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Road Running Shoes • May 20, 2024

Mizuno Neo Vista: Surf’s Up, and It’s Swell

mizuno neo vista - cobblestone feature

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What You Need To Know

Weight

9.8 oz. (278 g) for a USM10.5

Stack Height / Drop

44.5 mm in heel, 36.5 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Long runs or comfortable daily miles

Key Features

Soft and cushioned Mizuno Enerzy NXT midsole, glass fiber infused plate, secure knit upper, Speed Assist geometry

On The Run
Excellent upper fit Lightweight for the amount of cushion Soft and bouncy midsole
Price / Availability

Available in June 2024 for $180

mizuno neo vista - blue both

Mizuno Neo Vista

Introduction to the Mizuno Neo Vista

ROBBE: We’re keeping it real with this review, so I have to say that when I first heard about the Neo Vista, I thought: “Yay. Hooray. Another wave.” Excitement levels were low, because the last decade of Mizuno’s history has been a record of repeats. We were promised jetpacks, instead we got the thousandth edition of the Wave Rider. 

At The Running Event this past December, we got a glimpse of the future of Mizuno, and this was one of their main anchor points in the brand’s redirection. A knit upper? When done properly, it can absolutely make a shoe, when it goes sideways, it can break you on the shore like a low tide at Jaws. We’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. A fiberglass-infused TPU plate? Okay, we can work with that. A thick bed of Enerzy NXT foam underfoot? Interesting, despite its aversion to vowels.

Six months later, the shoe arrived. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Because, honestly– after running in the shoe– I’m shocked. And a lot of other people are going to be as well. Mizuno is back and the swell is breaking clean. Grab your board and let’s get pitted.

Mizuno Neo Vista - grey two
Mizuno Neo Vista - side of shoe

LINDSAY: By George, I think they’ve got it! Does anyone remember the Mizuno Wave Neo Wind and Wave Neo Ultra? No? That’s because they were awful and absurdly expensive and no one actually bought them and if you did they’ve been memory-holed. I only remember because I had the task of running in them for a short time to write reviews (this would be a good spot for the link to those reviews but also maybe not).

Those shoes really fogged my brain’s ability to form positive opinions about Mizuno running shoes. I had no interest in trying another, but when Thomas described the Neo Vista’s as being similar to the original New Balance SC Trainer, I had to see it for myself. 

And that’s why I’m telling George that I think they got it. The Mizuno Neo Vista is exactly as Thomas described. (Minor nitpick: I do wish they changed the name and colorway to fully and completely separate these from the bad rep of the aforementioned). The Neo Vista is the ideal daily trainer at a (much closer to) ideal daily trainer price. I have lots of good things to say so without further ado, let’s get to the review.

mizuno neo vista - midsole landscape

THOMAS: I love a comeback story. Tell me you didn’t get misty-eyed when Will Smith’s character in the Pursuit of Happiness, Chris Gardner, makes his way from living on the street to finding success and a better life for his son. It’s too soon to tell if Mizuno will make a complete comeback. However, we are catching glimmers of hope. The recent releases of the Rebellion Pro 2 and the Rebellion Flash 2 have put smiles on our team’s faces, but we have to go back to the Wave Sayonara and Wave Hitogami to remember the last Mizuno shoes we got excited about. That was ten years ago.

We have seen companies turn their ships around before. The formula is simple: Keep making your top sellers, but read the scene. What products are getting runners excited? I’ll give you a hint: it ain’t the daily trainers.

New technology drives excitement. Every brand should have something in the line that challenges the status quo—new upper treatments, experimental foams, and styling that follow the streetwear trends. Financially, your dull shoes will have to pay for the bleeding edge shoes, but consider the progressive shoes as marketing. The bonus comes when the experiment pays off. The brand gets a new audience, a fan base, and maybe even a new shoe to add to the lineup. The Neo Vista, Rebellion Flash 2, and the Rebellion Pro 2 all prove that Mizuno is taking steps to win in the runners back.

mizuno neo vista - cobblestone

What we like about the Mizuno Neo Vista

ROBBE: There are some shoes that on the first step-in, you just know you have something good. That’s the Neo Vista. As with any good knit upper, it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to put on, but once you shoe-horn your hoof into its holder, you are set to forget everything else. The upper fit is snug, secure, and barely requires any lace adjustment. For me, it is the perfect fit. No weird baggy parts, no loose material, no interior hot spots. 

