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Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash: Trending Up
By Content Manager Bach Pham and Founder/Chief Editor Matthew Klein

Back in 2021, Mizuno gave us a glimpse at the first of their new racing, performance training future with the Wave Rebellion. A firmer, fast-rolling shoe featuring their new Enerzy Lite midsole, it offered the brand's lightest, most exciting offering in a long time. For 2023, Mizuno is ramping things up quickly with two offerings: the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro, their top-of-the-line racing shoe, and the Wave Rebellion Flash, what feels like the spiritual successor of the original Rebellion. The Flash features some interesting updates not just in terms of the Rebellion vs. Rebellion Flash, but for Mizuno in general with a streamlined upper and shifting design focus.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.1 oz, 229 g (men's size 9), 7.5 oz, 213 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 36 mm / 28 mm
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Lightweight trainer


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash is a lightweight trainer/workout shoe for those that want a firmer and snappier underfoot feel. An extremely light engineered mesh upper sits up top, providing a normal to wider fit. The glass fiber reinforced wave plate still remains, providing a stiff and snappy transition that works better at faster interval paces. The Mizuno Enerzy Lite takes some of the edge off the plate, but the ride provides a firm bounce. Despite a moderate heel drop, the Rebellion Flash feels a little higher, making it reminiscent of some of the older Mizuno distance racing shoes like the Mizuno Wave Ronin. Those wanting a lighter, firmer and stiffer shoe for mileage and faster efforts may want to check the Rebellion Flash out.

Bach: When the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash arrived, it was an immediate oooo out of the box. The shoe has one of the most basic engineered mesh uppers I have ever seen from Mizuno over the past two years, providing a sleek white and orange design that immediately stood out. The shoe also immediately felt light in hand, despite being somewhat in the midrange of weights at around 8 oz. The Mizuno Enerzy Lite foam feels more refined and sensitive to the touch. It was one of those shoes you knew would just feel light and airy on foot, and that was certainly the case during testing. Aimed to be a lightweight workout shoe, it really turned to be a volume mileage trainer for those who enjoy a firmer, stiffer ride with a nimble design.

: Puma Deviate Nitro 2, Saucony Endorphin Speed 3


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash fits me true to size in my normal Men's US Size 10. The fit is normal to wider in the forefoot and becomes more snug toward the heel. The forefoot had plenty of room for my toes. The light engineered mesh upper has a little extra volume up front and adapted to my forefoot well. The midfoot fits a little wider like the forefoot and I did have to tighten the laces. The tongue is thin and non-gusseted. It did move laterally a little with extensive track work, but fortunately never became a problem. The heel fits more normal to slightly snug in width. There is only a small thin heel counter (if you can even call it that) in the posteriormost section of the heel. Those with sensitivities should be fine. The challenge with such a light upper is that it is not the most secure on turns. Running in a straight line is fine, but any strong direction changes with such a stiff sole can make it feel like your foot may roll off the platform. Fortunately I learned this quickly and stayed going in mostly straight lines. The upper comfort against bare skin is quite good except in the heel. I have run sockless in this shoe quite a bit and almost did not have any issues except when I took them on a longer run. The stitching at the posterior most section of the heel did give me some blistering, so I would encourage people to use socks with this shoe. 

