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Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2: Even Bouncier
By Andrea Myers and Matthew Klein

As super racing shoes have begun to max out foam types and stack heights, new geometries to either reduce weight, facilitate motion or get around stack height rules have begun to appear. The original Rebellion Pro was a unique example of this. It featured large central cut-outs of the midsole and one of the most extreme heel bevels we had seen (outside of the Wave Duel Pro which was never available in the US). The apex of the bevel was in a spot that still worked for heel/midfoot strikers and made for an interesting/fast ride. The Wave Rebellion Pro 2 takes that even further with a bevel design that works almost exclusively for mid and forefoot strikers. Combined with a bouncier midsole, this super shoe continues the 2024 super racing shoe trend toward increased aggressiveness Whether that translates to faster times will depend on the individual. 

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.6 oz, 215 g (men's size 9), 6.3 oz, 178 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height:  38 mm / 36.5 mm (3.5 mm sockliner)
Drop: 1.5 mm
Classification: Super Distance Racing Shoe


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a super racing shoe with a unique midsole geometry that makes it best for those who land farther forward. An exaggerated heel bevel extends to the posterior midfoot, making it best for those who land at the midfoot or heel. A combination of Enerzy Lite+ and Enerzy Lite make for a bouncy and leg-saving ride that works especially well at tempo and half marathon paces. A tricky upper fits slightly short due to a toe box taper. Some will need a half-size up while others may find a perfect fit for longer distances. Best for those who want the most extremely rockered sole on the market and those who land farther forward, the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 returns even more aggressive than its predecessor. 

Andrea: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is Mizuno's super shoe that features an extremely aggressive heel bevel and a snappy, fast ride. As a midfoot striker, the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is the most natural feeling super shoe I've tested thanks to the extreme heel bevel. The sweet spot of this shoe is landing at or just in front of the apex of the heel bevel, and for me that corresponds to half marathon to marathon paces. Like Matt, I found getting the fit dialed in challenging due to the flexible heel counter and slightly short fit, but ultimately found a solution going from my usual size in men's to 1/2 size up in women's (more details in the fit section). This shoe will be a great option for midfoot strikers or heel strikers who tend to land further forward at faster paces. I have enjoyed this shoe so much that I will be racing in it at the Osaka Marathon next month.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 1


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 fits me slightly short in my normal men's US size 10. It is not as short as the original version and there is a slightly above average amount of width in the midfoot and heel. The toe box does taper fairly quickly and puts some pressure on my lateral toes (more so on my left and longer foot). Those considering using this as a half to marathon racer should consider a half size up, while those using the Rebellion Pro 2 for shorter races may be able to stay true to size. The forefoot does fit slightly snug, especially on the lateral aspect of the foot and the volume is low. The light engineered mesh is thin and extremely well-ventilated. Unlike version 1 of this shoe, it is actually comfortable against bare skin and I have been able to do several shorter runs in this shoe sockless without issue. I would not do this for longer distances, but those using this as a shorter distance racer may be able to get more space by going sockless (do this at your own risk). The midfoot fits normal to slightly wide for a racing shoe. There is a tiny bit of increased upper structure at the midfoot but I mostly had to tie the laces down tighter to get a secure fit. Even still, I had some sliding back and forth that caused even more pressure on my toes during runs. This did require me to lace lock the shoe. The tongue is extremely thin and non-gusseted, so care has to be taken with tying the laces to not put too much pressure on the top of your foot. The heel fits normal to slightly snug with no heel counter and a tiny bit of heel collar padding at the most section of the foot. Despite the general lack of structure outside the toe guard that contributed to giving me some blisters on my toes, I was eventually able to get a secure fit by lace locking the shoe. I still had some mild sliding in the shoe, so those who are between sizes should definitely go up a half size. The lighter upper does feel great for keeping the weight down and providing a racing-style fit, but the tapered toe box kept me at shorter mileage in this shoe. 

