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Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 Multiple Tester Review
Editors Note: You can find our Wave Horizon 6 (2022) review out now. Click here to read.

Mizuno continues to innovate with the Wave Horizon 5. The Mizuno Wave Horizon series is interesting, for it incorporates maximum cushioning while still integrating maximum stability without the usage of traditional posting. The Wave Horizon 5 expands upon the comfortable 4 by featuring full length Mizuno Enerzy. Enerzy is the new midsole they debuted in the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 and Wave Sky 4 last year. The result is a plush, protective, yet responsive and snappy ride to the premium stability trainer.

Specifications (per Mizuno USA)
Weight: 11.6 oz / 329 g (men's size 9)  9.7 oz / 275 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 10 mm
Classification: High Stability Maximum Cushion Daily Trainer


Matt: While the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 may look similar to version 4 (REVIEW), this is a completely different riding shoe. The upper continues to provide plenty of room width wise and is a thick, supportive and secure. The sole completely changes with a full length Mizuno ENERZY midsole, which combined with XPOP makes for an incredibly bouncy ride. While listed at a heavier weight, the amazing responsiveness of the midsole makes for ride that feels far lighter. The stability remains through geometric placement of the midsole without a traditional post and is very effective without being intrusive. The Horizon 5 returns as a bouncy, very protective, subtle but effective stability option. 

The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is the premium stability training option for Mizuno. The shoe is unique in that it provides maximum cushioning and stability without any traditional posting in the shoe. The shoe does run on the heavier end, but Mizuno Enerzy creates a really responsive platform that makes the shoe run much faster than the listed specifications. A very pleasant and bouncy stability option is the result.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 fits me very true to size if a tiny bit short in my normal men's size 10. There is a bit more volume in the upper than the previous version throughout the length of the shoe. The mesh does stretch, mostly in the forefoot. however the forefoot does taper a little quick. This made the shoe feel short initially, but has normalized as the shoe has broken in. The fit is fairly normal to slightly wider volume and a variety of foot types will fit here. The upper is premium, thick and very cushioned. There is a very rigid heel counter that I did not notice at all given how thickly cushioned the heel collar is. Despite there being a bit more room, but the midfoot is well stabilized with thick overlays on each side. The upper is not the most breathable being so thick but it is definitely comfortable. The only issue I have is feeling the end of the toe box taper a little too much, causing some pressure on my times. After a mile this feeling goes away and the upper completely disappears, allowing to focus on how bouncy the sole is!

The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 fits true to size in my normal 9.5. The mesh of the shoe is incredibly comfortable and feels sock like throughout. The forefoot feels like it has more room for toe splay and has a little bit more volume than the previous model. The tongue is padded but holds the dorsum of the foot well. The midfoot has a decent hold and is of normal width. There is a heel counter but it is padded very well. Everything about this upper is premium. The shoe is incredibly cozy. The upper is a bit thicker and has a little bit more weight because of this but it is still very breathable. The only thing I noticed was a little bit of midfoot insecurity near the Flybird logo and lacing system, but really it was minimal. That is me being picky. 


Matt: This is the first time I have experienced a full Mizuno ENERZY midsole and I love it. While I like the Horizon 4 due to the unique stability design, the bounciness of version 5 caught my attention. With a top layer of XPOP, the Mizuno ENERZY midsole sits full length on top of a U4icX midsole. The combo of ENERZY and XPOP makes for a very responsive ride. There is a somewhat subtle heel bevel in the rear. It is positioned laterally, so this provides a bit more guidance on initial contact. Heel contact transitions very smoothly into a stable midfoot and a surprisingly flexible and smooth forefoot. The deep flex grooves in the forefoot combined with appropriate toe spring provide a nice controlled forward roll. The ENERZY responds best when the pace normalizes, as the Horizon 5 can be a bit stiff during the warm up. Once up to speed, a slightly firmer bounce is noticeable. This isn't the bounce you have to push to find as the Horizon 5 happy moves along with you. Many heavy shoes tend to make their weight known either through a stiff ride or an overly soft ride. The Horizon 5 is neither, riding very slightly firm. This bouncy but slightly firm feel runs the length of the midsole and feels similar no matter where you land. There is a 10mm heel drop, although this feels a bit lower due to the compression of the XPOP and ENERZY. This feels somewhere in the 8-10mm range, so very comfortable for those looking for something in that range. For use, the Horizon 5 is best for training runs, easy runs and long runs. While the sole is bouncy, there are lighter shoes for workouts. However, the bouncy and protection makes this shoe excellent for long runs or runs where your legs are beat up. Durability is amazing. I have almost 50 miles on my pair with no wear on the outsole. The midsole feel has not changed and I expect an extremely high number of miles out of this shoe.

