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Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Mesh Multiple Tester Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider has been around for a long time, and this year the shoe receives a masterful update that could be considered an overhaul. This version of the Wave Rider sports new foam technology, modifications to the wave plate, and a new outsole design that will keep the "Wave Rider faithful" happy while also making the shoe more accessible for those who previously averse to the wave plate feel. Welcome to the new era of the Wave Rider, a continued contender for best workhorse trainer.


Specifications (per Mizuno)
Weight: 9.6oz (Men's size 9), 8.3oz (Women's size 7)
Measured Weights: xx oz (men's size 10)
Drop: 12mm
Classification: Daily Trainer

HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Mesh is one of two Wave Riders being released. Featuring a new Enerzy foam as a heel wedge for a snappy and responsive ride, a full ground contact outsole for a smooth transition, a wave plate for stability and rebound and a brand new mesh upper. While the difference is supposed to be in just the uppers, the Rider 24 Mesh is a very different shoe from the Rider 24 Waveknit. The mesh features a lower toe spring and a slightly longer fit. While subtle, these totally change the ride and fit. Both are great shoes, but will meet the needs of different people.

David: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is a continuation of an already amazing line of shoes. This model features the new midsole Enerzy as a heel wedge that extends into the midfoot to help with the initial contact and transition. The midsole update knocks it out of the part making the shoe fluid and responsive in all of the right ways. The upper could have some improvements a little but overall a great shoe!

Nathan: The Wave Rider has always been a favorite of mine, and it has received a wonderful update. The Mizuno Enerzy midsole give a bit more cushion and responsiveness to the ride, and they mellow out the wave plate to improve the transition from the heel to the midfoot. This shoe has the durability to last the miles you need and is very stable for a neutral trainer, which helps make it versatile.


FIT

Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Mesh fits me long in my normal size 10. When I first tried the shoe on, I would almost say it fit a half size long. After 35 miles, my feet have gotten use to this. However for those who are between sizes, I would go down (if you like a snug fit). The upper feels a bit thicker and tougher than the previous version, providing a secure fit from the heel to the midfoot. There is plenty of padding at the tongue and the sockliner is soft enough to be worse sockless. I used this shoe for several shorter runs sockless and had no problems except with the longer fit. Despite being a bit thicker, the mesh is surprisingly breathable, which is wonderful given the +100 degree temperatures in Southern California right now. There is a significant heel counter that does a great job combined with the secure midfoot to lock the foot in. There is some padding at the heel, but those that are sensitive to stiff heel counters may want to consider the Waveknit version.


David:
The upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 does fit a little long. I am ok true to size in my normal 9.5 but would be curious to see about sizing down potentially. The upper seems to be a little thicker than the previous model as well. The tongue is good but the seaming at the end of it caused a little rubbing on my toes initially. The heel collar is padded and fits well. The midfoot locks down well without irritation. Overall it is a decent upper, but could use a little more work. With the upper of the Wave Rider 23 being SO GOOD I felt that this was a little bit of a step back. The midsole and ride though, that's another section!

Nathan: In my review of the Wave Rider 23 (REVIEW), I raved about the upper. It was breathable, secure, and disappeared on the foot. Of the millions of improvements that this update made, the upper on the mesh version of this shoe, in my opinion, was the only step back. The shoe fits a bit long and also is slightly wide in the midfoot. So, although many will be fine true to size, you could go a half size down and get a more secure feel -- especially if you have a moderate to narrow foot and like your trainer a bit more streamlined (if I purchased a new pair, I'd get a half size down). For those with wider feet, you will really appreciate this upper. It is comfortable, soft, and breathable, and accommodates well. Despite that, the shoe locks down really well and I did not have any slippage in the heel and was still stable with turns on the platform. 

Rider 23 on Left, Rider 24 on Right -- comparing upper sizing

RIDE

Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 has some major changes. The outsole is now full ground contact, so the ride has smoothed out a great deal. The heel is a bit more filled in, so those who used to get rocks stuck in the heel will find that less of a problem. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is the first running shoe to feature Enerzy, in this case in a wedge of foam in the heel. This is not a soft foam, but a smooth, firm and responsive piece of midsole material. Both Wave Rider 24s make you want to run a bit faster as the ride is a little firmer and definitely more responsive than most trainers. There is a significant heel bevel at the rear, which makes for very smooth heel landings. There is a 12mm drop, but this feels lower with the bevel. The wave plate is present and works very well with the Enerzy, particularly at higher speeds. The midfoot and forefoot are both smooth given the full ground contact and wider forefoot. The low toe spring makes for a very snappy toe off, which is different from the smooth roll of the Waveknit versions. Both feel fast, but you should choose which one you want based on whether you like or dislike toe spring. For me, the Mesh took longer to break in, but feels faster on flatter terrain, whereas the Waveknit felt faster on hilly courses.

