ makeup to deliver a flexible and responsive ride.
      Stability
      Because the Wave Rider 22 is engineered to be an everyday road running sneaker for the neutral runner, it does not offer a lot in terms of stability features to correct your feet as you run. If you have foot concerns, you may want to consider a sneaker with more stability features but this one definitely will help give you a supported and smooth ride. The outsole and midsole are designed to absorb shock and deliver a responsive experience while the mesh upper will hug your foot and keep it secure. The sock liner included has a curve to it for a more natural fit to your foot so you shouldn’t feel any negative space within the shoe.
      Drop
      The heel stack on the Rider 22 measures at 32mm while the forefoot stack measures at 20mm giving this shoe a 12mm drop. This is higher than a lot of other daily trainers out there, mainly due to the extra cushioning provided in the heel area. With that said, you will not have any ground feel which many runners actually appreciate. You will feel a little higher off the ground but will also feel a smooth and comfortable ride.
      Key Features
      - Technologically advanced wave plate will deliver a responsive and springy ride
      - Midsole features many technologies that will help aid in natural motion and excellent energy transfer
      - DynaMotion Fit found at the forefoot aids in a more adaptable fit
      - Full-length engineered mesh upper delivers great breathability and an enhanced fit
      - Dual-rubber outsole will help to protect the shoe from fast wear and tear and aids in response
      - U4icX cushioning found at the heel delivers additional cushioning and shock absorbency
      Bottom Line
      The Mizuno Wave Rider 22, just like its predecessor, is a reliable daily trainer for the everyday neutral runner. The shoes’ many technologies ensure a comfortable, supported, responsive, and smooth ride. The outsole is designed to specifically aid in supporting your heel, absorbing shock, and helping you have a smooth heel to toe transition. The updated full-length engineered mesh upper delivers an adaptable and comfortable fit and is good for any foot shape. This lightweight sneaker does not fall short in many categories and is almost sure to deliver an excellent run.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
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      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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