Bach: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash is a big improvement over the original Rebellion in fit. The upper is true to size throughout. The heel does have a slightly small width for foot entry. I did have to unlace to put the shoe on (yes, a bad habit, I know) as there isn't a ton of room to put the foot in when the shoe is laced up. Those with wider feet in general may have to size up for easier slip on. It being slightly harder to put on does mean the heel security, once you are in, is excellent at locking you down securely and thankfully also comfortably. I felt the shoe and I were basically one and didn't have any issues on the run. It's just very pleasantly light. There is no heel counter which is becoming harder to find in a training model. The Rebellion Flash's upper is all about minimalism that's built to lock you down and get you going - which isn't a bad thing at all.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash is a lightweight trainer with a moderately firm and stiff ride. The lighter weight combined with the firmer ride makes the shoe feel even more nimble. There is a full-length fiberglass reinforced wave plate that makes the entire sole stiff. This feels snappy at faster paces, a little too rigid at tempo paces and stable at easier efforts. A top layer of Mizuno Enerzy Lite takes some of the edge off of the bottom layer of Mizuno Enerzy Foam and the rigid plate. This adds some bounce to the midsole that combined with the plate and excellent outsole traction makes this a great speedwork shoe. The heel transition is decent due to the solid posterior lateral bevel but can feel abrupt at times due to the stiffness of the sole  The rest of the shoe is quite stiff with little to no flexibility, especially in the forefoot. Despite the firmer ride and listed 8mm drop, the heel offset feels higher, which will work quite well for those with sensitive Achilles or not wanting a lower drop shoe. For this reason, the shoe feels solid at easier efforts if you like a firmer ride and great at top speeds when the heel doesn't get in the way.

At tempo efforts I have struggled in this shoe due to the firmer ride and feeling of a higher heel. Those who like these components will certainly be able to use it for workouts and even longer races give how snappy it is, but it has a more niche purpose for me. As mentioned, the traction is quite good. The G3 outsole grips track and road surfaces extremely well. I have over 30 miles on my pair and only see a tiny bit of wear in my normal spot. This shoe can easily be used for well-groomed trails, but anything more aggressive I would discourage due to the lack of major upper security. The durability has been decent and with the already firm midsole I expect this shoe to last for an above-average number of miles for a lightweight trainer.

Bach: The Wave Rebellion Flash is quite simply a lighter weight, moderately firm and rigid trainer. If you like these three things together, this is going to be up there on the top end of your list. There are absolutely folks who will get on with this shoe for those characteristics. The shoe feels very nimble on foot with the upper being relatively minimal and midsole being light as well. Its not a heavily rockered ride, but rather one relying on a nimble design that picks up easily and quickly. It feels good turning over without any plodding feeling. The forefoot has just a touch of compression underfoot that was missing in the original Rebellion, helping provide a waft of softness. Conquering hills in the shoe felt relatively easy thanks to the lighter ride and fast turnover.

The midsole is comprised of mainly a top layer of Mizuno Energy Lite followed by a full length glass fiber reinforced plate that sits towards the bottom half of the midsole. Wedged in the heel under the plate is some regular Mizuno Enerzy to round things out. The Enerzy Lite has a great ride that moves quickly and freely. I think it's actually a very fun midsole its own. The glass fiber plate does highly stiffen the shoe throughout. Those who prefer a flexible ride will not find it here. I actually quite like stiffer shoes for my daily runs when I'm taking it easy. I found the shoe to be solid at daily training paces down to my half marathon pace at most. Pushing the shoe faster though, I found the stiffness didn't really suit my mechanics and made it hard to really push harder without feeling a little scared that I couldn't control the shoe. I enjoyed the shoe for steady to slightly uptempo longer runs though and really loved the feeling of how nimble it felt as a whole on the run.

I did do mostly daily training miles in the shoe as a result and found it to be perfectly fine for the job. The G3 outsole is also quite, quite tough and handles a variety of light terrain well. There's hardly a dent in my pair after 25 miles.

Finally, I did not have any issues with the shoe as a flat foot runner in the Rebellion Flash.  I could not run more than 3-4 miles in the original Rebellion due to how aggressively firm the feedback from the shoe was. This model is much friendlier underfoot and caused no discomforts through all of my testing.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash is a neutral shoe with some inherent stability due to its firm and stiff nature. The stiff wave plate that runs the length of the shoe resists any medial or lateral movement. The plate also has elevations in the midfoot on the medial and lateral sides with small additional sidewalls that further resist motion in either of those directions. This is made less aggressive by the narrowness of the midfoot. Fortunately with how quickly the shoe transitions this does not seem to be an issue. The forefoot and heel however are quite stable. There is a strong posterior lateral bevel that guides motion in with posterior landings. The forefoot is a little wider with a strong aggressive forefoot rocker. The plate further adds stiffness to each of them. Those wanting a mostly unobtrusive neutral shoe that becomes inherently stable due to stiffness will enjoy the Rebellion Flash. 

