I’m always on a quest for the perfect distance running shoe that can last thought half and full marathon training, along with half and full IRONMAN training. I’ve been testing out the new Mizuno Wave Rider 20 running shoes for short and long distance running and I’m happy to share my review.
I had been running in the Mizno Wave Rider 19s for a while, so I was excited when Mizuno offered me the chance to try the 20s. But I was also a little worried – sometimes updates of tried-and-true shoes haven’t worked out. In fact that’s precisely why I switched from another brand I had been running in back to Mizunos for my last few pairs of running shoes. That other brand had updated to a new model and I suddenly had issues. Serious pain issues. So I delved into testing the Mizuno Wave 20s with a discerning eye… or maybe that should be discerning feet.
But in this case, I’ve been thrilled: the Mizuno Wave Rider 20s have been nothing but awesome.
I’m not shy to admit that I have some ongoing foot issues – I have wide feet, Morton’s Neuromas, toenail issues, and even a recent sprained ankle. The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 has not only been working will for all those things, but it’s the first shoe that I’ve been able to run in without my custom orthotic insoles.
It was a new experience for me – wearing a shoe out of the box and having it feel comfortable.
I’ve now put some legit miles on these shoes, and I’m still just as happy as the first day. I have added my custom orthotics since I got into consistently longer distances, but the fact remains that they were wearable for me from the onset, which is unusual.
Things to note:
- They’re super comfy but without feeling like they are too much running-on-a-pillow. I felt cushioned but still had a “real feel” to them – basically, they were Goldilocks for me with the amount of padding vs. feel.
- They are pretty lightweight, which is nice for a distance shoe.
- They’re neutral running shoes. I tend to overpronate and used to run in stability shoes, but with my orthotics I was apparently over-correcting so I switched to neutral. I may try stability again if I can ditch my orthotics, but for now neutral shoes have been working for me and the Mizuno Wave 20 are my favorite neutral shoes I’ve tried.
- They’re responsive and simply easy to run in.
- I liked them more than the Wave Rider 19s. And I liked those shoes a lot!
A couple of other general tips when switching shoe models or to updated versions of the shoe you’ve come to love:
- For distance running, I always go up a half a size. I wear a 9.5 street shoe, and wear 10s in Mizuno running shoes. This works perfectly for me – it gives me enough room for distance running. So don’t be married to “your shoe size” – figure out what works for you with each brand since they are all made with slightly different specifications.
- Try new shoes for shorter runs before working up to longer runs to make sure you don’t have any issues. Even though these felt comfortable to me right out of the box, I didn’t want to throw a wrench into my training by wearing them on a long run, in a race, or otherwise just diving in “both feet first”. I’ve learned that lesson before.
- Wear the running socks you typically wear – and bring them to try on the shoe if you go see it in person.
Enjoy and happy running!
Do you love or fear when the newest model of a shoe comes out? Tell me about a time when you’ve been pleasantly surprised!