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Mizuno Wave Neo Wind: Sustainability Aside, a Killer Trainer
By Senior Contributor David Salas and Content Manager Bach Pham

Many companies are doing their best to take on sustainability initiatives to decrease their print on this planet. Mizuno has taken good strides at trying to create very sustainable shoe with methods of recycling and reducing water usage and waste in the making of the Neo series. The Neowind is a recycled and sustainable daily trainer that mimics similarly to the build of the iconic Mizuno Wave Rider series. 

Mizuno Wave Neo Wind
Price: $220 at Mizuno
Weight: 8.5 oz, 241 g (men's size 9), 7.1 oz, 201 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 36.5 mm, 24 mm
Drop: 8.5 mm
Classification: Daily Trainer ; Sustainable


David: The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is a daily trainer that uses sustainable materials in an effort to have a reduced blueprint on the earth without sacrificing performance. The Mizuno Enerzy midsole that is castor bean based runs with good cushioning underfoot and still provides decent bounce. The shoe runs similar to a Wave Rider but feels a little bit faster underfoot. The knit upper locks down well and the traction increases versatility in a lot of different ways. The Neo Wind is a daily trainer that can serve well on many rotations. 

Bach: The Wave Neo Wind is Mizuno's take at a traditional daily trainer with a high amount of sustainable materials. A castor bean oil infused midsole takes center stage here and provides a very fluid ride reminiscent of some of our favorite Wave Riders, but with a performance edge. A soft, comfortable recycled polyester upper offers both comfortable protection and a reduction in a significant amount of water in the production thanks to being undyed. A very aggressive, very fine natural rubber outsole brings everything together and gives the shoe a bit of bite on the move. The Wave Neo Wind is super versatile surprise for 2022.


The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The upper is a one piece knit that has not been dyed and maintains an off white profile throughout. The material is a comfortable knit that locks down well with good security. It is a little bit thicker than some other meshes or knit uppers, but still breathes decently well. The width and dimensions are dialed in pretty well. The heel and midfoot both have normal width with the forefoot having a normal to perhaps slightly narrow forefoot and toebox. The shoe has a little bit more volume vertically because of the one piece upper but the lacing locks the shoe down well. I do find I have to tighten the laces a little tighter in these to prevent any heel slippage, but the shoe does quite well once I lock things down. There is a decent size heel counter present that has some flexibility. The shoe maintains its structure really well without sacrificing breathability and performance either. One thing I will note is that the material does seem to hold dirt and so it gets dirty rather quick and the dirt seems to stick, but this is more aesthetics than anything.

Bach: The Neo Wind does fit relatively true to size, however runs a touch long. There is a deceptive amount of volume over the toebox as well, which I found to be very comfortable. The mid to rearfoot lockdown is excellent, with the laces doing a fine job of locking you in. I have to say the pull tab is one of my favorite and is essential for slipping into the knit comfortably. The upper breathes well and has helped get me through many muggy summer runs without any issues. Like David, I did feel the need to really both lace lock and make sure I was tightened in to prevent any movement of the foot as the upper is a touch loose. The shoe laces thankfully do a great job of getting you dialed in if you take the time.


David: The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is a really fun shoe. The shoe has a very similar DNA as the Wave Rider but still has its own unique twists. The shoe feels a little more responsive underfoot and features a different outsole pattern and upper configuration. The shoe runs like a performance rider in a lot of ways without being firm and aggressive like the Mizuno Rebellion. The shoe has very balanced transitions throughout. The heel definitely feels a little bit higher up than the forefoot but the foam decompresses and interacts with the plate well to transition you through the midfoot pretty smoothly. The forefoot has a slight toe spring to it but the shoe relies a little more on the outsole and responsiveness of the foam for propulsion. This is a shoe that I really like for daily training miles as it is balanced, sturdy and predictable, has good traction, and not overly heavy. The Wave Rider Neo Wind can handle some uptempo work as well, dabbling into marathon pace work, but shines as a daily trainer for me. This is a shoe that I definitely cannot tell their are sustainable materials as this is just a solid daily trainer to uptempo trainer for me. 

Bach: Anyone who wants a lower profile, yet protective midsole that rolls really excellently, this is the shoe for you. The slight firmness of the shoe is actually a positive here in how well it helps you transition forward through the forefoot and just snap along. Credit has to go to the aggressive outsole which does a really great job of gripping the pavement and letting you really push off aggressively and push the pace whenever you want. The outsole is somehow both aggressive, yet soft enough to not feel harsh, which is a real pleasure here. I just can't emphasize when you are warmed up in the shoe, how well it transitions and lets you really dial into a pace and lock in.

As someone who enjoys a lower profile shoe to begin with, the Wind's excellent turnover made it good for a huge variety of runs, including long efforts. I took the shoe on four long runs and it's handled it all well. I also was able to take this shoe out for strides and some mildly uptempo work also. It's a shoe that's best as a daily trainer, but also can lean slightly into a performance trainer if you wanted which makes it really interesting. The shoe does have a traditional Mizuno Wave Plate - now plant-based -  embedded in the heel which both helps with some stability while giving it a little bit of pop.

The outsole itself has been durable after 60 miles and shows no signs of wear. The foam has only improved over time and required less and less miles to feel warmed up and fluid. During my first runs, it took a mile or two to really start feeling the shoe's excellent turnover, but now I can really slip the shoe on and getting going within seconds.


