The first Wave Rider I tried was the 23, which pleasantly surprised me. I also tried the GTX version of that shoe and after that I also tried the 24. In the last few years Mizuno has made some changes to their shoes. They had already changed the 24 compared to the 23 and they’ve taken that innovation a step further in the 25. So let’s take a look at this milestone edition.
I got the anniversary colorway of this shoe celebrating its 25th birthday. I actually like the look of it although I’m not a huge fan of light colored shoes, since they easily get dirty and you can tell that they are dirty. But I like the silver elements (since it’s 25 years, so silver jubilee and all that) and I actually like the funky looking outsole.
The upper of the 25 is simple but well executed. The 25 has more padding in the heel area than the 24. Padding in the tongue is the same. It has a half gusseted tongue to make sure it stays in place. I’ve had no issues with the upper, no hotspots or any heel slippage. It may not be the most flashy looking shoe out there (although it also depends on which version you get of course), but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’m not always looking for neon colored running shoes.
All the big running brands are competing with one another, not only with regards to super shoes, but also with new midsole foams in the rest of their line up. And I really don’t mind. Last year Mizuno launched its new Enerzy foam. In the Wave Rider 23 there was U4ic foam and the softer U4icX foam. In the 24 there was U4ic foam in the midsole and Enerzy foam in the heel underneath the wave plate. In their newest edition Mizuno decided to make the midsole completely out of Enerzy foam, which according to them is 17% softer and has 15% more energy return than their previous foams.
And it wouldn’t be the Wave Rider without a wave plate. They’ve tweaked it a bit in this version and I do find this version to be less noisy than the previous one, although I never entirely figured out if it was the wave plate or the outsole that made the 24 noisy or a combination of the two. Maybe because there are less air pockets around the wave plate in the 25?
The outsole in this edition is almost the same as in the previous version, but they have split up the outsole on the lateral side underneath the forefoot into 4 pieces rather than 3 so they line up with the rest of the outsole. Just like in the 24 the outsole of the 25 is made up out of two different types of rubber. The rubber underneath the forefoot is made of blown rubber, while the outsole on the lateral side of the heel is made from more durable carbon rubber. They have made the outsole a millimeter thicker than in the previous version for more durability. The Wave Rider 24 has a 20 mm forefoot stack and a 32 mm heel stack. The 25 still has a 12 mm drop, but a higher overall stack height of 24 and 36 mm. This is partially due to the extra millimeter in the outsole.
The wave rider has always been a stable every day trainer and is Mizuno’s flagship model. The wave rider 25 is clearly softer than the previous version. There is more Enerzy foam in this version, which makes for a softer ride with a bit more energy return.
I always struggle with which shoe to pick for my next marathon. I don’t find that an easy choice because a marathon is a long way and you spend a lot of hours on your feet and you don’t want to start regretting your choice halfway through the race (I’ve definitely been there in the past). In the end I decided to wear the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 while running the London Marathon and did not regret my choice.
The 25 just feels a bit softer in every way. The upper feels a bit softer as well as the midsole and also the insole feels a bit softer compared to the previous version. It’s still a daily trainer, but in my opinion it has taken a small step toward a bit more maximalist shoe, but without being too bulky or too heavy, since it only weighs around 230 grams. I really like Mizuno’s Enerzy foam and am looking forward to seeing where they are taking it next.