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Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit Multiple Tester Review

The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit is a continuation of the deeply successful daily trainer line with some pretty large improvements to the midsole, fit, and upper of the shoe. The new Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is the first trainer to feature their new foam compound Enerzy. The Enerzy foam is utilized as a heel wedge that extends into the front of the midfoot. For being a big change it improves the Wave Rider in every way and gives it a very fun ride while not sacrificing the workhorse aspect of it at all.

Specifications (per Mizuno Running North America)
Weight: 10.1 oz (Men's 9), 8.5 oz (Women's 7)
Measured Weights: 10.9 oz (men's size 10)
Stack Height: not provided
Drop: 12mm
Classification: Daily Trainer, Workhorse, Recreational Racer


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit is one of the first Mizuno running shoes to feature the new Enerzy midsole. With a secure and very comfortable knit upper and a new super smooth sole design (new bevel and toe spring), this shoe can handle fast workouts and easy runs alike. As my top trainer of 2020 so far, the Wave Rider 24 Waveknit is a do it all shoe for some, a distance racing shoe for others and definitely a fast well fitting trainer for all.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit is a phenomenal update to a phenomenal shoe. The new Enerzy midsole helps smooth out the transition from initial contact through the stance phases of gait and adds some responsiveness as well. The WaveKnit upper is dialed in all the right ways and provides one of the best training shoes of 2020 in my personal opinion.

Nathan: Similar to the mesh update, the biggest highlight is the update to the Enerzy foam, which gives this trainer a bit more cushion and pop without sacrificing what made it a great workhorse for so many. The WaveKnit upper is secure and breathable despite being a bit thicker. Compared to the Rider 24 Mesh, there is a quicker and slightly more firm toe off which is one piece that helps this shoe run faster than its weight.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit fits very true to size in my normal size 10. I love Waveknit uppers. The Mizuno Waveknit Rider 24 has a little extra room in the forefoot, but fits fairly average throughout the rest of the shoe. Despite the normal width, the knit provides a snug custom fit that felt very dialed in. Turning, fast paces and direction changes all felt really good as the midfoot is locked down well and the heel is secure. There is a prominent heel counter, but there is a ton of cushioning that protects the heel and locks the foot in even more. While the knit can run a little warm, it feels comfortable against bare skin. I have run many miles without socks and had no blisters or chaffing issues.

Dialed in are the words I would use. The toe box is slightly wide in the forefoot for toe splay but not overly roomy. The midfoot locks down really well and I had no problems with heel slippage. The heel counter is padded well and provided no irritation. The tongue is thin and is held down over the dorsum of the foot very well thanks to reinforcement from within the shoe. The knit upper feels like it has a bigger pull on the midsole potentially curling it up in the forefoot in a good way creating a toe spring. My feet feel nice when I run in this shoe. The upper can be a little on the thick side but it honestly breathes just fine even in hot conditions.

Nathan: For those who have been fans of the WaveKnit upper in the past, you will find you love this one as well. The lateral (sides) of the knit upper are a bit thicker for secure lockdown while the toe box has more stretch on the top to help increase accommodation for more volume. For me, size 9 was true to size (unlike wanting a 1/2 size down in the mesh Rider 24). The tongue is thin and is attached to the last of the shoe, which does add some stability through the midfoot. The heel counter is slightly padded, and overall holds the foot down well. Late in longer runs, I did have minor heel slippage, but nothing of concern. Plenty of space for those who need a bit more room, but can be locked down well with the lacing.  Despite the thicker nature, I had no issues with overheating in the summer weather.


Matt: Last year we talked about how the Rider 23 was versatile enough for workouts and training. Mizuno improved that in every way possible. As one of my favorite rides of 2020, the introduction of Enerzy creates a firm, smooth and responsive ride. There is a significant heel bevel, which combined with decent toe spring makes the shoe feel lower than the 12mm heel drop listed. The full ground contact outsole makes for a super smooth ride no matter where you land. Landing at the heel provides a quick and protective transition forward into a stable, smooth and fast toe off. The Wave plate helps with both the forward transition and stability. The toe spring does not feel obtrusive and instead makes for a fast toe off. The overall midsole is a hair softer than the 23, making it more versatile for longer mileage while still being able to go fast. In fact, it is hard to go slow in this shoe.

One of my favorite rides of 2020. The Enerzy heel wedge softens the landing slightly while also making the transitions of the shoe more smooth and responsive. The wave plate is no longer exposed and covered by this heel wedge. The 12mm drop does not feel as prominent in this model and the shoe is fluid from heel to toe. The shoe has a toe spring built into it that also helps with the forefoot rocker. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit really hit it out of the park for me. A decent posterior lateral bevel, excellent midfoot transition, AND a smooth toe off? Come on now? The shoe definitely rides much quicker than this because of the geometry but still feels great at daily mileage paces as well.