The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind has pretty good stability throughout. The outsole pattern is the thing that sticks out the most to me. It has good grip on the road but also does not slip out on dirt. I have been able to take the Neowind into nearly any surface I want to. I'd probably still go with a trail shoe if I am in really technical terrain but I have been able to hit some semi steep declines with sharp turns in single track with this shoe. The upper has good security throughout. The knit material is a little bit thicker than some other knit uppers, but it holds its structure really well. The geometry is balanced and the foam to plate integration is really well done. This also gives you a good connection to the ground, especially when transitioning onto the grippy forefoot. Overall, a solid stable package underfoot. I would still say this is in the neutral category, but in that "stable neutral" realm we talk about here at DOR pretty frequently. 

Bach: I agree with David that the outsole just does a really excellent job at gripping the surface and letting you feel confident. The lower profile of the shoe as well helps keep you feeling in control at all times. The midsole is not firm I would say, but firm enough that you are not going to collapse either way in this shoe. The patented Mizuno Wave Plate, like in the Rider, provides another layer of stability in the rearfoot.

I had no issues with my flat feet in the Wind, besides just making sure I properly laced the knit upper up before each run to ensure no sloppiness.

Running Shoe 101: Outsoles, More than just Durability

When we think about outsoles on running shoes, durability is often the primary thing that comes to mind for most runners. The physical appearance of outsoles over miles is often what runners attribute to how long a shoe lasts and functions as the rubber wears from the shoe. Today, however, many outsoles do so much more than just protect a shoe. In fact, they can do everything from providing grip, flexibility, and can influence the entire feel of a shoe's ride depending on shape and geometry.

Forefoot flexibility has become a more prominent part of shoe design in recent years, and has it's own affects in sometimes softening a shoe's ride. Some shoes have no rubber outsole at all, opting to provide a landing completely on the shoe's foam which can offer a softer experience at the cost of durability.

Outsole materials can also dictate some of a shoe's rigidity. Have a shoe with a "slappy" ride? It may be because of the firmness of the rubber.

The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is unique in that it has an aggressive outsole pattern in the forefoot that has a lug-like quality. This allows the shoe to grip the road extremely aggressively and provide a lot of control in pushing off. The confidence in grip lets you really push on just about any road surface. This reminded me a lot of the New Balance RC Elite v1 which had one of the most all-time aggressive outsoles and became a bit of a cult favorite for shorter distance racing. Alternatively, Mizuno's other sustainable entry, the Wave Neo Ultra, features a smoothened outsole. They purposely designed it that way to help amplify the shoe's cushioning and have a softer, smoother landing surface. The flush outsole in turn glides off the ground a bit more compared to the more aggressive Wind model. It's a really great example of how one material can be used dramatically different to create two very different rides underfoot.


The Neowind is a training shoe that really works well with me. The one thing I noticed though is the volume at the instep and tongue still feels a bit much. Though it locks down well once I lace the shoe down, it feels like I am pulling it tighter than I probably should have to. The knit material also holds dirt quite a bit and the aesthetics of the shoe really lowers quickly. For those that want a shoe that doubles into lifestyle, this one is hard. If you don't care about that you disregard completely. 

Bach: I really loved testing this shoe and putting high volume mileage in it. My biggest area of improvement would be dialing into the length to be a touch more true to size, along with a bit more structure to help lock the shoe down further. I thought a lot about how amazing the Wave Rider 25 knit was in terms of fit and locking the foot down to make the shoe feel ten times more versatile and couldn't help but think if the Wave Neo Wind had a better lockdown how much more fun this shoe would be.


The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is a daily training shoe that uses sustainable materials. The Neowind is a pretty versatile shoe that can still push the pace a little bit if it wants to and feels a little bit like a performance Wave Rider. It has a nice sweet spot between the Wave Rider and the Wave Rebellion. The transition is smooth throughout and feels like a Wave Rider, but does have some of the responsiveness and grip of a performance shoe like the Rebellion. The efforts toward sustainability do seem evident and this a shoe that definitely does not sacrifice performance with its usage of materials. 

Bach: The Mizuno Wave Neo Wind is an excellent daily trainer. The fact that it is sustainably built is a bonus, but secondary to this shoe's overall performance. The Wind not only handles easy mileage well for those who like a traditional platform shoe, but also can pick up the pace and do a bit of speedwork well if you want something that has a lot of versatility to it in one package. It could be a great training compliment to the Wave Rebellion or a super shoe. The grip is fantastic and gives the Wind a unique edge. For those who wanted a bit more performance out of the Wave Rider 25 in particular, the Wind is going to be a shoe to have on your radar. Sustainably-speaking, the Wind is one of the best performing shoes in the market today when it comes to both a sustainably-developed shoe along with one that performs at a high level.


Fit: A- (The upper fits well throughout, but does have some slightly high volume through the instep and tongue region)
A (Great performance for sustainable materials, good traction, responsivenss, cushion, and ride for daily miles. Can handle a little uptempo work.)
Stability: A- (Good connection to ground and platform, though the volume thing mentioned earlier makes me lace down a little tighter than I'd like)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (A good push in the right direction with sustainability and training shoes)
Personal: A- (One of my favorite trainers this year. The shoe has versatility to go uptempo a little bit if it needs to but shines more in the daily trainer category so it overlaps with the Wave Rider a little bit.)
Overall: A-/A (A solid daily trainer that provides good cushion, security, and traction while still using sustainable materials)


Fit: A- (Very comfortable, and with work locks down well. Sizing issues may be complicated though due to length and volume)
A (A fantastic transition and ride. It being sustainable is a real afterthought here. It's responsive and versatile for many types of runs)
Stability: A- (A highly stable neutral shoe that I couldn't find a lot of faults with besides the roomy knit)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (This is a sustainable shoe? Get out of here.)
Personal: A (My favorite daily trainer of 2022)
Overall: A-/A (First and foremost, an excellent daily trainer, and distantly second an excellent sustainable design)


Mizuno Wave Neo Wind
Price: $220 at Mizuno

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Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Mizuno North America 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 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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Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra

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