Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash Review: Joining the Rebel Alliance
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8.3 oz. (235 g) for a US M9 / 7.2 oz. (204 g) for a US W8
36 mm in the heel, 28 mm in the forefoot (8 mm drop)
Uptempo workout days
Glass Fiber plate, Enerzy and Enerzy Lite midsole combo, unbelievably light upper
🟢 Upper fits like a glove
🟢 Great springy toe-off
🟢 Solid, grippy outsole
SAM: Mizuno is up to something. In this great Cold War of shoe manufacturers, we’re witnessing an arms race to discover the one true superpower — a race that Mizuno has struggled in thus far. Their first attempt was the original Wave Rebellion, which we did conclude was a success. It was finally a lighter shoe with a bouncy feel and a plate from the traditionally clunky brand. Did it place them among the global superpowers? No, but it was a step in the right direction.
All this changed with the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro. Like a cow over the moon, Mizuno launched itself into the spotlight. That shoe is light, cushioned, and bouncy, with a firm yet flexible plate. It is everything you want in a race day shoe. We loved it, and you will too.
After reviewing Mizuno’s masterpiece, I was ecstatic to review the Wave Rebellion Flash. Is this Mizuno’s answer to the Deviate Nitro? Is this how they defeat the Endorphin Speed? Or was the Wave Rebellion Pro just a flash in the pan? Let’s find out.
SAM: We have to start by calling a spade a spade. This is the Wave Rebellion 2. Mizuno can throw the Flash moniker around all it wants, but the feel, presentation, and design of this shoe align are very similar to the original. By Mizuno standards, this shoe is LIGHT — just 8.4 oz for my M9.5. In my estimation, it lost around an ounce of weight. I cannot find the specs for the original Wave Rebellion, but Thomas’s M10.5 weighed in around 9.4 oz, so accounting for the increase in weight with a bigger shoe leads me to about an ounce.
Where did the shoe lose this weight? The midsole build seems similar to the first, but it has to come from somewhere. My best guess is that Mizuno’s change in upper accomplished it. Their sublimated upper is lighter than hell and fits like a glove. It’s breathable, supportive, stretches in the right areas, and is one of my favorite parts of the shoe.
The Wave Rebellion Flash also feels great on the run. I used it for some moderate runs, a long run, and a workout taking me from marathon to 5k pace, and it handled everything I threw at it. The turnover feels quick and snappy, and the shoe has a great toe-off. There is good cushion in the heel, the glass fiber (fiberglass?) plate gives the shoe great response.
What is interesting about this shoe is the midsole build. The change from the first Wave Rebellion to this model is the heel wedge was replaced with Mizuno Enerzy. The first model had a full Enerzy Lite midsole, but this shoe has a dual foam build, Enerzy in the heel and Enerzy Lite through the midfoot and toe. Replacing the “heel wedge” with Enerzy foam assists the foot’s transition through your stride by pushing you onto your toes more quickly than a softer heel foam would. This plays well with the aggressive 8 mm offset of the shoe.
For the last positives of this shoe, I want to talk about the outsole. I do not think Mizuno gets enough love for the G3 outsole it’s been using in its high-performance running shoes. It might not be Puma Grip, but it is light, grippy, and going with the studded build over more typical outsoles improves the traction on all surfaces. Another positive is the price. This shoe has dropped $20 to $160 from the original Wave Rebellion. Being a shoe that is cheaper, lighter, and faster makes the Wave Rebellion Flash one to keep your eye on.Shop Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash - Men Shop Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash - Women
SAM: While I wanted to love the Wave Rebellion Flash, I am coming away just liking it. This shoe has the feel of a lighter daily trainer, not a do-it-all fast day shoe. The Wave Rebellion Flash is what Brooks thought they were making with the Levitate 6. It is a springy, stable, and supportive daily trainer that handles everything from long runs to speed work. While this is definitely a positive, it kinda got under my skin while doing repeats at faster paces.
While the Wave Rebellion Flash isn’t really a heavy shoe, it feels like it weighs more than the profile would suggest. I think much of this comes from how light the upper truly is. This gave the shoe a very bottom-heavy feel when I was picking up the pace and bordered on sluggish after some time. The ride of the shoe never got to the point where I did not want to wear it during the workout, but it was close enough that I cannot consider it a speed day shoe. It is a light daily trainer and does a splendid job as such.
Another issue I want to highlight is the stack and weight combination. This shoe frustrated me because most do-it-all fast-day shoes are doing more with less. Shoes like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, Skechers Razor 4, the Puma Deviate Nitro, or the Takumi Sen 9 all weigh the same and have a higher stack or a similar stack and a lighter weight. There is no goldilocks principle here and being in the middle holds Mizuno back. Being the shorter and stockier cousin to the aforementioned shoes would lead me away from the Wave Rebellion Flash for faster days.Shop Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash - Men Shop Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash - Women
SAM: All in all, Mizuno continues to move in the right direction. They’ve created a shoe that is classically Mizuno yet manages to keep up with the other brands. The Wave Rebellion Flash is light, stable, supportive, and has a great overall ride. It is a shoe I loved for daily training but would not be something I would pick for speed days if I had other options.
All we can do is hope and pray that Mizuno feeds off of their success with the Wave Rebellion Pro and makes a shoe similar to this but with some of that sweet, sweet Enerzy Lite Plus. Fixing the issues of the Wave Rebellion Pro and the Wave Rebellion Flash in one fell swoop would be a match made in heaven.
You can pick up the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) at the buttons below.
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Sam tried every other sport before settling on running as a senior in high school. He’s never looked back. He can be found doing workouts in Patterson Park, talking shop with the Faster Bastards, or hitting long runs on the NCR trail. When not running, Sam is a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School District. His other loves are cooking, coffee, breweries, books, basketball, and alliteration.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Endorphin Speed 2, Nike Vaporfly Next%, Asics Novablast 3More from Sam