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I was given the unique privilege by Mizuno to product test their latest shoe, the Wave Rider 20s. I will start by saying I have never wore Mizuno's for any of my races, so this was a new experience and pretty much guarantee my unbiased review of the product. So, let's get to it.

Let's start with one of the most important features of a shoe.....the look. 

 

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side view

I was sent clownfish/black, and I must admit they are snazzy. I never thought about buying orange shoes, but I actually like these. I really like the visible design you can see behind the mesh overlay.

 

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bottom tread

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Now it was time to take these puppies out on the road. I decided to go out on 3 runs, of various distances, to see how they performed.

Run #1 {1 mile} First thing i notice when i slipped them on for the first time was just how incredibly comfortable they were. They snugged right up to my foot, and they were light in weight. I laced up and 1 thing i did notice was that the shoe laces weren't quite as long as I am used to. I typically double tie my running shoes, and these laces were a little to short for me, although I was able to manage a small double knot. I headed out and first thing i noticed was they seemed slightly stiff. I did not put much weight into the stiffness since all shoes require a "breaking in" period. I finished out the 1 mile with no major complaints to report.

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Run #2 {7 miles} Now time for some real mileage. I took them out for the 2nd run, this time I pushed them to 7 miles. This was a sidewalk room, with a couple of good size hills to  add some resistance. As I hit the hills, these Wave Rider 20 responded beautifully. I particularly like the size of the toe box, not too wide but gives you just enough room for your toes to breath and not feel too cramped. The flexibility of these shoes felt really good on the heels. Another thing i noticed is the back of the shoes are slightly curved, they seemed to give me a slight rocking motion as a planted and pushed off. My foot strike point causes the back left tread of my shoes to wear out first. The slight curve in the bottom heel seem to help with that particular area not being impacted as significantly, which is a huge plus in my book. 

Run #3 {12 miles} For the 3rd run, I took it to one of the most challenging spots for runners in my area. The mere mention of Umstead, causes most runners to curse.The park is love and hated equally because of the large amounts of hills and elevation changes throughout. The trails throughout the park is gravel and sand, so it will give a good opportunity to see how the Wave Rider's perform under different types of road conditions. The trail condition and hills would be prime opportunity for an inferior shoe to cause blisters or foot pain. Mile after mile, hill after hill, these shoes did not falter. The flexibility and cushioning took everything the hills had to offer and kept going. Through 1999 feet of elevation increase, I never felt any foot pain or any clue of blisters forming.

 

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these shoes are KEEPERS

Overall, I believe Mizuno has hit the jackpot with the new Wave Rider 20s. I honestly couldn't find anything I hated about the shoes. All runners would like the shoes to be more lightweight but these shoes were more than favorable in the weight area. I think Mizuno may have just found themselves a new customer and I look forward to running a race in these 20s soon.

Appearance: *****
Flexibility: *****
Comfort: *****
Weight: ****
Tread: *****

 

GO GET YOURSELF SOME NEW MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 20s, YOUR FEET WILL THANK YOU.