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Our verdict

A great lightweight, smooth-riding everyday trainer. Great for daily mileage and swifter tempo runs and even longer races.

  • Positive
  • A lightweight, but cushioned shoe
  • Hard wearing
  • Breathability
  • Negative
  • A tad on the hard side for longer runs
  • What we thought
  • Technical info
  • Runner reviews (0)

First impressions

This is a shoe with a long history: always good news. The latest version sees yet more improvement to the upper and the fit along with the weight. The blown rubber outsole, for instance, is nice and light but very wear resistant so you get the feel you can drive off at pace but also double up for a little longer outing. The U4ic foam technology is nice and light, durable and soft. In fact, our testers love the feel the Rider provides in terms of encouraging you to get up on your toes. Triple Zone mesh technology means this really is a shoe to look at for hotter weather as the breathability is very good. This shoe is best suited to shorter races up to around half marathon.


Mizuno's concave-convex Cloudwave technology provides cushioning and stability. Inspired by nature and sandwiched between the U4ic and U4icX, Cloudwave's unique shape dissipates impact forces away from the foot for a more smooth, cushioned feel on every step. This shoe gives you a good spring-back, an energy return you'll certainly notice. A U4icX heel wedge features for extra comfort and less heel impact upon landing. The lightweight midsole material delivers stress-free cushioned rides with high rebounds, so heel-strikers get extra protection and energy in every stride. The unique U4ic midsole platform encases the Wave plate to increase the level of comfort and performance provided by the Wave Rider 20, without sacrificing light weight. The ride is light, responsive and cushioned.


The Dynamotion Fit upper will encase your foot in a very breathable comfort. AIRmesh is used to increase airflow and your feet certainly feel airy. As your foot twists, bends, and stretches in each step, the Dynamotion Fit ensures that the shoe upper moves with you. Flex Eyelets help keep your heel secure by allowing the upper to stretch and contract as needed; reducing in-shoe slippage for a smooth, distraction-free ride. Stretch Mesh eliminates the bunching and pulling that can cause discomfort and even blisters, especially at toe-off. A premium insock lies atop lightweight midsole to supply an extra, removable, layer of comfort and cushioning. A new U4icX strobel lasting board has been implemented for an even cushier, flexible footbed.


The Wave rider 20 incorporates a full-length ventilation system in the sole of the shoe that removes heat and humidity from the foot through a system of ventilation channels, to keep flagging feet happy on longer distance days. Durability and traction arrive in the form of an X10 outsole. The extremely substantial carbon rubber allows for longer wear in high impact areas and provides more traction at the heel strike. Mizuno also integrate their Smoothride technology to minimise the rapid acceleration and decelaration of the foot during transition, creating the smoothest ride possible. The shoe certainly rides smoothly and the additional flex groves ensures flexibility.


Breathable, light and flexible - introducing the Wave Rider 20. There is no question this is a shoe that begs you to run faster thanks to it soft, responsive ride; all you need to think about is how you are going to use it. This daily high-mileage trainer can certainly be used for longer racing and tempo running. The fit is very comfortable, thanks largely to the soft upper and the very soft midsole and the forefoot flex technology which does as it suggests: encourages you to drive off on your toes. Of course such breathability does mean mud lovers and those of you who endure rainy nights banging out the miles on darkened, damp streets might consider a different model. Come race day though, give these some thought; they are the type of shoe that could shave a minute or two off your time.

Technical info

Air Mesh - Allows air to permeate the exterior providing breathability. 

Dynamotion Fit - Provides a fit that moves the way you do, actively working with your foot throughout the gait cycle.

Removable Insock - Offers extra underfoot cushioning and comfort.

U4icX strobel lasting board - For flexible comfort. 

Cloudwave Plate - Newly constructed wave plate that offers extra cushioning and a more responsive ride. 

U4icX heel wedge - For added comfort upon landing. 

U4ic midsole material - Provides a high level comfort and performance, while still being extremely lightweight.

Intercool - A full-length ventilation system. 

X10 - Allows for longer wear in high impact areas and provides more traction at the heel strike.

SmoothRide - Promotes a smooth, natural stride.

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