Bach: In some ways, the Wave Rebellion Flash is stable. Its firmer underfoot definitely puts some resistance from collapsing laterally or medially. There's some sole flaring in the forefoot and a little in the rearfoot that helps center the shoe a touch. The midfoot is not particularly wide though, and the upper locks in well, but doesn't keep you very centered. While it does keep you locked down, but I still found a touch of wiggle room in the midfoot that made cornering a bit scary. Single line strides and workouts are fine, but anything with twistiness or constant hard turns, I'm not entirely sure I feel confident enough in the Flash's upper. Anyone with major stability issues medially could have issues. I would overall categorize the shoe as fairly neutral for these reason, along with the stiffness being something a little harder to control through the rearfoot at faster paces.

Thoughts as a DPT (and shoe geek): Mizuno Racing Current and Past
By Matthew Klein

It was interesting to run in the Rebellion Flash as it brought back some memories of older Mizuno Racing shoes like the Wave Ronin, Wave Elixir, Wave Ekiden and others. Mizuno has always been known for its firmer riding shoes both in the training and racing categories. I would say it also is known for its higher drop shoes, but Mizuno also created one of the greatest low-drop and superlight racing shoes ever: the Mizuno Wave Universe series. These sub 4 oz, 4mm drop racing shoes were incredible in their ability to be so light yet still provide some cushioning. Some people even used them up to marathon distances although that may say more about them than the shoe. 

Current trajectories in footwear development have moved away from the incredibly light racing flats of old and now have focused on more super cushioned models like the Rebellion Pro. The Rebellion Flash still has a taller stack height, but brings some balance to Mizuno's faster line. While the Rebellion Pro is a true super shoe, the Rebellion Flash sets itself apart as a blend between the older lighter marathon racing models like the Wave Ronin and Wave Elixir with the firmer stiffener rides and the new super shoes featuring high-level foams. The feeling of a higher drop is also reminiscent of these older models, which was surprising given Mizuno's gradual lowering of its heel heights (more 8 and 10mm drop models recently). 

In the Mizuno lineup, the Rebellion Flash is the workout shoe/lightweight trainer while the Rebellion Pro is the true super racing shoe. Due to human variability, there are still some that will do better in the Rebellion Flash due to its inherently stiffer and more stable nature. Others who want a more aggressive stack height and geometry will do better in the Pro. This mirrors those in the past who did better in lightweight trainers than the barebone racing flats, albeit for different reasons. While the Rebellion Flash stays more true to Mizuno's firmer midsole construction that the Rebellion Pro, it provides a nice alternative for those who still want a firmer and stiffer riding shoe than can be found in the line up of racing shoes in this day and age. 


Matt: I have enjoyed the Rebellion Flash as a slightly more forgiving version of the Rebellion that I was actually able to enjoy. It did great for me on track days and moderate mileage where I wanted a firmer shoe. It definitely feels like a Mizuno shoe and for some people that will be a good thing. While the snappiness did great at faster efforts on the track, I struggled with this shoe during tempo and threshold efforts. The largest suggestion I can make is to soften the ride. With the new foams that Mizuno is working with (especially in the Rebellion Pro), I think Mizuno can afford to soften the ride, make it more bouncy and comfortable. The Rebellion Flash ride borders on harsh, but stays a tiny step away (unlike the original Rebellion). If Mizuno was able to soft that up and maintain if not improve the bounciness in a way that increases comfort, I think this shoe will be better received by the general public.

At the moment, it will do great for the population that loves stiffer and firmer shoes. Those who are not doing well in the soft, squishy super shoes will likely be at home here at race efforts. For the majority of the population and with the direction the Rebellion Pro has gone, the Rebellion Flash can soften up. My last suggestion is to add a gusseted tongue that wraps the midfoot for better security. While I like this upper, turning was a little concerning given the lack of structure. The tongue also slid a little, so adding a gusset would address two issues at once. 

