Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ups and Downs of Change - Wave Rider 17 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.



I discovered Mizuno Wave Rider 16 probably a year and a half ago. I guess right when they were released. I fell in love with them immediately. For the first time ever, I had a shoe that had some arch support for my high arches, but they were/are still a neutral shoe. I also loved how light and flexible they were.

I've gone through several pairs since. So when FitFluential and Mizuno offered me the opportunity to test out the new Mizuno Wave Rider 17 (released December 5 just in time for Christmas), you can bet I was jumping up and down like a runner in a running store!

Wave Rider 17 technical details from the Mizuno website.
  • They weigh in at 7.4 ounces
  • U4ic midsole - to provide lightweight and resilient cushioning
  • New sock liner emphasizing increased resiliency and responsiveness
  • Lateral forefoot sculpting for a smooth touchdown and transition
  • Blown rubber forefront with deep flex grooves for optimal flexibility and cushioning
  • Dissolving upper fit with new DMF execution and soft, supple mesh materials
Now onto my review...


I wanted to love these shoes the way I've been loving the 16s. Seriously. I was just giddy over the opportunity to try these out. But, whenever there are changes, you never know what to expect. I was so excited to try these babies out, so I laced up and headed out for what I knew was going to be the best run ever.

Not even a mile into the run, I felt the corner of where the laces end and the mesh begins near the metatarsal area digging into my left toe - the one just over from the baby pinky toe. It hurt, but I thought I could sort of shift my foot around and "fix" the problem.

I barely made it back to the house in 2.5 miles mostly limping. I had to change into my Newton's because the toe box was completely different. Already my toe was bleeding and the skin pulled back. And there was no way to make a bandaid stick either.

I had to let my toe heal a week before I could try the shoes again. This time, I wore thinner socks. I also made sure that the seams of the socks didn't come across the top part of my foot. The first mile or so felt pretty good. I was loving the cushioning, not too much, just enough. I thought I was in the clear, but then it started to dig into the same spot again.

I do think that if my toe had completely healed, then perhaps with the different socks, it wouldn't have been an issue. Or, that's what I'm really hoping for anyway. The right shoe didn't bother me one bit.

I think that the way they have reshaped the area around the laces is the issue. I typically wear Balega socks and have never had a problem. However, with the new Mizuno Wave Rider 17, they are a huge issue. So, different socks are a must (for me).


It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but the shoe on the left is the Wave Rider 16. You can see that it is more rounded. The Wave Rider 17 is more squared off, ending where my finger is and that's where it dug into my toe. The 17s use a different material as well, not sure if it's the material or just the shape change.

Now, there are positives to the shoe. I don't want to totally dismiss the Wave Rider 17. Mizuno makes an awesome shoe. I love that there is some arch support (but not in a stabilizing way), so they're still fantastic neutral shoes. Also, they cradle my foot quite comfortably. So that is a continuation from the Wave Rider 16 and slightly improved or refined actually. Can't complain about that.

They have cushioning, but not so much you don't feel the ground. I like to feel the ground. So they've found a great balance in that respect. As with the 16s, they are super flexible and responsive, but now they're even lighter. Light, flexible, and cushy.

Do you get nervous when your shoe goes through an upgrade?

While I received the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 as a sponsored post with FitFluential LLC and Mizuno, all thoughts and opinions are my own.