Andrea: I originally requested a men's size 8 in the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, because Mizuno shoes typically fit true to length, but are a little narrow in the toe box for me. The men's 8 provided more than enough width in the toe box, but was just slightly short. The midfoot also fits somewhat wide, which combined with the flexible heel counter and minimally padded heel collar, resulted in heel slippage and mild big toenail bruising. I had a couple of workouts where I was mainly running in a straight line on a bike path in which I didn't have any big toenail irritation, but the workouts I did on crowned roads with a lot of turns resulted in more foot translation in the shoe. After receiving a women's 10 in the Wave Rebellion Flash 2 last week and finding the fit to be near perfect, I asked Mizuno if I could test a women's 10 in the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, which soon arrived at my doorstep. Mizuno confirmed that the men's and women's shoes are built on different lasts. The women's 10 (which is a 1/2 size up from my usual women's 9.5) fits perfectly. It has a few millimeters of additional length, fits slightly narrower in the toe box, but not too narrow, and fits more securely in the midfoot. For me, the combination of the additional length and more secure fit in the midfoot completely resolved the heel slippage and toenail irritation I had in the men's 8. Men with a narrower midfoot might consider getting the women's model for a better fit. Other fit characteristics of note include a non-gusseted tongue that is held in place by two lace loops. They do a good job of stabilizing the tongue, but I did have to be careful when donning the shoe to not let the edges of the tongue fold over. The upper is a thin mesh material that does not stretch and is given structure by internal straps at the midfoot and Mizuno overlays on the medial and lateral aspects, with the lateral overlay being larger and extending further forward.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 1 vs. 2 Fit Comparison

In comparing the fit of Wave Rebellion Pro 1 to 2 (I have a women's 10 in v1), v2 is slightly longer, has a wider toe box, and a slightly wider midfoot. Heel security in v1 is better because the heel counter has a little more structure and internal padding. The mesh in v1 is thicker and v1 has a row of extra eyelets, while v2 does not. Whereas most people needed to size up in v1, v2 is closer to true to size, but people who are typically between sizes may want to size up, especially for longer distances. The wider midfoot in the men's version of v2 may create some foot translation issues for some, and men with a narrower midfoot may prefer the women's last. I liked the fit of v1, but I prefer the fit of v2 due to the wider toe box and small increase in length.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a super racing shoe with an aggressive geometry. The apex of the bevel has been moved into the forefoot and this is immediately noticeable. It almost feels like there is no heel and instead there is a big bump pushing into your midfoot. Landing at the rearfoot is uncomfortable and feels like that bumps jams into your foot (think 3-4 times more intense than Skechers M-Strike ever got to). Warming up in this shoe was a little rough until I figured out where to land. Once you start landing a little farther forward, the sensation transitions from a speed bump to trampoline feeling. Once you hit the right spot, the Rebellion Pro 2 does feel lighter than its predecessor despite the same listed weight. The duel layers of Enerzy Lite+ and Enerzy Lite provide a really resilient and compliant ride, especially in the midfoot. This makes for a bouncier ride rather than a rolling one (unless you can land ahead of the midfoot).

The forefoot is a tiny bit firmer but transitions smoothly, especially at high speeds. The toe spring is actually fairly mild (classic Mizuno) but the forefoot rocker is large. There is no flexibility to the midsole thanks to the carbon-infused plate. The forefoot transition is smooth thanks to a rocker that starts right at the metatarsophalangeal joints. Due to the aggressive geometry, the Rebellion Pro does best at faster paces. The shoe feels a bit large and the increased foam compliance does not seem to respond best at all out paces. Instead, it worked best for me at 10k to half marathon paces or right around tempo and threshold efforts. Marathon pace and slower felt a little clunky for me as heel striker but getting the pace up over moderately long distances felt best. The longest I have used this shoe for is 12 miles and what I noticed most (outside of the sometimes awkward ride when I slowed down) was much this midsole kept my legs fresh. I am just getting back into long runs over 11-12 miles and was previously quite sore as I usually add workouts into those runs. Despite some blistering from the upper, I have not been sore after workouts/long runs with this shoe. This does give it the potential to be an excellent half to full marathon or long-run super shoe for those who land at the midfoot or forefoot and can optimize the fit. As a heel striker though, it felt better at moderate distance paces both due to the geometry and the upper.

The Rebellion Pro 2 is exclusively a road shoe. I would NOT suggest taking this shoe on anything but smooth surfaces as rocks could easily get stuck in the large central groove. The G3 rubber outsole does provide great traction on both dry and wet roads. I took these out in a recent light rain (in SoCal) and had no trouble turning on roads. Durability-wise the nubs and outsole rubber have remained intact despite 40 miles of hard use. Thus, I actually expect above-average durability out of these as long as you keep the Rebellion Pro 2 on appropriate surfaces.