Bach: I think the Flash could use some flexibility. The Mizuno Enerzy Lite foam being not especially spongy, I think it doesn't need the entire glass fiber plate to perform. Its strength is in it's lightness, and I think it would be fun to put the Flash more in the performance trainer category while the Rebellion Pro fulfills the racing niche for the brand. Even if it is just forefoot plating, I think that would be enough to make the shoe still have that performance, while giving the shoe both more lightness and a little more comfort. I constantly thought about their sustainable Wave Neo Wind model in testing the Flash and felt that the Enerzy Lite foam has a lot of capacity to shine on its own in a streamlined, super light mode. I feel there is a market that craves that simplicity and this is a midsole and upper that could deliver it.

Additionally, I would like to see just a bit more structure of the medial side of the upper to help reinforce things just a bit more when it comes to cornering and weaving.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash will work best for those wanting a firmer lightweight trainer that can handle faster efforts and training paces. The sole is protective, albeit firm and stiff for those who want a mileage and workout shoe. The upper really makes it unique with the lightness and increased width/volume. That uniqueness will be a sweet spot for a few and a challenge for many others. The firmer and stiffer ride really sets it apart from the majority of the current industry trends. It does blend some characteristics from other models as most lightweight trainers do, but again will work best for those who want protection without softness. 

Bach: Ultimately, I personally found this best suited as a lightweight daily trainer that can pick up the pace for mild workout efforts. Those who like a firm midsole with rigidity through and a minimal upper will probably want to shortlist the Rebellion Flash. Those who are also looking for a lightweight trainer with some versatility and no heel counter will also find this as one of the few options in the market to choose from.

I had a hard time fully placing the Rebellion Flash for myself. I personally would prefer to use a shoe like a Mizuno Wave Rider as my daily trainer with its more relaxed ride, even though I really do enjoy the lightness of Rebellion Flash. Honestly, I would pull out the Wave Neo Wind as a performance trainer or Wave Rebellion Pro over the Flash for workouts. This makes the Flash a bit of a unique shoe to try and slot into a rotation. If you really want a firm, light trainer, then definitely check out the Rebellion Flash; otherwise I feel it is a harder shoe to pinpoint in a person's running shoe quiver. There are other options I would explore first for training and racing - even within Mizuno's line.


Fit: B+ (Plenty of room for a lightweight trainer, although not the most secure upper)
B+ (Does speed work and training miles decently. Struggles a bit during threshold efforts but will do well for those who want a firmer/stiffer ride)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Stiffness and elevated plate at midfoot provide plenty of torsional rigidity. Lack of upper security and ride that is almost too stiff makes it not quite get the Stable Neutral label)
DPT/Footwear Science: B/B+ (Decent job easing the harshness from the original Rebellion but could have been taken farther to maximize the Enerzy Lite. Could also use some better upper security, especially in the midfoot) 
Personal: B (A fast shoe when I want a little more heel drop on the track. Difficult finding an exact place in my rotation in this shoe especially as I have come to like some balanced cushioning rather than firm or soft)
Overall: B/B+


Fit: B+ (A little smaller width at the heel, but once on foot decent space throughout and a good lockdown. Upper isn't secure for hard cornering)
B/B+ (Handles daily training surprisingly well, but not necessarily its intended use either. Mild-to-good versatility depending on the runner)
Stability: B (While firmer foam and stiffening from glass fiber plate helps, those who are not used to such stiff shoes may have challenges controlling the shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (New upper design along with tinkering of the midsole shows a lot of improvements from Mizuno)
Personal: B (I enjoy firmer shoes and did a lot of nice miles in the Flash, but it isn't a shoe I felt I would want to use every day of the week. If I had another trainer in my lineup, I would perhaps have a hard time slotting the Flash in)
Overall: B


Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse

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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 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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