A few steps into the run and it’s apparent that you’ll be wearing this shoe for the foreseeable future. The chunky stack of Enerzy NXT (it’s an EVA, believe it or not) is soft, bouncy, comfy, and surprisingly stable. At slower paces there’s a little bit of a mushy feeling, but once you start moving it all evens out.

I’ll be real, this shoe reminds me exactly of a lighter version of the New Balance SC Trainer v1, and that’s something that we haven’t had but have desperately wanted. You may be thinking, “Wait, but the SC Trainer v2 is a lighter version of the v1.” It’s not though, because the upper fit was never as good and it didn’t quite have that same comfort cruise ability of the first version. This shoe does.

Mizuno Neo Vista - logo upper
Mizuno Neo Vista - grey rear

Unlike the SC Trainer v1, this doesn’t feel limiting if you want to pick it up a bit. That’s because it’s almost an ounce and a half lighter. Combine that with the near-perfect knit upper, and you have a shoe that can go faster if necessary, even though it may be a bit too soft to really get going. The TPU/fiberglass-infused plate helps in that regard, giving you a bit of assistance in the toe off. 

With a stack height of 44.5 in the heel, you’d expect this to be pretty unstable. It’s not though, probably thanks to the open channel underneath that allows the foam to compress and expand. The 8 mm drop is welcome, as that’s neither too high nor too low. Mizuno finally put the 12 mm weapon down and walked slowly forward towards a more desirable drop.

Mizuno’s speed assist gives the shoe a nice roll from midfoot to toe, encouraging a smooth transition that, again, helps balance out the high stock softness of the midsole. They outsole features generous rubber coverage and is surprisingly grippy.

A lot of people are commenting on photos of the shoe, expressing concern for their Achilles tendon on account of the bootie style design. I’m happy to report I had zero issues in that regard, and every run was in no-show socks. The photos are actually a bit deceptive– the foot sits higher than you think.

At $180, I gotta say– this may be the best shoe at that price point. I’ve been going a half-size down in everything since the pandemic, and it perfectly, but I’m at the far end of the smaller size spectrum.

Mizuno Neo Vista - grey lateral
Mizuno Neo Vista - grey tongue

LINDSAY: First and foremost, what I like most about the Mizuno Neo Vista is that it is nothing like the Wave Neo Wind and Wave Neo Ultra. Even the knit, one piece upper is more soft. It conforms really well to the foot and there’s not much need for lace adjustment. 

Mizuno Enerzy NXT midsole creates a high stack with an equal dose of cushion. It’s responsive but still soft and absorptive so it’s not giving bungee feels with every toe off. If you know me, you know I also love a good nylon plate (looking at you Saucony Endorphin Speed and TYR Speedworks). This is where the Neo Vista differs from the Mizuno Wave line where the midsole harbored TPU or PEBA. It makes a huge difference in the responsiveness in the shoe and makes you feel smooth and controlled during any pace. It’s honestly just fun to run in at any pace so if you’ve never tried a shoe with a nylon plate, this is a great place to start.

Mizuno has also added a feature they call the “smooth speed assist” which change the angle of your foot to reduce calf strain. I’m not sure that I immediately noticed this, but I also didn’t have any calf soreness following any of my runs so take with that what you will. If you are a regular Mizuno wearer, they describe this angle as lower than other Mizuno shoes in case that information is helpful. When reading more about this Smooth Speed Assist, they write that it leads you to a more midfoot strike; I can definitely vouch for that. I dabble between all foot strikes depending what pace I’m running and/or how fatigued I am, but I did notice a very consistent midfoot strike while running in these.