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is the most natural feeling, leg saving super shoe I have tested, and I do not write something like that lightly. Readers of DOR know that I love the Vaporfly 3 for marathons and the Alphafly 1 for anything shorter, and while I know that those shoes make me faster at a given effort level, I have never experienced the reduction in leg soreness and fatigue after running in those shoes. The Wave Rebellion Pro 2 definitely increases my pace at a given effort, but I have also consistently noticed an improvement in how I feel immediately after a workout and in the following days. This is likely due to the combination of the high midsole stack height, aggressive heel bevel, and forefoot rocker that lines up with my MTPs.

The heel bevel makes it feel incredibly natural for me to land at my lateral midfoot, and the forefoot rocker starts late enough that I don't feel like I am unnaturally propelled into push off. The very high midsole stack in the midfoot also makes the shoe feel like it dampens vibration better as compared to the lower midsole stack of the Vaporfly or Alphafly. In most super shoes, the heel is the highest stack part of the shoe, so those who land further forward do not get the cushioning and vibration dampening benefits of the tallest part of the shoe. This is not the case in the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, in which the tallest part of the midsole is in the midfoot. Mizuno says that the shoe is designed for a more forward foot strike, and I completely agree with this statement. This really is the best super shoe I have tested for my landing pattern. Compared to v1, the more aggressive heel bevel in v2 makes it feel best at marathon pace or faster, whereas I can comfortably do a long easy run in v1. I have been able to use v2 for my warmups and cooldowns, it just doesn't feel like easy pace is what it is designed for (because it is not designed for easy pace).

I have tested the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 in a variety of workouts, including a 17 mile long run with 5 miles at marathon pace, and a few 10-12 mile workouts with intervals at half marathon and 10k paces. For me, the shoe feels best at half marathon to marathon pace because it feels like I am getting the most benefit out landing right at the apex of the heel bevel. This results in a cushioned (but not soft), propulsive ride that makes it feel easy to settle into a pace and keep turning over. Thanks to the carbon-infused nylon wave plate, the shoe is very stiff and feels highly oriented to forward motion. At 10k pace, it feels like I land forward of the apex of the heel bevel and the shoe starts to have more of a pogo stick feeling and like I am not getting the full benefit of the geometry of the shoe. Others may have different pace-related experiences in the shoe, partially depending where you land at various paces. Runners who typically land further back at marathon pace but further forward at 5k pace might find this shoe ideal for shorter races. The shoe feels light on foot and doesn't feel bottom heavy like other max stack height shoes. Even though the stated drop is 1.5mm, the shoe feels more like a 4-6mm drop shoe to me.

The G3 rubber outsole provides exceptional traction and I could actually feel it biting into the pavement when turning. I have tested the shoe on wet roads and had no issues with slipping. I have 50 miles on my pair and there is almost no visible wear on the outsole. I agree with Matt that this shoe is definitely only for paved roads, as I have gotten a few rocks stuck in the midline groove as well. I would expect excellent outsole durability from this shoe. The feel of the midsole has also not changed over 50 miles, so I am unsure how many miles the midsole will retain its cushioning and responsiveness.


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a neutral racing shoe. There are a few elements that add mild guidance to this shoe but it will still work best for those with neutral mechanics. The central groove does help keep the transitions feel a little more centered, compared to the medial collapse of the first version. The bevel in the rearfoot is posterior lateral, which combined with the groove does make for slight lateral guidance at the heel. I have been able to use this shoe up to 10-12 miles without too much issue, although I personally would want something a bit more stable over longer distances. The medial midfoot is filled in now but the width is still narrower compared to the rest of the shoe. There are mild sidewalls at the midfoot but these are fairly compliant due to being small and being made of Enerzy Lite+. The medial and lateral wings of the plate do add a bit more centricity to this shoe which prevents it from being unstable. The most stable part of this shoe is the forefoot due to the wider shape, sole flare, stiffness and central groove. Due to the compliant nature of the foam, the midfoot still feels fairly neutral while the forefoot and heel have mild but not intrusive guidance. 

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a neutral super shoe that is slightly more stable than v1. Mizuno filled in the cutout that was present in the medial midfoot of v1, which does result in a more centered feeling at initial contact and mid stance. The wider platform of v2, with greater sole flare both in the rearfoot and forefoot, further helps to center the foot through stance phase. The extreme heel bevel makes midfoot landings feel more natural than most other super shoes, which has made the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 line up nicely with my mechanics. The central groove also contributes to the shoe's centered ride. I did not feel like any feature of the shoe was controlling or forcing my foot medially or laterally. Overall, the shoe has a centered ride that feels highly geared towards forward motion. It is not a stability shoe, but the geometry updates may make the shoe feel slightly more stable than v1.