Rider 23 on Top, Rider 24 on Bottom -- comparing wave plate design

David:
Excuse my music deviation here... but I found myself singing "I gotta lot of people trying to drain me of this Enerzy" while running. The midsole update is great. The Enerzy heel wedge extends into the midfoot and slightly softens the ride while also making the transition smoother and also more responsive. The wave plate is not exposed in the midfoot anymore and has foam covering it. The drop is 12mm but does feel lower than that with the smoother transition. Overall I was very happy with the slight adjustments of the ride. I love Enerzy and would love to see a version with a full length platform of Enerzy. This goes more into comparison, but the WaveKnit version of the Wave Rider 24 also has a little more toe spring built in that I fell in love with, and would love to see that incorporated into this mesh model. The toe off is smooth enough, but rounding it slightly will make the shoe feel less long and smooth out that forefoot rocker phase.

Nathan: This is the beauty of this update. Mizuno made many subtle, yet important changes. One is the new Mizuno Enerzy foam wedge through the heel to midfoot. This, combined with a slightly enlarged heel bevel make heel strike very smooth and responsive. I could feel the higher heel drop for the first few miles, but after my first couple runs the shoe felt very smooth and more like a moderate drop of 8-10 in how it felt dynamically. The curve of the wave plate was lessened compared to previous versions, which increases overall congruence with the foot. This makes the transition between the rear and forefoot more smooth and less snappy (but it is still snappy) than previous versions. There is also a full contact outsole, a first for the wave rider, which also smooths out the ride with less abrasive transitions. The forefoot of the Mesh Wave Rider 24 is quite plush compared to the previous version and has good flexibility for smooth toe off. As a Wave Rider loyalist, I am thrilled that an "overhaul" update has not ruined the shoe that I've come to love. It has only made it better.

Showing end of Enerzy foam wedge

STABILITY

Matt: The stability of the Mizuno Wave Rider series has always been high. The Wave Rider 24 is still one of the most stable neutral shoes out there. I generally need at least mild support for high mileage and have had zero issues running in the Rider 24 Mesh. The awesome heel bevel combined with a stable wave plate, the full ground contact outsole and the wider forefoot all contribute to a stable ride. The ride is slightly softer than the Rider 23, but it does not lose any stability. In fact, the outsole design of the Wave Rider 24 Mesh has made these far better for trails than previous versions.

David:
The stability of the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is still pretty dang good for a neutral shoe. There is a slight medial flare at the heel that adds stability as well as the wave plate firming up and dynamically keeping movement forward from the rearfoot. The heel also has a pretty decent bevel that makes for an even smoother initial contact. The midsole is more cushioned than ever, but only slightly so. So the slightly firm ride also keeps a stable platform throughout the shoe. I am also liking the full ground contact outsole which has given me no problems in dirt, grass, or even some trail running. Yup. No stability concerns here. 

Rider 23 on Top, Rider 24 on Bottom -- comparing outsole design

Nathan:
The Wave Rider 24 is one of the most stable neutral shoes out there. The rigidity of the wave plate in the medial/lateral direction combined with some medial sole flares and the new full contact outsole really help create a stable neutral trainer. The only issue for stability here was the roominess of the upper which led to minor slippage with turning at higher paces. Also, that lovely rock catching in the heel is much improved. Haven't had anything stuck in there yet!

SPEED

Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Mesh is a daily mileage trainer. However, the firmer ride, wave plate and Enerzy make it extremely easy to pick up the pace. I have had several long runs and easy runs turn into uptempo runs without too much effort. While this shoe is fast, the ride is less aggressive than the Waveknit version, which feels faster (despite the extra weight). The decreased amount of toe spring makes the Rider 24 Mesh feel slightly less aggressive and better for easy mileage. This shoe still works well for tempo runs, fartleks, long runs, easy runs and even recovery runs. Some may find that it works as a long distance racer, although the Waveknit may work better. 