The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 for an incredibly enjoyable shoe for me. I really enjoyed the Horizon 4 and so this was no shock to me. The crash course on this shoe is that it is a dual midsole design with a really soft and responsive topsole/midsole and a firmer density foam on the bottom to help stabilize the platform. The shoe uses a lot of sole flaring medially and laterally that provides a wide and stable platform throughout the ride. The shoe utilizes a full contact outsole that is grippy and has forefoot flex grooves to help with flexibility. The ride of the shoe is a very balanced feel from heel to toe with a bouncy midfoot and forefoot thanks to XPOP and Mizuno Enerzy foam compounds. The shoe does run a little softer than Horizon 4, but man... more responsive too. The shoe does feel a little heavy, but you will find often times you are running much faster than you think you are. The shoe does feel like a 10mm drop, for the initial contact does feel pretty high at the heel. I mentioned in the fit section the midfoot does feel loose. For those with a wider fit this is probably going to feel great, but it did feel a little roomy and I had a little bit of foot translation in the region, whether it was coming down from the initial contact at the heel and pronating through the midfoot or when I am on unstable surfaces. Overall the shoe has a really fun and protective ride for being a "premium" stability trainer. Due to weight, I do find this is more my easy day and recovery day option, but it can definitely hit daily mileage with no issue.


Matt: Like the Horizon 4, the Horizon 5 continues with geometric stability. There is no post, but the geometry and midsole are set up to provide stability. There is sole flare medially and laterally on both side, providing resistance to medial and lateral motion. The heel counter is extremely stiff and rigid. While the heel collar cushions this and protects the heel, the rearfoot is very stable and locked in. The stability in the midsole is full length with the Mizuno Enerzy sitting in a cradle of U4icX. For me, there is subtle medial support from this design that moves the entire length of the shoe, which is somewhat rare. I did not feel like I there was a post (there isn't) but I noticed additional support along the entire medial side of the shoe and my legs never fatigue while running in this shoe. The stability is subtle and effective. Most people will only notice pressure on the medial aspect of the foot, which goes away on the run and just feels like a great stable shoe from heel to toe. The amount of support will work for those with mild stability needs to those with moderate, maybe higher level stability needs. I tend to need mild to moderate and am actually having trouble tolerating moderate to high stability shoes thanks to additional strength and stabilization work recently. The Horizon 5 seems to adapt well to each person. However, those who do not need stability may find this shoe is too stiff torsionally, so the Wave Sky 4 may be a better option (REVIEW).

A lot of this section was mentioned above in the performance section, but I will recap. Overall the shoe is unique in that it does not use traditional posting to create stability. What Mizuno does is use geometry and midsole compounds to create a highly stable ride. The midsole has a soft Mizuno Enerzy foam on top, with a really firm U4ic foam underneath it to stabilize the platform. The shoe also uses sole flaring throughout the entire length of the shoe medially and laterally to create a wider and more stable landing platform. The outsole is full contact with solid traction on a large variety of surfaces. The upper is very durable and should have no issues with excessive translation or blowing out. My only thing with this shoe is that I feel the lockdown through the midfoot could be improved a little more medially, for I did feel some fatigue in my muscles surrounding the navicular and medial longitudinal arch. This was especially noticeable in light trails when the footing was not always greatest and the foot strike needed to accommodate itself more. 


