AUSTIN: A Mizuno shoe without the signature Wave Plate is like John Cena without his jean shorts. He’s still very much John Cena, but his whole vibe is off, and why is he acting in crappy comedy movies? The Wave Sky 5 is quite the departure for a company that produced the ever-popular Rider and Inspire series.
Lately, Mizuno has been reminding me of adidas in that they came out with some fire tech a couple years ago and haven’t really innovated since. Enerzy is comfortable and all, but the brand can’t afford to rest on its laurels with so many competitors out there. Does this one move the needle for Mizuno? Read on to find out.
MERCER: Mizuno has been falling behind recently, with the Wave Rider 24 as its only real hit as of late. The Wave Sky has always been one of those tough sells in running stores, mostly because there are so many other higher cushion shoes out there. Let’s see if the Enerzy midsole brings the Wave Sky 5 back to relevancy.
AUSTIN: The Wave Sky 5 (or 05 if you refer to the heel) is a daily trainer with substantial cushioning, featuring a sandwich of Foam Wave, an Enerzy core, and Enerzy foam. Those ingredients mix to deliver a super-soft ride that’s got a bit of bounce to it. A padded tongue, heel collar, and sock liner add to an all-around comfortable feel.
Mizuno also cleaned up the outsole. The Wave Sky 4’s well-tractioned bottom made it feel bulky and susceptible to tiny pebbles in the forefoot. The Wave Sky 5 is much less prone to being operated on with keys to remove any debris. Mizuno must have heard the cries for a lower drop, because the Wave Sky 5 gets reduced to an 8 mm drop and is now about an ounce lighter.
After lacing up the Sky for its maiden run, I figured I’d hear the “slap” that Mizuno shoes are famous for. Surprisingly, this shoe kept pretty quiet on the roads thanks to all that extra cush and re-imagined outsole.
MERCER: I actually didn’t know I was getting the Wave Sky 5 to test out and was surprised when I opened the box. My expectations weren’t super high, but this one impressed.
With the two layers of Wave and Enerzy foam and an Enerzy core sandwiched in between, there’s a good amount of bounce to it. The completely redone outsole gives the shoe a livelier feel, almost like you’re digging into the ground a little bit. Unlike Austin, I still heard the classic Mizuno smack with each stride, but it wasn’t nearly as bad. The upper is very comfortable and is just breathable enough.Shop Wave Sky – Men Shop Wave Sky – Women
AUSTIN: The mesh upper adds to the step-in comfort, but this shoe doesn’t breathe very well, especially in the steamy Deep South summer months. Early morning runs can feel like your feet are trapped in a sauna. Also, this shoe could still stand to lose an ounce or two.
MERCER: The retail price is a little high for my liking at $170. This shoe could also be a bit roomier, but Mizuno gonna Mizuno I guess.Shop Wave Sky – Men Shop Wave Sky – Women
AUSTIN: I wanted to save price point discourse for the end. $170. Whether that falls under the good or bad column is different for everyone, but there are definitely comparable high-cushioned trainers for fewer American dollars (HOKA Bondi 7, ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite 2, or Saucony Triumph 19). Despite that, the Wave Sky 5 is still a viable high-cushioned trainer for those wanting a little more marshmallow than the Wave Rider.
MERCER: The Wave Sky 5 really did surprise me, in a good way. I’m happy to see Mizuno begin to find itself again and embrace the future of running shoes. Some shoes that I’d compare this to are the Brooks Glycerin, ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite 2 and the adidas Ultraboost 21.
You can pick up the Mizuno Wave Sky 5 at Running Warehouse on August 12, 2021.Shop Wave Sky – Men Shop Wave Sky – Women
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