Not much to say about the outsole. Kind of reminds me of the Asics Metaspeed. Minimalist, smooth, grippy, and not really all that noticeable (in a good way).

mizuno neo vista - landscape insole

THOMAS: The Neo Vista’s knit upper works. Knit uppers can be hit or miss; more often, they are a miss. This upper holds the foot like a glove. It works for my narrow foot and Meg’s wider foot; that’s a bit of magic. My typical 10.5 US fits true to size. While I haven’t noticed overheating, the temps have been moderate, and I do wonder if the knit will be warm in the hotter months. 

The midsole is where this shoe gets its personality, and it’s a good personality. If you’re looking for soft landings and a bit of rebound, the Neo Vista has you covered. The glass fiber plate is a stiffening agent that keeps the shoe from being too mushy and adds stability. The shoe glides through my stride. Post-run, my legs felt fresh. The outsole grip works. I had no issues with traction, and it looks fresh after over 30 miles.

For this much cushioning, the shoe weighs a fair 9.8 oz./278 grams if you compare that to the nearly 12 oz. Hoka Skyward X or the 11.4 oz. New Balance SC Trainer v1; two shoes that are similar in underfoot feel, but the Neo beats them both in weight.

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mizuno neo vista - plate

What we don’t like about the Mizuno Neo Vista

ROBBE: I’m just not a blue shoes kind of guy, so it took all the good things in the shoe to get me out the door with this colorway on my feet. Hopefully we’ll see some more exciting stuff in the future. 

While I do think this is a stable shoe for its stack height, I would stay away if you have any pronation/overpronation issues. This shoe just isn’t meant for you.

It’s a knit upper. If you live in a warm climate or are running through the humid heart of America’s grundel (i.e. Florida) during the summer, then yeah– your feet are gonna get hot. But you already knew that.

I’m generally not a softball footfall kinda guy, but I did find myself really enjoying this shoe. That said, if you hate soft midsoles, you may be mixed on this shoe. I think the plate helps even it out, but just don’t expect a super responsive and snappy trainer (not sure why you would).

mizuno neo vista - fountain

LINDSAY: Would have really liked to see this shoe in more colorway options! I also thought I’d be griping about the one piece upper, but– as I said before– it’s pretty foot conforming. For my smaller and more narrow feet, it works well. I can see it being somewhat problematic for those with wider feet. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. 

THOMAS: I would not recommend the Neo Vista to runners who need stability. The softness of the midsole will not support pronation. While the Neo Vista isn’t a slow plodder of a trainer, when trying to run faster paces, the shoe can feel like you’re running through sand. Or, when taking corners, kind of like driving a station wagon on a winding road. The weird thing is, even with the doughy feel, I could run tempo paces in the Neo Vista. They just felt slower with the squish.

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Mizuno Neo Vista - blue curb
Mizuno Neo Vista - button

Final thoughts on the Mizuno Neo Vista

ROBBE: You can choose to believe me or not, but the Neo Vista is already one of the best shoes of 2024. The SC Trainer walked so the Neo Vista could run, and I mean that in a literal way. The shoe can run– long and far, wherever and whenever. It belongs in the same conversation as all the top super trainers in its class. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect swell on this side of the Pacific, it’s time to jump in– the water is fine.

LINDSAY: This one deserves a slow clap. I went into this review with low expectations, but the other day I shocked myself when I picked up the Mizuno Neo Vista instead of my Asics Superblast for an easy run. Not because I had to get in more miles for this review, but because I genuinely wanted to run in them. 

I’ve been sizing down a lot recently, and especially in unisex shoes, but these fit my normal size 7 in women’s so I would say they are true to size.

You don’t see Mizuno on too many feet running around in Baltimore, but I think this is a good shoe to start a revolution of change. If you can embrace a blue/white colorway and are in need of some fun, bouncy new daily trainers, I highly recommend the Mizuno Neo Vista. (If they come out with more colors I could definitely see myself buying another pair in the future, hint hint).