David:
This is a shoe for daily mileage primarily. For being made for that purpose the shoe can run pretty well. The Enerzy and wave plate combination do make for a responsive and fluid feel for a daily trainer that feels pretty good even when the pace begins to heat up. This is a comparison again... but the toe spring could be improved up front to match the WaveKnit version. The WaveKnit version has more of a toe spring and curvature up front that really makes a fluid transition and fast toe off when coming off the smooth and responsive heel. That is more at faster speed though. The shoe will do just fine for long runs, daily mileage, some uptempo running, and a potential long distance racer for the recreational running community. 


Nathan:
The Wave Rider 24 Mesh is my go to for daily miles and on days that my legs are feeling beat up. Its stability combined with the smooth ride and wave plate for consistency allows this shoe to feel good at mile 1, 10, 15, and beyond. It can also miraculously, thanks to the fast transitions due to the wave plate, handle some workouts and uptempo miles despite its weight. This is a great shoe to run a marathon in for many of the recreational running community.

DURABILITY

Matt: 10/10 here. The X10 outsole has no wear on it despite fast, long and even rocky runs. Even the slightly exposed midsole hasn't even gotten worn down. It is just dirty. The wave plate and Enerzy definitely contribute to preserving the ride and life of this shoe. The upper is very durable and despite some intense trail runs has no wear either. As always, the Wave Rider 24 Mesh will last FAR longer the a majority of the trainers out there.

David:
Mizuno durability is hard to beat. The X10 outsole has never had any problems when on my feet in this category. The slightly exposed midsole might take a little bit of a hit over time but shouldn't negatively effect the life of the shoe in any way. The wave plate will most likely continue to preserve the midsole and ride of the shoe as well. My last pair of Wave Riders never changed in ride and I expect this to be the same. I have no concerns with the durability of the upper either. 



Nathan:
The Wave Rider 24 Mesh has Mizuno's reliably durable outsole. The new Enerzy heel wedge is the only major change to the midsole, which should be just as durable, if not more so, than the previous midsole, which has lasted 100s of miles for me without change. This is a workhorse.

THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

Mizuno debuts their Mizuno Enerzy foam in this shoe (at least in North America) and it comes in the form of a heel wedge that extends to the distal aspect (front) of the midfoot. Because of that, we wanted to dig into the idea of heel striking and who will actually benefit from the Mizuno Enerzy foam as it's implemented in this shoe. If you want to geek out on foot strike patterns, check out our podcast (Doctors of Running Virtual Round Table) where we spend over an hour discussing the literature and biomechanics of foot strike and discuss questions like "is one better than the other" based on the research. Okay, back to the Wave Rider 24. In reality, if you are a true forefoot striker, you will get little to no benefit from this wedge and will have to wait to experience Enerzy when they create something full length. But before you write yourself off, you have to make sure that you are truly a forefoot striker. Studies have shown that 33% to over 50% of runners mis-identify their heel strike pattern (Bade et al 2016, Gross et al 2012). This includes very experienced runners as well, so before you become too confident in "what you are", get some video of you running from the saggital view (from the side) and check it out for real. You may be surprised. Clinically I see this all the time when doing running evaluations and people seem almost "offended" that the video shows that they heel strike. Additionally, not all heel strike is created equal. Some land starkly on the heel whereas some hit much closer to the midfoot (but are still a true heel strike). Either way, the vast majority of long distance runners are heel strikers regardless of level of competition (Larson et al 2011; Kasmer et al 2016), so the construction of this shoe benefits many more people than you may think. Yes, full length Enerzy and Enerzy Core will be fun to experience, but the wedge put in this shoe is a technique for the masses to get a taste. 

-Nathan Brown PT, DPT, MS

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: The major recommendation is the the fit of this shoe. I think the differences in upper material between the Mesh and Waveknit change the length, with the Mesh being slightly relaxed and fitting longer. I would suggest either shortening the shoe just a hair. The other obvious suggestion is to see a full length Enerzy sole, but that may be coming in the future. Overall a great shoe that just took some time for me to get used to the slightly long fit.

David:
The fit of the shoe would be the only thing I would really focus on. Improving the length of the shoe either by shortening the platform or introducing a toe spring like the Wave Knit version would be awesome to make length a little more true to size. The upper could potentially be thinned a little or have a small adjustment near the seaming at the distal end of the tongue. I'm being knit picky here though. This is a great shoe.

