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Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider Review

   Although many races are up in the air at the moment, the Peachtree Road Race is a famous July 4th race in Atlanta, Georgia that has an extensive history. Mizuno traditionally has made special edition Wave Riders for this race and the last two years have featured updated Riders with brand new uppers. Although supposedly they feature same soles as the in line Riders with new uppers, both in 2019 and 2020 the shoes have felt different. Different in positive ways. We were fortunate enough to get a pair at the 2020 US Olympic Trials and after many miles, we figured we would share a review.

Weight: Estimation for men's size 9: 10.1 oz. 11.1 oz Men's size 10 (personal measuring)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 12mm
Classification: Neutral Trainer


   The Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider features a new stretch woven upper, a strongly patriotic colorway and a slightly softer ride than the current in line Rider 23. The new upper provides both security and stretch in the right places. Featuring an initially snug fit that widens to just the right amount, for those looking for the USA colors in a shoe, these should be on your list.


     Prior to the 50th Peachtree Road race, Mizuno introduced the Waveknit upper and the Waveknit R1 (REVIEW). The Waveknit R1 continues to have one of the most comfortable uppers I have ever experienced. The update in the 51st Peachtree Rider is a stretch woven upper that provides more material and more lock down than the Waveknit. There is less flexibility to the upper, but it does slowly stretch to accommodate the foot quite well. The fit of the 51st Rider is fairly normal with a bit of adaptability. I normally wear a size 10 (men's) and a size 10 initially felt slightly tight, but fit perfect after one run. I initially found the forefoot to fit just a hair snug, but now the upper has stretched very slightly to accommodate my foot. It took only one run (4 miles initially) for this to occur and now the shoe has the classic "totally disappears" feeling when I put them on. The midfoot and heel are very locked down. The mesh in the midfoot is similar to the forefoot, except there feels to be more reinforcement. The midfoot fits fairly average in width, but the laces and upper interact very well to lock down the foot. There is a large heel counter in the rear of the shoe, but it is offset by cushioning around the heel collar. The heel is normal to slightly narrow and I have not had to lace lock the shoes for security.


     The Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider continues to have a firmer yet protective ride. The cushioning is slightly softer than the Rider 23, but still remains firm. The forefoot remains extremely smooth thanks to deep gender specific flex grooves. The toe off is particularly snappy thanks to the flexibility and slightly firmer ride. The midfoot is fairly smooth and although the outsole is not full ground contact, I feel the split in the sole less than the prior version.  The wave plate provides a nice transition through the midfoot. The heel is a little clunky due partially to the weight being set back slightly more posterior than the Rider 23. However, the 12mm higher heel drop actually smooths out with a little higher paces. There is a decent heel bevel and the ride is slightly softer in the back, which does smooth out rearfoot landings a little more. If drop does not bother you, the ride is pretty smooth overall in the Peachtree 51st Rider.


      The Peachtree 51st Rider is meant as a daily trainer, but the firmer ride and snappy forefoot make for a shoe with a few personalities. The firmer ride does promote a little faster stride and the shoe can be utilized for uptempo workouts. I have used these for hill repeats and fartleks and found that while they aren't the lightest, the shoes will move when you push them. The 12mm drop and the rearfoot biased weight of the shoe make it a little clunky at extremely high speeds. However, this is a trainer that does have the versatility to move a faster. The firmer ride and wave plate provide responsive cushioning that allows this shoe to move. Additionally, the new upper does a great job of locking the foot in and even while turning corners I had no issues with foot slippage. This would not be my first choice for a racing shoe, but for those looking for a little more snappy ride in a high drop trainer, the Peachtree 51st should be on your list.


     The Wave Rider series is on the more stable end of neutral shoes. The Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider continues this tradition. Although this is a neutral trainer, the wave plate in the heel and midfoot provide a very stable rearfoot and midfoot. The forefoot is flexible thanks to well placed flex grooves. This combination makes for a fast transition off a stable heel onto a smooth forefoot that gets you forward. The fact that the wave plate travels the entire width of the shoe provides additional stability and resistance to torsion. There is a significant heel counter that also helps keep the foot locked on the platform. Those who need mild to moderate stability will likely be comfortable in the Rider, although higher stability needs will likely do better in the Inspire 16 (REVIEW) or the Horizon 4 (REVIEW).


     Mizuno shoes are usually durable and the Peachtree 51st Wave Rider is no exception. The extensive amount of X10 and blown rubber provides both great traction and durability. I have over 60 miles and see very minimal wear on the outsole. The ride has softened just a hair, but remains on the firmer and snappier side for a trainer. The great thing about Mizuno's design is that with a wave plate providing stability, there is less EVA midsole foam to break down. The upper looks exactly the same now compared to when I first received them. There are no loose seems and the upper appears very durable as well.  Overall I expect the Peachtree 51st Wave Rider to last far longer than similar trainers.  So nothing new here (that's a good thing).


     Different things work for different people. When it comes to footwear, we are just beginning to see research that expands on this. There is no such thing as a perfect shoe for everyone. Different people have different amounts of ankle mobility, calf length, muscle tuning and foam density preferences. Even when it comes to the research on plated footwear, Mcleod et al. (2020) demonstrated that optimal stiffness is person specific. Some people do very well with stiff shoes while others need more flexibility. Finding optimal performance depends on the person. Mizuno is unique in that they have been using PEBAX plates for a long time. This is different than PEBAX foam and carbon fiber plates, but there is a plate none the less. While most models feature a plate from the heel to midfoot, several new models like the Wave Duel series feature a full length PEBAX plate. This is great as it provides some variety for people looking for plated footwear. As evidence by the research from Mcleod et al., carbon fiber plates may be too stiff for certain people. I think it is great that we now have this variety as it means there is something for everyone.


 Although I like firmer shoes, I do think the ride of the Rider needs to be softened up just a bit for most people. I like it as it adds to the stability in this neutral shoe, but based on current market trends, a hair softer may be better. Also I would still like Mizuno to consider lowering the drop just a little to 10mm. The bevel is good, the wave plate absorbs shock well, but that heel could be just a hair lower.

I would say that I wish that Mizuno would add a new midsole foam like XPOP but lighter.... but you'll have to wait until Fall 2020 to see what they have in store.


     The Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider is a cool looking, patriotic colorway shoe featuring a very comfortable new stretch woven upper and a mostly familiar sole. This shoe remains a durable, firmer, stable neutral shoe for getting miles and some uptempo work in. The slightly softer ride compared to the Rider 23 makes it slightly more forgiving, but the improved upper provides additional security. A durable workhorse that will help you get plenty of miles in with pick ups as needed. The Mizuno Wave Peachtree 51st Rider will be be available later this summer. I am excited for a small glimpse at some of the upper changes Mizuno is making, but we will have to wait until the fall for the sole changes on the way. Stay tuned....


Fit/Upper       9.5 /10 (Adaptable fit that conforms to foot.
Ride/Midsole  8.5/10 (Smooth Forefoot, -1.5 for clunky heel)
Stability          9.5 /10 (High stability for a neutral shoe)
Speed              9.5 /10 (Firm ride provides good speed for a trainer. -.5 for heel getting in way)
Durability       9.5 /10 (Minimal wear after +60 miles. Expecting high mileage from these)

TOTAL: M: 93%


Dr. Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.  IG handle: @kleinrunsdpt

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Mizuno for providing us a pair at the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 66 miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.


1. Mcleod, A., Bruening, D., Johnson, A., Ward, J., Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. Footwear Science, 1-11. 
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