Nathan: The magic of the Wave Rider 24 comes through the heel and the new transition due to the Mizuno Enerzy wedge. Despite the technology updates being the same between the Mesh and WaveKnit Wave Rider 24s, they ride quite differently, particularly in the forefoot. The Mesh rider is more plush and flexible in the forefoot, where the WaveKnit rider is a bit more firm and snappy at toe off. This means that the biggest change for the WaveKnit Wave Rider 24 compared to previous versions comes during heel strike. The Enerzy heel wedge is responsive and stable, and the flattened plate (compared to previous versions) creates a much smoother transition. The 12mm drop feels much more like an 8-10mm drop after the first 10-15 miles in the shoe. As a heel striker, this is the most pleasant Wave Rider heel-toe transition I've felt.


Matt: As with the previous version, the Wave Rider 24 Waveknit is one of if not the most stable neutral running shoe out there. I generally need at least some mild stability, yet had no issues running extensively in the Rider 24 Waveknit. The awesome heel bevel provides a smooth ride, the wave plate running from the heel to midfoot provides a very stable platform and the wider shape of the forefoot provides a stable and smooth toe off. Massive props to Mizuno for finally making the sole full ground contact as well as filling in that heel. I have not gotten a single rock stuck in there even while running trails!

The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit is about as stable as a neutral trainer comes. The shoe is beveled well in the heel, has a medial sole flare to help extend out the platform, and also the wave plate to maintain a fluid ride with much less give and deviation to loading forces. I have had 0 problems even taking this into trails.

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. Also, that lovely rock catching in the heel is much improved. Haven't had anything stuck in there yet! (same as my mesh rider 24 review without the issue of roominess of the upper)


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit is the fastest trainer over 10 oz that I have ever experienced. The firmer sole and Enerzy heel have a lot of pop. Picking up the pace is not only easy in this shoe, but fun. While this is supposed to be a mileage shoe, I have happily used this shoe from everything from 400m repeats to fast long runs. The Rider 24 Waveknit shined especially during tempo runs and the higher drop made this my shoe of choice for uphill tempo runs (a personal favorite). The toe spring is more substantial than the Rider 24 Mesh and provides a fast and smooth toe off. The Enerzy in the heel creates a firmly bouncy and fast ride/transition. This will easily be a workhorse for those looking for a shoe that can handle mileage and speed and may be a great distance racing shoe for others. There is enough cushion for recovery runs, mileage and long runs if you are used to a slightly firmer ride. However this shoe can move if you ask it and is not held back at all by the 10.1 oz weight.

Ironically I think the WaveKnit version of the Wave Rider moves quicker than the Mesh, even with a 0.5 ounce heavier weight difference. The toe spring is more prominent in the Knit version with everything else similar. The Enerzy heel wedge makes for a fluid yet fast transition from initial contact and stance phases with a quick toe off at terminal stance. This is a daily workhorse trainer that can also get it moving if you ask it to without much hesitation. It could easily double as a racing shoe for the recreational running community. For me I like it more for daily mileage, progression runs, long runs. It can do a little it of everything though.

Nathan: This is a perfect example of why weight is not everything. Yes, this shoe is best for daily and long aerobic miles, but this 10.1oz workhorse can handle tempo runs no problem. Compared to the Mesh Rider 24, this shoe actually runs a bit faster despite being 0.5oz heavier, possibly related to the firmer forefoot. The Enerzy and WavePlate provide good energy return and snappiness as paces pick up. In addition to those longer days, it can be great for progression runs, longer workouts, and some tempos. 


Matt: I have almost 100 miles on my pair and I have seen almost zero wear on the outsole, midsole and upper. The midsole feels as responsive as the first day I put them on, the upper still hugs and secures the foot nicely and that X10 outsole is tough. The Enerzy does not seem to break down even after this many miles, so I expect a far greater number of miles out of the Rider 24 Waveknit than other comparable shoes.

0 concerns with durability. X10 is one of the longest lasting carbon outsoles out there and the ride should maintain just fine with no problems. The wave plate helps extend the life of the foam and maintain a smooth ride as well. There is mild foam abrasion at the midfoot but it should not effect the life of the shoe at all. I don't expect there to be any problems with Enerzy over time but it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in ride if compared to U4ic.

Nathan: The Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit 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. The WaveKnit upper has not stretched out to the point of instability, and has the thickness to last. No concerns here.