Nathan: For the Wave Rider 24 Mesh, my only major recommendation is to synch up the upper in the midfoot and shorten the fit slightly. I appreciated the movement away from the stitched Run Bird logo, so keep that going, but I did appreciate the fit and feel of the Wave Rider 23 upper in comparison to this one. Also, keep up the great work with this shoe.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)


Matt: An awesome, stable update for a an already great workhorse of a shoe. Although slightly long fitting, the redesign creates a smooth, stable, firmer and faster ride in the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Mesh. The increased outsole contact improves stability along with the plate, while the addition of an Enerzy heel wedge creates some awesome firm responsive cushioning.  A firmer ride still provides enough cushioning for longer miles, but has plenty of speed to pick up the pace. A big congrats to Mizuno on a great update. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is for those looking for a firmer riding daily trainer/workout shoe combo that shines on uptempo long runs.

David:
Still one of the best workhorses in the game. The weight of the shoe is still very reasonable for the amount of "stuff" the shoe has and now has an improved transition and midsole that creates a very fun and enjoyable ride for many miles. The wave plate is much less noticeable in a good way in this model now that Enerzy softens that region through the midfoot. Aside from the upper and slightly long fit this is still a shoe that should be on the radar and watchlist for a lot of people. For me its a workhorse for daily mileage, but could definitely double as a potential long distance racer for some recreational runners.

Nathan: Well done Mizuno. You've successfully improved my favorite workhorse trainer with an overhaul update that keeps its old character while creating a more cushioned and smooth ride that will suite an even wider audience. For Wave Rider enthusiasts, you should be very pleased with this update. For those who have strayed away from Mizuno because of your "feelings" about the wave plate and how it feels, it might be time to come back and try this one. If you're looking for a workhorse trainer for high mileage, this is a great option.

Doctors of Running Youtube Review

GRADING
Matt
Fit                    8.5 /10 (Great upper comfort, but -1.5 for long fit that took a while to get used to)
Ride                  9 /10 (Really nice smooth ride. Enerzy feels great along with heel bevel. Need to fix fit though as longer shoe feels just a hair awkward initially).
Stability           10 /10 (as stable as neutral shoes get!)
Speed               9 /10 (Great daily trainer, uptempo work and potentially for distance racing, lacks all out speed due to fit issue)
Durability        10 /10 (No wear, just dirt after 35 miles. Very durable).

David
Fit                     8/10 (sorry... fit is a little long and had some irritation at the stitching, thick upper)
Ride                  9.5/10 (enerzy is awesome, smooth transition, fit and toe spring could be improved.)
Stability            10/10 (not really sure how they can make it better for a neutral trainer)
Speed                9/10 (daily trainer workhorse, can handle some uptempo work though)
Durability         9.9/10 (it should probably be 10. The foam abrasion won't be a problem but its there)

Nathan
Fit                     8/10 (fit is long and wide in the midfoot, still comfortable upper)
Ride                  9.5/10 (slight prominence of heel drop initially)
Stability            9.75/10 (extremely stable neutral trainer without messing with the foot, slight slip due to upper fitting long)
Speed                9/10 (versatile and awesome for daily miles, lacks true performance trainer speed due to larger fit)
Durability         10/10 (WORKHORSE)

Total Score: % (M: 9.3/10  D: 9.3/10 N: 9.25/10 )

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:

Dr. Matthew 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

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

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.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
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 sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 35 miles (Matt), 40 miles (Nathan) and 36 miles (David) on our pairs. Our 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.

References

Bade, M. B., Aaron, K., & McPoil, T. G. (2016). Accuracy of self-reported foot strike pattern in intercollegiate and recreational runners during shod running. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy11(3), 350.

Goss, D. L., Lewek, M., Yu, B., Ware, W. B., Teyhen, D. S., & Gross, M. T. (2015). Lower extremity biomechanics and self-reported foot-strike patterns among runners in traditional and minimalist shoes. Journal of athletic training50(6), 603-611.

Kasmer, M. E., Liu, X. C., Roberts, K. G., & Valadao, J. M. (2016). The relationship of foot strike pattern, shoe type, and performance in a 50-km trail race. Journal of strength and conditioning research30(6), 1633-1637.

Larson, P., Higgins, E., Kaminski, J., Decker, T., Preble, J., Lyons, D., ... & Normile, A. (2011). Foot strike patterns of recreational and sub-elite runners in a long-distance road race. Journal of sports sciences29(15), 1665-1673.

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