Mizuno Neo Vista - plate
Mizuno Neo Vista - grey two

THOMAS: This feels like a comeback story. Mizuno seems committed to innovating their run category. The Neo Vista shoe has the right ingredients to provide runners with a solid running experience: superb cushioning, a well-engineered upper, and a modern look.

It’s a fun shoe to run any distance in. If you ran in the original SC Trainer v1, this is the closest successor to that shoe. I give the Neo Vista an enthusiastic thumbs up. Is this the Hollywood comeback happy ending we are looking for? It’s heading in that direction, but we’ll need a couple more seasons to see if Mizuno can flip the script.

You can pick up the Mizuno Neo Vista for $180 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.

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9
Comments

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Andrew Knox says:

    Hmm, interesting. I’m not usually a fan of soft shoes so I’ll wait to see if it gets #bigdudeapproved 😄

  2. Evan Robb says:

    Since the shoe is higher on the ankle- do low cut socks work?

    1. Robbe says:

      Yep, wore no-show and no issues with rubbing.

  3. Gary says:

    I have been waiting for Mizuno to catch up. Used to be a huge fan. And I really want to like these, but that upper is too much. Maybe for the fall or winter, but hard to see it working in a hot, humid summer.

    Does it serve any purpose?

  4. Dave says:

    SC trainer v1 is my GOAT daily trainer, and while I over pronate, I had no issue with that shoe. Is the stability comparable? You keep making SC comparisons, getting me hyped, but then tell me it’s not for me. Maybe because the nylon plate isn’t as rigid as the carbon?

    1. Robbe says:

      I think it’s just a touch softer than the SC trainer, but overall stability is fine, much better than the Prime X.

  5. Frank Field says:

    I’m in the minority of folks who have had a Mizuno in the ol’ rotation for almost twenty years. Just the good ol’ Wave Rider, and I use it for those slow recovery days where it doesn’t much matter what’s on my foot. I preferred the waveknit versions of a couple of years ago. They simply fit my foot well. And they were on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
    So, as a blue lover, I am super happy to see this and I will certainly try a pair.
    So I wish them well, and I can’t wait to see if this fits into my rotation.

  6. Frank Field says:

    Also, I disagree that 8mm drop is “better” than 12.
    It’s different. It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with 8, or 6 or 4 for that matter. But I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily “better,” especially for a cush cush daily trainer.

  7. Brad Patterson says:

    Great review , as always, BIR team! I have a “rail trail” style 100 miler in the fall (mainly gravel/dirt with some pavement) and am wondering if you think this would be a good shoe for that kind of race. I obviously won’t be running fast for a hundred miler, so “easy effort” running is what I’m looking for. So far, my top option is the ASICS Superblast, but thought this shoe might be another good option). TIA!

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Authors

Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

More from Robbe
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

13.1

PRs
  • 3:27

    Marathon
  • 1:30

    Half-Marathon
  • 40:36

    10k
  • 19:17

    5K
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Lindsay Agro
Baltimore Road Reviewer
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Lindsay is an optometrist by day and runner by… all other hours. Originally from south Florida, Lindsay started running with Believe Run Club when she moved to Baltimore and the rest is history. When she’s not running or fixing eyeballs, you can find her exploring with her dog, Iris, or grabbing a beer with friends.

All-time favorite shoes: Asics Novablast, Saucony Endorphin line, Nike Vaporfly NEXT%

More from Lindsay
Shoe Size

7

Fav. Distance

10-Mile

PRs
  • 3:35

    Marathon
  • 1:42

    Half Marathon
  • 44:52

    10K
  • 22:08

    5k
Thomas Neuberger
Founder
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As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

More from Thomas
Shoe Size

10.5

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 10:28

    50 Mile
  • 5:43

    50K
  • 3:20

    26.2
  • 1:36

    Half Marathon
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