     Today I want to take a look at the upper and how it influences the geometry and experience the runner will have with the shoe. In an age where everyone is looking at "super foams" and plates targeted at improving responsiveness many runners and companies may forget about the importance of fit and the build of the upper. Essentially the upper is everything above the midsole and is the collection of substances that actually holds your foot to platform beneath. To some that is its only job but its influence can be much greater. The upper influences potential movement of the foot, lockdown, and how the foot engages with the midsole underneath. Some common things to look at would be potential heel slippage and width through the heel, lockdown through the midfoot, and having a toe box that is not overly narrow to allow for a degree of toe splay. On top of that it is important to make sure it is breathable but reinforced well enough to decrease any amount of foot translation in any given direction. Depending on the tension the upper has with the midsole connection it can also influence the angles and degrees the midsole/outsole combination takes. In the Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit the pull on the upper up front creates a small curve superiorly in the foam functioning as a small toe spring that is still flexible. This allows for a quicker toe off while still having a flexible forefoot. The upper can also be strategically placed with the midsole to allow for potential side walls or sole flares to create lines of stability. The development of better uppers is still in full swing as people and companies understand more and more on how it influences the shoe. The upper is much more than a foot holder on the shoe platform.


Matt: I really have very little in the way of recommendations for the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit. It is my favorite of the two new Rider 24s. As the others will mention, a full Enerzy midsole would be a suggestion, although that may or may not be coming in the future. If anything, I would like to see a lightweight trainer version of the Wave Rider with a full length Enerzy midsole for workouts. I am not an advocate of super low drop for everyone, but wouldn't mind a little more moderate 9-10mm like some other models in the Mizuno line have transitioned to. However, the heel bevel and toe spring make this shoe feel like a lower riding shoe, so honestly it is fine.

I honestly loved this shoe and have very minimal recommendations. The fit is dialed in but I think it would be nice to have the upper thinned a little? It still works very well at its current thickness. I would also like to see a full length Enerzy model of the Wave Riders.

Nathan: There is so much I like about this shoe, it's almost hard to make recommendations. If possible, I'd love to see the upper thinned out without sacrificing the security of the upper. I'd also enjoy a bit (tiny bit) more substance to the tongue. I'm sure this is in Mizuno's future, but I'd love to see how the Mizuno Enerzy (and the Mizuno Enerzy Core) perform full length in a shoe. Maybe this is what is in store for their marathon racer. We will see.


Matt: If you haven't tried a Mizuno shoe yet, the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit is one that is definitely worth testing. The new Enerzy heel contributes to a fast and smooth ride, with a firmer riding sole that handle fast workouts and recovery runs alike. A shoe that will last forever and rides like a far lighter design, the recent upgrade is fantastic. The Waveknit upper fits like a dream and should accommodate a variety of foot types. Super impressed with the recent offerings from Mizuno and I am VERY excited to see what comes from them in the near future.

Potentially my daily trainer and/or workhorse of the year for 2020. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit provides a smooth, protective, slightly firm but cushioned ride for many miles to come with the new Enerzy midsole. Durability is second to none and the geometry of the shoe creates a very fluid ride. For me this a daily trainer and workhorse that can handle some fartlek or progression run work, but could also double as a racing shoe for the recreational running population. Don't sleep on this shoe.

Nathan: For people who prefer knit uppers, a slightly firmer ride, and are looking for a versatile workhorse, this is a great direction to go. For the Wave Rider faithful you won't be disappointed, and for those who haven't tried out Mizuno in a while may want to give them another look. They are bringing their "A" game. 

Doctors of Running Youtube Review

Fit                    9.5 /10 (Perfect adaptable fit, just a little hot in warm weather)
Ride                9 /10 (Very smooth ride. Fantastic heel bevel, toe spring and new full ground contact outsole Would be nice to have slightly lower drop and full length Enerzy)
Stability           10 /10 (As stable as a neutral trainer can be)
Speed               10 /10 (The best speed in a +10 oz trainer that I have experience both at fast and long miles)
Durability        10 /10 (Barely any wear at almost 100 miles. Enerzy still feels strong)

Fit                     9.75/10 (near perfect for me, upper can just be a little thick for hot weather)
Ride                  9.75/10 (I'd like an Enerzy extension into the forefoot for more cushion/responsiveness)
Stability            10/10 (that's as stable as a neutral shoe gets)
Speed                9.25/10 (Fast for a workhorse, could be raced in for recreational population)
Durability         9.9/10 (Foam abrasion to be expected through midfoot. No durability problems)

Fit                     9.5/10 (just slightly thick and some slipping late in miles)
Ride                  9.5/10 (slightly firm, snappy, responsive, and smooth; takes a bit of time to break in)
Stability            10/10 (very stable neutral trainer)
Speed                9/10 (great for long miles and versatile for its weight)
Durability         10/10 (workhorse trainer)

Total Score: % (M: 9.7/10  D: 9.7/10 N: 9.6/10 )

Thanks for reading!

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.

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.

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 89 miles (Matt), 46 miles (Nathan) and 37 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.

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