Gear Up! ~ Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Review

The Mizuno Wave Riders have been my first choice in running shoes (mostly) since I was fit in my Wave Rider 15s in 2012. Mizuno generally makes really good shoes but they have a bad habit of tinkering with things every couple of models in a series (anyone remember the disaster that was the Wave Rider 17?) When the 18s came out I was skeptical but thankfully many of the things that were broken in the previous version were corrected! So when the 19s debuted you can imagine my cautious excitement –  hoping Mizuno hadn’t tinkered too much with my beloved shoes.

The Wave Rider 19 was actually released in October 2015 but being the picky runner I am, and having a pair of backup shoes to get me through, I waited for the release of the 2nd round colors this February. I am so glad I did because the Malibu Blue/ Silver version is beautiful and though they won’t stay pristine for long I’ve taken to calling them my “iridescent mermaid” shoes.  The pictures don’t do them justice but it gives you a pretty good idea.  There are a total of 5 color combinations available for both men and women.


I’ve run in lots of other brands and styles of shoes and I can honestly say that the Mizuno shoes have a very specific feel that I am drawn to.  I’ve never liked my shoes to be overly cushioned.  The Wave Riders give me just the right balance of cushion and responsiveness and ability to feel the pavement. The Wave Rider 19 is no exception and they’ve actually added an addition 2mm of cushioning into the interior of the shoe making it more comfortable without discounting from that responsiveness I love so much.

I’ve now run in the Wave Rider 19s on a 5 mile easy run, a 4 mile speed workout, and my 20 mile long run this weekend.  Let’s get into the techy specifics first and then I’ll tell you a little more about the runs I’ve taken in these and how rate them!

Here is what Mizuno has to say about the Wave Rider 19:
410736_4V73Wave Rider 19 on
We’ve taken the Wave Rider 19, our most popular running shoe, and made it even better. With an improved U4ic mid-sole and an upgraded premium sock liner, this neutral running shoe gives you improved cushioning, comfort, and flexibility in every step.

The Balance of Fit and Performance
The Wave Rider 19 is ideal for neutral runners looking for a resilient and responsive shoe with an amazing underfoot feel. This lightweight women’s running shoe is also cushioned for superb comfort and flexibility.

Key Features:
– Refined toe-spring delivers a smooth, effortless toe-off
– Upgraded premium sock liner provides more rebound and resiliency at every foot strike
– New upper design with added durability and shock attenuation
– Drop/Ramp: 12mm
– Weight: 8.1 ounces (women) / 9.6 ounces (men)

And here’s how I felt about them:

This is a great shoe, but it’s not for everyone. If your foot is on the wider side, or your arch is on the lower side, you probably will not find this shoe quite as comfortable as I did. This is built for a true neutral – an individual with a narrow to medium foot and relatively high arch.

And if you’re looking for tons of cushioning and a super soft feel, you might be better served with something like Adidas Boost or Asics Gel cushioning. Soft and squishy is not Mizuno‘s thing.  That extra 2mm of cushioning I spoke about earlier did not translate into a sloppy feel on the run by any means. Running in the Rider 19 brought me back to what I expected from a Mizuno shoe – light, firm, and responsive, with a smooth heel-to-toe transition and a nice feel for the surface underneath me. Actually, I didn’t even really think about the shoe at all during the run, which is what we all want, right?

It’s not perfect though.  The heel area is a little bigger and allowed my heel to slip much more than the 18s so I had to change my lacing a little to get it a bit snugger but once I did that it was fine.  Second, the added cushion in the mid-sole does add height making the drop 12mm which is on the high side for most neutral shoes but it’s 1mm lower than the 18s.  Not a huge change but something to keep in mind.

Overall, I am pleased with the Wave Rider 19s.  They are comfortable over long distances and responsive for short distances.  I would definitely recommend checking them out at your local running store before you purchase them.  If they store is good, they won’t mind you taking them out in the parking lot for a quick spin to see how they feel on the pavement.

Thanks for reading and Happy Running!


2 thoughts on “Gear Up! ~ Mizuno Wave Rider 19 Review

  1. Pingback: Running the KDF Marathon – Post Race Interview! | Turtle Goes for a Run

  2. Pingback: Gear Review! Mizuno Wave Rider 20 | Turtle Goes for a Run

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