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Mizuno Wave Ryder 16’s ~ leaving me perplexed

Gear  review/comparison


Mizuno Wave Ryder   ~, Mizuno Wave Ryder 16’s


Although my 2013 racing season isn’t quite finished (my fall marathon  is all that’s left), I’ve logged enough miles on my feet this season to write an honest review of the shoes I’ve worked with.  I’ll try to keep things concise.  Additionally, like any gear review, the comments posted are subjective ~ please keep that in mind. 


Wave Ryder – the Wave Ryder has been my daily “grind” shoe for a number of years.  The shoe could take anything I would throw at it.  Long runs, tempo’s, recoveries, and even some interval work (although not ideal for the tack). The shoe would recover quickly, and the life span of the shoe was an honest 750-800K.   They are a good quality shoe.   The Wave Ryder had minimal design changes until the 16’s hit the shelf.  From the 13’s to the 14’s, to the 15’s – I had no issues with the shoe and as such, I was excited to lace up a pair of the 16’s.  Why? Mizuno introduced some new features, to the already successful design, chiefly, a lighter construction, with seamless stitching in the shoe’s uppers.  For full specs look here:

Unfortunately, the 16’s were not for me. Whatever Mizuno changed, and or altered, my feet, and legs did not appreciate.  First off, when trying on the 16’s my typical size did not fit. I had to order a full size smaller shoe – no big deal, but this did catch my attention as with the previous transitions from the 13’s to the 14’s and finally the 15’s – this was never an issue. My shoe size never changed.

Out the door I went for a short break in run.  The shoe was definitely lighter, what a difference!  As my run progressed, aches and pains reared their ugly head.  The shoes just didn’t feel right.  I wondered if there was something possibly defective with the pair I had.  I got my hands on another pair of 16’s, and felt that I really needed to give the shoe a chance; a full 100K later I spoke with Jodi over at the Orangeville R.F, and let her know that the shoe was not working out for me.  Each run in the new Wave Ryder 16 left me sore and unhappy.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jodi and the Mizuno sales representative to voice my concerns regarding the new 16’s.  In short, my concerns about the new shoe were an isolated occurrence, and in good faith, Mizuno gave me the opportunity to try another similar shoe at their expense (not the W.R.16’s).  What great Customer relations on both Running Free and Muzino’s part!  Neither Muzino, nor Jodi could make sense of the situation. We were all left perplexed.  However, a big THANK YOU to them both. In the end, Jodi at Running Free sourced whatever remaining Wave Ryder 15’s she could find, and I’ve completed the remainder of my 2013 season with no issues. Strange? Never the less, I am looking forward to the introduction of the Wave Ryder 17’s (as of this writing, I think the 17’s are now available). Who knows? My legs and feet might enjoy the new shoe?

In conclusion, Mizuno’s Wave Ryder 16 just didn’t work out. Superficially, after trying two pairs, and clocking 100K in them, the shoe appeared to wear well.  No signs of deterioration in the sole or the uppers.  The over all “build quality” was great – no signs of separation, or discolouration.


p.s. After some considerable reflection, I can’t pin point what was the trouble with the 16’s. I was not injured, or on the mend.  I was rotating between shoes to ensure the 16’s had some recovery between runs.  After a full 100K there was no noticeable wear on the sole of the shoe indicating an abnormal foot strike. The transition to the 16’s should not have been problematic. 






Avid outdoorsman. Live in small rural community with many opportunities to get outside! Running is my passion, but do frequently get out on my bike, and while up north at the cottage, get my share of swimming in. Look forward to a great 2012 season, and am looking for interested individuals to compete in Adventure racing.

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One comment

  • Thank you so much for your post! I had a pair of Wave Rider 15s that I absolutely loved! Still go to them to knock around in, but too worn out for running. I was excited to get my Wave Rider 16s around June 2013. I started noticing pains in my right foot that I could not explain. People suggested stress fractures so I would reduce activity and the pain would go away. I also noticed periodic popping in my right knee. I had not worn the shoes from since December 2013 until two days ago. Last night I started experiencing sciatic nerve pain on my right side that I have never had before. It finally hit me that all of my problems are most likely related to the shoe. As I have been reading online reviews today, it appears that it is more common than the people you spoke with realize. I am anxious to try the 17s now, but a little apprehensive to purchase them after the experience with the 16s.

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