Mizuno Wave Sky 5
While the complex midsole blends soft and cushioned materials sandwiched between a responsive and stiff plate, this shoe manages to be both soft and responsive all at the same time.
The type of response you achieve with this shoe often depends upon your running style. If you like to take it nice and slow, the midsole feels nice and squishy underfoot. As you pick up the pace, the center plate kicks in to offer enhanced performance and zippy toe-offs.
The upper is also very structured and stiff with a locked-in heel counter that stays in place. While the upper does boast a few perforated mesh panels, this shoe runs pretty warm. It’s great for cooler mornings, but it may prove to be a little too hot on those balmy summer runs.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 manages to blend soft cushioning in the midsole with a bright and responsive outsole for a well-rounded cushioned neutral trainer.
Below, we take a deep dive into all of the unique features that make the Mizuno Wave Sky 5 a great daily trainer that is built to last!
Added Mizuno Enerzy Core boosts responsiveness and durability
X10 carbon rubber outsole lasts 400+ miles
Ideal for long-distance runners or heavy strikers
Insulated upper is perfect for cooler days
Heavier than expected
Not ideal for speed
What makes the Mizuno Wave Sky 5 unique is that it utilizes a blend of 2 different types of midsole cushioning that is sandwiched between a stiff and responsive wave plate.
The top layer of the midsole is made from Mizuno Enerzy Core that is their softest and most responsive midsole cushioning to date. Instead of utilizing foam, it is composed of rubber that feels soft and squishy, yet provides a good deal of energy return.
Due to the fact that it is composed of rubber instead of foam, it enhances durability and won’t squish down into a pancake over time.
Below the Enerzy Core is a durable Mizuno wave plate. This plate is designed to be slightly stiff and helps to evenly distribute weight throughout your foot.
It helps to reduce shock when running on hard surfaces, and an even distribution of weight helps reduce pain in your joints and lower back. It’s a bit stiff, but runners can’t even feel this stiff plate between layers of soft cushioning.
Below the Wave plate is an additional layer of Enerzy foam. Unlike the Enerzy Core that is composed of rubber, this material is made from durable foam that contours to the shape of your foot. It provides runners with excellent cushioning and flexibility for quick and snappy sets.
What I love most about the Mizuno Wave Sky 5 is that it boasts an insanely durable outsole that is ideal for running long distances, or if you have a heavy gait cycle. It is composed of Mizuno's X10 carbon rubber.
What’s great about this carbon rubber is that it is incredibly durable but flexible enough to allow for a full range of motion. This durable rubber is placed in key areas along the forefoot and heel for added traction and uses exposed EVA foam in lower impact areas to keep your stride light and bright without sacrificing durability.
The upper of this design provides runners with a bit of extra stability and control, but it is a little too heavy for some runners.
It is composed of a stretch-woven upper that contours to the shape of your foot with perforation to help move hot air up and away from your foot. Even with the perforation along the top of the foot, this upper can get pretty hot.
Many runners reported that their feet got really hot when running on warm summer days. However, if you need a shoe that provides a bit more insulation for cooler days, this is an excellent choice.
I also love that this upper is incredibly padding along the heel collar and the tongue, but this ample padding will not affect your flexibility and range of motion. It also boasts a gusseted tongue that locks in place, and the slightly stiff heel collar boosts overall lockdown.
The build of the upper is a bit narrow when compared to other Mizuno trainers, which improves its lockdown but may feel too tight for runners with wide feet.
Overall, I would suggest this neutral daily trainer for runners that are hard on their sneakers. It’s technically classified as a neutral trainer, but the heavy features may affect your overall speed.
The heavy design will slow you down a bit, and the stiff Wave plate locks you into a strict gait cycle, which means that it may not be ideal for cross-training that requires quick turns and zippy transitions.
What it lacks in speed and agility it makes up for in durability and performance. The durable X10 carbon rubber outsole shows very few signs of wear and tear even after 100 miles.
This is a shoe that is built to conquer at least 400 miles before it needs to be retired. Plus, the rubberized midsole won’t squish down into a pancake, even if you have a heavy gait cycle.
I discovered that the fit of the Mizuno Wave Sky 5 is slightly different from other Mizuno trainers. Runners found that the shoe fits a little narrow in the forefoot, and doesn’t boast that classic wide toe box found in most Mizuno running shoes. I suggest taking ample measurements of your feet and comparing them to Mizuno’s sizing chart.
Overall, most runners felt that they needed to be about a half size larger than normal to ensure that the upper didn’t fit too tight and their toes didn’t jam in the toe box.
If you have the option, I highly recommend heading down to your local shoe store to give them a spin before you try them. It’s also important to note that these shoes have a brief break-in period. Some runners could feel the stiffness of the Wave plate underfoot during their first few miles.
However, as you put more miles behind you, the midsole loosens up a bit and feels more natural. It just needs a little time to adjust.
The downside to this shoe is that it clocks in at a pretty steep price point that is quite more expensive than other neutral training shoes. For most, this price tag may not be worth it overall, especially if you have a light gait cycle or aren’t too concerned with durability.
If you are hard on your shoes, however, this option is well worth every penny. The insanely durable outsole is able to conquer at least 400 miles and provides reinforced materials to help boost the overall lifespan of this shoe.
If you find you are retiring your training shoes frequently, this shoe is well worth the initial investment!
Comparisons to Previous Versions
The biggest change that was made is found in the midsole. While previous versions utilized Enerzy foam and a Wave plate, the addition of Mizuno’s new Enerzy Core is a real game-changer. The Enerzy Core is composed of durable rubber that offers a bright and responsive ride, and it is also much more durable and built to hold up well over the long haul.
While the upper of the Wave Sky 5 is fairly hot, it is a vast improvement over the built of the Wave Sky 4. The previous versions of this shoe had very still and uncomfortable uppers that limited your full range of motion and didn’t provide a good deal of stretch.
The upper of the Wave Sky 5 shaves off a few ounces and provides runners with a good deal of stretch and improved overall lockdown.
It’s the perfect trainer for runners that are hard on their shoes. The performance of the durable outsole is made to withstand hundreds of miles while showing little signs of wear and tear, and the new and improved midsole with the addition of Mizuno’s Enerzy Core makes your stride light and bright.
The downside of this shoe is that it is heavier than expected, which means that it’s not great for speedy and snappy sets.
Overall, I would recommend this shoe for long-distance runners that need something that is a little more structured and stiff, but not quite as stiff as a stability trainer.
It costs a little bit more than most, but the added durability makes it an excellent value that is worth checking out!