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Road Running Shoes • July 21, 2021

Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 Performance Review

mizuno wave horizon 5 - feature1

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 11.5 oz. (326 g) for a US M9 / 9.6 oz. (275 g) for a US W8
  • Support Wave uses denser foam to bring the stability
  • Soft, breathable upper is perfect for those Summer miles
  • Kudos to Mizuno for making a fun-looking stability shoe

ALDREN: Since Enerzy was introduced to Mizuno’s running shoe lineup in 2020 with the Wave Rider 24, I’ve been excited to see what would come next for their stability collection. The upgraded midsole somehow made the shoe fit better. It had an almost magical quality to it. 

The Wave Horizon 5 is set to compete against an array of top-of-the-line stability trainers like the Brooks Glycerin GTS and Puma Eternity Nitro. For reference, that’s like competing against Courtney Frerichs and Emma Coburn in the steeplechase. How well does this max cushion stability runner stack up against the big dogs? I guess you’ll have to keep reading.

JEREMY: The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is the latest 2021 offering featuring a major update to the Mizuno stability line. It features an Enerzy midsole, a new foam replacing the old Xpop polyurethane of old. The original concept shoe featuring Mizuno’s Enerzy foam looked pretty wacky, but the Wave Horizon 5 sports this tech in a much more subtle package. 

mizuno wave horizon 5 - heel

The Good

ALDREN: Rocking a jacquard mesh upper, the Wave Horizon 5 has that initial slip-in “Ahhh” type of feel. I’m currently running in 90-degree Florida weather, so keeping my feet cool is a must. The upper is coupled with a structured heel counter to provide peace of mind to pronators everywhere.

The Wave Horizon 5 welcomes the Enerzy midsole while retaining a lot of original elements from the Horizon series. A layer of PU-based U4icX foam sits below the Enerzy for 36 mm in the heel and 26 mm in the forefoot. This midsole provides a shock-absorbing sensation similar to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28. The stability of this shoe comes in the form of a Support wave, a dense portion of the midsole foam that assists in limiting pronation.

The shoe is finished off with an X10 carbon rubber outsole that covers nearly its entire bottom. Along with the 90-degree heat, Orlando has been drenched with showers. The X10 outsole laughs in the face of Sunshine State precipitation, handling slick roads and slippery wooden docks with ease.

One last positive has to be the colorway. This shoe falls somewhere between the Spiderman popsicle that the ice cream man hands out and Nike’s USA team kits for the 2021 Olympics. I’m honestly just stoked it’s not grey or black.

JEREMY: The upper on the Wave Horizon 5 is ultra-comfortable. A jacquard mesh keeps the foot in place with plenty of breathability for those brutal summer runs. To top it off, your feet will be spoiled with a pleasantly plush sock liner. Comfort-wise, this shoe scores a perfect 10.

Underfoot, the X10 outsole provides full carbon rubber coverage for excellent traction on almost any surface. I took the Wave Horizon 5 on a few off-road expeditions, including a couple of muddy trail runs. While this shoe may not be built for that kind of trekking, it felt right at home and the traction was superb.

Aesthetically, this shoe looks great, with a blue/grey mesh and orange highlights. Whether it be at the local group run or the office, I’ve received multiple compliments, which is rare for a stability shoe.

Shop Horizon 5 – Men Shop Horizon 5 – Women mizuno wave horizon 5 - outsole 1

The Bad

ALDREN: The Enerzy from the Wave Rider 24 may have set too high of expectations for itself. It hits hard in the Wave Inspire 17 too but it doesn’t feel as responsive in the Wave Horizon 5. For a shoe that retails for $160, I was hoping for more. It feels like Mizuno is still a little behind when it comes to the tech. 

JEREMY: I was somewhat disappointed with the midsole’s performance on this shoe. The combination of Enerzy foam with older U4icX didn’t do it for me. The Wave Horizon 5 just felt too firm through each step. After a few miles, the ride felt unpleasant with the amount of ground feel. For such a heavy shoe, I’d like a little more squish or bounce, and you get neither in this one.

Shop Horizon 5 – Men Shop Horizon 5 – Women mizuno wave horizon 5 - feature

Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 Conclusion

ALDREN: If you’re looking for a workhorse that’ll eat up a ton of mileage, then the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is the shoe for you. It provides a solid amount of lockdown and support for the highest of pronators. This shoe is solid, but with rockers and nitro-infused foams abound, there’s likely a similar or better feeling shoe on the market for less cash (or Dogecoin).

JEREMY: The Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 is a solid easy-day option. It’s extremely comfortable with the breathable, foot-fitting upper, and performs well on softer surfaces. The firmness of the midsole and $160 price tag are both bit turn-offs. As Aldren said, there are so many more options out there with better feeling tech that make this one easy to pass over. 

You can pick up the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Horizon 5 – Men Shop Horizon 5 – Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Ktsg says:

    I was looking forward to this shoe with much anticipation but like you I discovered that it rides hard. That goes against everything in the official description. It’s also not as stable as a traditional stability shoe.

    It feels to me unpleasant underfoot and it’s like not much thought went into the design. Their models several years ago were well thought out and engineered. They provided a glorious run!

    Please Mizuno, get back to the firm and well shock absorbing shoes you used to make.

  2. Aldren says:


  3. Terry Reilly says:

    There are so many shoes that fall into the “Meh….” category.

  4. Unfortunate Son says:

    Per my earlier comment, this time worse since the article was for a single shoe…. and not about 20 ‘bests’.

    What I need to know…. How about heel to toe drop?, ensuring my knees and back are pain free after running in these.

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