David: The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 has a lot going on with innovation and stability mechanisms. What Mizuno does really well in this shoe is the usage of different density foams and geometry to create stability. The shoe actually uses 3 different midsole compounds to create its ride. The topsole is Mizuno Enerzy (the new responsive and softer foam from Mizuno) that is coupled with a midsole using XPOP (PU midsole that is bouncy and soft) and U4ic (firm and dense). If you look carefully at the shoe, the sole has some flaring medially and laterally with each layer. Each layer of foam is encapsulated by the layer underneath it, while the platform moves itself slightly more laterally and medially with each layer. The result is an incredibly stable platform that has a wide surface area without jeopardizing the foot bed. The shoe also uses strategic grooves to help the shoe move through its preferred movement path including the midline groove through the outsole and the forefoot flex grooves. From a purely creative standpoint, this shoe is really fun! The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is an example of how you can create stability without just slapping a post on a shoe (not that posting is bad, this is just another way of doing things). 


Matt: I am really enjoying the Horizon 5. My main suggestion comes from the rearfoot. I might suggest increasing the angle and length of the heel bevel. Starting runs can be a bit stiff and this may improve the rearfoot transition. The upper, while there is plenty of room, feels too low and tapers too quick at the toes. To be a bit more consistent, I might suggest widening that up, but not changing the height. Adding more height may make the volume too high.

My main recommendations for the Wave Horizon 5 lies in the rearfoot/midfoot region. I feel the transition from heel to midfoot could be improved. The initial contact at the heel does feel pretty high and isolated to the heel (not bad) but the shoe has a little too much space in the midfoot region (for my foot). The transition feels like I pronate a little quickly or my foot moves faster than I would like into the midfoot transition. The midfoot lockdown feels like it can be improved near the Flybird logo. I feel like if the laces were lowered down more through that region medially and laterally (similar to Adidas Adizero Pro) that might fix up the issue. 

Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 after 100 Miles

By Bach Pham, DOR Social Media Manager
Runs: 24

Hey runners, Bach here with a look at my time in the Wave Horizon 5, Mizuno's premium stability trainer. This is a couple of firsts for me, both my first Mizuno and my first extended time in a stability trainer.

The Horizon 5 initially for me felt weighted, but ran much lighter after a couple of runs and became an elegant mileage eater. The ride is soft landing on the Enerzy foam and firm taking off on the U4iC underneath. A non-stability shoe can often land soft throughout which is where instability can come in. The Horizon does a good job of counteracting that with the firmer U4iC.

The shoe has been perfect for recovery runs thanks to the soft landing and smooth transitions, along with a wide base giving tired legs an easy platform to roll along in. It’s also one of the few shoes that I found dialing down the pace to be extremely easy while also still being able to roll through with ease. I’m a slow runner already, but on recovery days when I’m trying to go well below my regular paces (9-9:30 min miles), the Horizon 5 was one of the few shoes I found really easy to dial it back further into 10 minute paces while still maintaining a smooth ride. A lot of shoes today are so fast and admittedly fun, which means pushing the pace way harder than I plan on my recovery days. Just having a really smooth ride with a large landing platform with tons of sole flaring to help stabilize my tired legs has been a big appeal of the Horizon 5 and why I’ve reached for it a lot these past two months, especially for days where I’m running doubles on tired legs as I’m slowly upping mileage.

Though labeled stability, mentally this shoe feels like a neutral trainer with a highly stable platform, which is different from my experience in posted shoes like the New Balance 860v11 which is much more of a present feeling. I have done two long runs in the Horizon, but it would not be my first choice just due to weight being noticeable in later miles. I loved the Horizon for doubles where you are just trying to put a shoe on and squeak mileage out.

Durability-wise, the shoe is a tank. There is some regular wear on the heel that I see in all of my shoes, but there is such a thick layer of outsole that there’s no way that will be the reason the shoe breaks down. The Enerzy is a great foam in that it’s soft and needs little break-in, but the U4iC has particularly broken in, offering a slightly softer ride over time, while still giving the necessary firmness that makes the Horizon so stable.