Thoughts as a DPT: Do Super Shoes Reduce Muscle Damage?
By Matthew Klein
Although many people who use super shoes often report decreased muscle soreness compared to traditional shoes after races and workouts, we are still unsure if they actually reduce muscle damage. Delayed onset muscle soreness refers to the muscular soreness that occurs in the hours and days after exercise. It is thought to be due to muscle damage and a variety biologic stimuli from disrupted muscle tissue (Kanda et al., 2013). Evidence has suggested that runners report reduced muscle soreness training in super shoes compared to traditional shoes (Matties et al., 2023). 

In a great study by Matties et al., (Shout out to Justin and team for doing some cool research that all of us hoped someone would do), runners were followed over an 8-week training period. One group ran in Vaporflys and another ran in traditional flats. The study was interesting in that those who trained in Vaporflys reported far less soreness than those who trained in traditional flats. There were two other interesting results that are worth mentioning. First, runners improved most in the type of shoe they trained in. Runners training in Vaporflys improved their running efficiency (economy) most in Vaporflys while runners training in traditional flats improved their running efficiency most in traditional flats. This suggest that due to the specificity of training principle, you need to make sure you train in the shoe you plan to be most efficient in on race day. However, runners who trained in the traditional flats improved their economy/efficiency most overall. 

Running economy/efficiency improvements come from a variety of places. There are cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary changes that occur as your body becomes more efficient at moving oxygen and nutrients to working muscles. There are also extensive neuromuscular changes at muscles improve their force output, the nervous system improves its efficiency in activation, tendons improve their ability to store and release energy and there is an improved overall tolerance to work. Much of the musculotendinous changes occur with hard work that causes muscle damage, which in turn the body uses as a stimulus to recover and get stronger/better. This in turn can cause delayed onset muscle soreness. So while we do not have direct evidence that super shoes can reduce muscle damage, we know they can reduce muscle soreness (for many but not necessarily all people), which MAY be a marker of muscle damage. The next logical conclusion would be that training in super shoes don't make you as fast. Based on the above, training in super shoes makes you better at running in super shoes. Rather than comparing one to the other, I would suggest that timing is the most important lesson here. Early on in a training cycle, it may be beneficial to train in more traditional shoes in order to get greater economy and adaptive benefits when muscle soreness isn't an issue. Racing isn't usually a big priority early in a training cycle, so this may be the best time to make large gains. Later in the training cycle as key races and workouts come up, super shoes may be advantageous in order to recover faster and reduce muscle soreness. It is also advantageous to get used to and adapt to the shoe that you will be doing key races in, so switching to and learning how to run in this shoe type becomes more important the closer you get to races and/or your goal race. 

Until we have solid evidence with muscle biopsies (which if someone has done please let us know), we are extrapolating a bit here. It does appear that super shoes may reduce muscle damage, but muscle damage in appropriate amounts is an important stimulus for improvement and adaptation to training. However, early research has suggested that there is a specificity of training component to these tools, so you do have to get used to and eventually train in what you plan to race in. So rather than choosing one over the other, in an optimal world, it may be better to start with traditional type shoes early in training and switch to super shoes as you start doing tougher/longer workouts to save your legs during the later stages of a training plan. 


Kanda, K., Sugama, K., Hayashida, H., Sakuma, J., Kawakami, Y., Miura, S., ... & Suzuki, K. (2013). Eccentric exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness and changes in markers of muscle damage and inflammation. Exercise immunology review19.

Matties, J. R., & Rowley, K. M. (2023). A pilot study: effects of an 8-week training intervention in carbon-plated running shoes. Footwear Science15(1), S182-S183.


Matt: While I am incredibly impressed with the midsole material and geometry, the upper still needs some work. Trying a half-size-up in the previous version fixed things for me, so I suspect the same will do a great deal of good in version 2. The heel and midfoot width are fine but the tapered toe box is unnecessary, problematic and surprising for Mizuno. This company is known for having great toe boxes. The Rebellion Flash 2 and Rebellion Pro series are outliers that need to be fixed. Thus, my major suggestions for the Rebellion Pro 2 are to round the toe box more or at least give a little more room on the lateral aspect of the toes and to use a gusset with the tongue. This is supposed to be a long distance racer. Feet generally swell and are at risk for rubbing over long distances. Adding some extra width to the lateral aspect of the toe box will do great things for reducing the risk of friction/pressure injuries. Or Mizuno could just fix the length. The tongue should have a gusset that wraps from the midsole up and around the midfoot. This would secure the tongue and reduce sliding that makes the slightly short fit worse. The midsole, outsole, geometry and ride of this shoe are incredible, but are still being held back a bit by the upper. It is still a great shoe, mostly if you get a half-size up.

