ADRIENNE: Until the 25th version of the Wave Rider dropped at my doorstep, I hadn’t thought about this shoe since my college years running to and from campus in my 9’s. Is this a case of reconnecting with an old buddy, or bumping into someone whose name I forgot years ago?
RYAN: I grew up hearing from a certain frog that it’s not easy being green. For years, I believed maybe he was right. With a green recycled PET mesh upper and shoelaces, Mizuno’s new Wave Rider 25 makes it sound like that frog is full of shit. Maybe it’s easier than we thought all along. We’ll get into how the Japan-based brand makes it easy to be green in more ways than one.
ADRIENNE: Enerzy is what Mizuno needed to stay relevant in the game. The Wave Rider 25 is energetic with the energy return and bounce that hits just right without being too soft or too jarring. The midsole and Wave Plate are in total sync with each other to make every stride smooth. Speaking of that plate, it provides just a little bit of stability for those who don’t quite pronate to the extreme.
I’m impressed that Mizuno kept the slipper-like step-in feel that has decent lockdown. When I first tried these on, I was reminded of what made the previous versions good for their era. However, these aren’t the Riders of the early 2000s, as Mizuno does a good job of blending the new with the classic. If you like Mizuno, you will like this shoe, and it’ll probably last forever.
RYAN: Mizuno’s X10 rubber outsole is tough as a bowl of nails, without any milk. I put it through plenty of reasonable surfaces around town, yet it keeps coming back like it’s brand new.
On top of the outsole, Mizuno spread its Enerzy foam from the heel to the rest of the shoe for a full-length midsole. I’m a big fan of the improved softness combined with this more subtle version of the Wave Plate. The Wave Rider 25 isn’t as much of a stability shoe, so the Wave Plate isn’t nearly as extreme as the one on the Wave Inspire 17. This shoe feels much more neutral rolling through your stride.
Moving to the upper, I have no complaints about the recycled mesh. As mentioned earlier, it’s green in more ways than one which is a huge plus for me. A well-padded heel counter keeps my foot in place and eliminates any heel slippage. The gusseted tongue also contributes to the secure fit, but let’s not mention it too much (say “gusseted tongue” three times and Thomas appears, just like Beetlejuice).Shop Wave Rider 25 – Men Shop Wave Rider 25 – Women
ADRIENNE: This is a backloaded shoe, with much more stack in the heel (hello, 12 mm drop). Heel strikers will like this shoe, but the midfooters of the world, like myself, may feel a little left out. That 12 mm drop is noticeable, especially if you’re used to 4-8 mm drop shoes.
RYAN: The Mizuno truthers out there won’t like this take: I don’t like the 12 mm drop. I didn’t love it in the Wave Inspire 17, and it doesn’t work here either. It pushes me to heel strike and is a bit too steep for my liking. If you can teach me to love the extra drop height, I’m all ears.Shop Wave Rider 25 – Men Shop Wave Rider 25 – Women
ADRIENNE: The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is a candidate for Most Improved Shoe of the Year. It’s gone from your all-business, outdated runner to a workhorse with a little pep in its step. While not a perfect shoe, the Wave Rider 25 is high quality and the Enerzy foam is here to stay. Mizuno loyalists and those looking for a versatile, durable, and forgiving neutral trainer should check this one out.
RYAN: Mizuno made a green shoe, sent me a green colorway, and I’d seriously consider giving them a stack of green for another shoe in the future. The changes to the Wave Rider 25 are just right – thank you Enerzy foam – and they have the build to last for a whole heap of miles.
You can pick up the Mizuno Wave Runner 25 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Wave Rider 25 – Men Shop Wave Rider 25 – Women
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Adrienne has been running since she can basically remember but has been running the roads and XC courses of the Houston and College Station: TX area for the past decade. When she’s not running, she maintains her busy sport psychology and counseling practice and has ambitions of living in the mountains someday.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Endorphin Speed (any model), ASICS Metaspeed Sky, New Balance Rebel v2.More from Adrienne
Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.
All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Rebel v2, Adidas Takumi Sen 8 (or 9), Saucony Endorphin Speed 3More from Ryan