The Horizon 5 is a perfect gateway shoe for those looking for a very stable recovery to easy day shoe that runs very traditional without any kind of posting or guidance to interfere with your mechanics. The shoe is also a great walking shoe thanks to its premium padding and softness throughout in tandem with its stable base. I’ll definitely be keeping it in my rotation for days where I just want to get reliable miles under tired legs.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is a highly cushioned, highly protective, bouncy, luxury easy day and long run trainer that runs much lighter than the listed weight. The upper is very plush with a bit more volume throughout without losing upper security. The toe box is a bit low and tapered, but know that will break in. The full length Mizuno Enerzy has me incredibly excited for the Mizuno 2021-2022 line. It feels bouncy, but a controlled bouncy. Paired with an incredibly durable outsole and a full length XPOP layer, this is my favorite shoe for when my legs are beat up and I need some full length, unobtrusive stability. There is no post, but this is still a moderate level stability shoe with geometric stability through the length of the shoe with a thick, but fully cushioned heel counter. Best for easy days, long runs and recovery shoes, the Horizon 5 returns looking similar but riding incredibly different.

The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is a premium stability daily training option for those looking for a lot of protection without jeopardizing responsiveness. The shoe does come with a little more weight but has an incredibly comfortable upper and ride. Everything about this shoe is premium. For me this is an easy day/ recovery day shoe for when my legs feel beat up and I need a little more stability on my legs. For others this can EASILY take on daily mileage. I just tend to like something a little bit lighter on my feet for normal daily mileage.


Fit: B (Secure and solid upper. Very cushioned with more volume. However toe box tapers a bit quick. Also upper is very thick and can run a little warm)                     
Performance: B+ (Full length Mizuno Enerzy and XPOP makes for a bouncy ride. Awesome long run and recovery shoe that keeps your legs moving even if they are beat up. Nice flexibility in forefoot for a shoe this protective. Heel bevel could be increased a bit more to smooth out rearfoot landings) 
Stability: A (Full length stability without a post. Noticeable support, but integrates very well. Stiff and supportive heel counter, but it is well cushioned).
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Massive points for again integrating geometric stability through the length of the shoe. This will work for a huge variety of people needing stability. Also very good job integrating Mizuno Enerzy and making the ride stable AND bouncy. Heel bevel still needs a little more angulation) 
Personal:  A- (I really like this shoe. Best for recovery days, mileage and long runs. It disappears on my feet and I know I can trust it. I don't notice the weight, but this makes me excited for future Riders and Inspires with full length Enerzy foam) 
Overall: A-/B+ (An incredible combination of controlled bounciness and full length stability. The Horizon 5 should work well for those who want a little more volume, plenty of cushion and geometric stability)              

Fit: B (Really solid upper but I think midfoot lockdown could improve, for wider feet though this might be an awesome option)                    
B+ (Soft and protective, but still really responsive, weight does hold it back, midfoot fit takes a little bit away as well) 
A- (Really the only thing for me is the midfoot here, everything else is REALLY solid from geometry and foam density and upper materials) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
A- (For how many components are on this shoe, the lab experiment crushed it with integrating so many things into one piece of footwear) 
A- (I really like the Horizon 5. It is protective and a shoe I reach for on my recovery days. It is a little too much weight for me personally on other days) 
Overall:  B+/A- (One of the most responsive rides you will get from a premium trainer, very stable, but midfoot lockdown and weight do limit the performance of the shoe to some capacity)        


Interested in purchasing the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5? Visit Running Warehouse here to shop. Using this link to purchase the Horizon helps support our work at Doctors of Running! Thank you so much.


Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 - Everyday stability trainer from Mizuno
Saucony Hurricane 23 - Traditional posted stability trainer with high cushioning. Definite contender with Horizon depending on your needs.
Hoka One One Arahi 5 - J-Frame offers another approach to stability
ASICS Kayano Lite - Brand new take on stability from ASICS: lighter, with focus on geometry for stability

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Thanks for reading!


Dr. Matthew Klein is a 145 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 ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 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

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Mizuno USA for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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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