Andrea: I am thrilled with the performance of the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, but I agree with Matt that the sizing and fit could be improved. I really appreciate Mizuno sending me two different sizes in the shoe to help me find the best fit, but it would be helpful for consumers for the fit to be more consistent. I particularly think that the wide midfoot in the men's version may create some foot translation issues for runners, as it did for me. Ultimately, I ended up finding the best fit 1/2 size up in a women's 10. To make the shoe fit true to size, I would recommend that Mizuno lengthen the shoe and refine the midfoot in the men's version to provide a more secure, comfortable fit for everyone. The flexible heel counter and the lack of extra eyelets make heel slippage more likely, so the upper needs to do more work to stabilize the foot in the shoe. 


Matt: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is for those who land farther forward and want an extreme geometry and midsole stack height for longer distance racing. I would highly encourage going a half size up unless you are racing shorter distances and want a tapered toe box. Once you go a half size up, the upper will have plenty of room but you may need to tighten down the laces for security. Thus, those with normal to narrow feet will work best in this upper. The midsole features the most extreme bevel I've seen and works best for those who land midfoot forward. Landing at the heel is awkward and feels like going over a speed bump, which is also why this shoe will also work for faster runners or those with a more forward footstrike. The foam has more bounce underfoot and the ride is more unique. The upper just needs some work or you could save your toes and go a half size up. I hope Mizuno fixes this in the next version as they have now had two attempts. This shoe provides an incredibly unique option on the market that despite some big advances in how the midsole feels still stays at $250 (unlike others that are now $275 to $285). It's just that at this price, you want to make sure the upper fits correctly. 

Andrea: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a super shoe that is designed for midfoot or forefoot strikers and provides exceptional midfoot cushioning and a highly rockered, propulsive ride. Out of all of the super shoes I have tested, this shoe feels the most natural for my landing pattern and is the first super shoe to actually make me feel less tired in the hours and days after a workout. The extreme heel bevel and high stack in the midfoot makes this shoe unique among the increasing number of super shoes on the market. Achieving the right fit in this shoe is tricky, so I would encourage people to either try it on in a running store or order it from a site that has a good return policy. I am really excited to race in it next month and will be sure to do a written and/or video update with my updated thoughts. 


Fit: B+ (1/4 to 1/2 size short. Thin upper with no heel counter that fits comfortably outside of tapered toe box that shortens fit)
A/A- (Bouncy midsole for those who land midfoot/forefoot. Best at 10k to half marathon paces for me but an excellent shoe for faster runners up to the marathon)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Central groove and mild midfoot sidewalls provide slightly more guidance than prior version but still fairly neutral)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Really cool geometry that makes for a unique shoe that will work for a unique population. Incredibly bouncy and leg-saving midsole if you land in the right spot. Cool way to save weight. Upper sizing does need to be fixed though)
Personal: B/B+ (A really cool ride that is cool once you figure it out. The upper prevents me from enjoying this shoe more and picking over others at this point. Hoping a half size up fixes this)
Overall: B+/A- 
Fit: B+ (Fits slightly short, I eventually found the best fit 1/2 size up. Flexible heel counter and lack of extra eyelets increases the risk of heel slippage. Fit is improved from v1, with a wider toe box and slightly more length.)
Performance: A 
(The most natural feeling super shoe I've tested for my landing pattern. Reduced soreness and fatigue after workouts. Excited to race in it next month.)
Stability: B+ (neutral) (Centered ride thanks to balanced sole flare, filled in medial midfoot, and rockered geometry)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (Unique geometry and midsole cushioning makes this the best super shoe for midfoot and forefoot strikers.)
Personal: A (Thank you Mizuno for making a shoe specifically for the small percentage of runners that land further forward. Best midfoot cushioning of any shoe I've tested.)
Overall: A-/A


Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2
Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse

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FURTHER READING: More Racing Shoes

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Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 - One of our favorite racers sees its upgrade, but is it better?
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Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite 2 - A highly experimental racing shoe gets even more techy for v2
Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 - Salomon's first true super shoe
Saucony Endorphin Elite  - A brand new super shoe rivaling the Alphafly in performance
Saucony Sinister - Sub 5ozs of speed
Skechers Speed Beast - A new long distancer trainer/racer from Skechers
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Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite - UA releases their racer, featuring an ultra comfortable platform

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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we 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 pairs.  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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