GEAR CHECK: Mizuno Wave Rider 20
Now in its 30th year, the Wave Rider has mellowed out and softened in its old age. The result, Mizuno says, is a similar shoe to the Nike Pegasus; it has lots of foam, yet it’s surprisingly lightweight and zippy. – By Ryan Scott
MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 20
PRICE: R2 200
WEIGHT: 292 grams
Previous iterations of the Rider focused heavily on performance, meaning the landing was always firm and the toe-off was responsive, to help you run fast. To reach even more runners, Mizuno has introduced a new, softer foam. The plush ride is so comfortable that testers enjoyed wearing the shoes with casual wear. Alex, from Gugulethu, said: “I pair the shoes with jeans, and yet their performance on the road exceeds my expectations.”
Mizuno have flipped the Wave plate upside down. Now it’s convex-shaped, so that when you land, your heel presses it down in the centre as you apply weight, and it snaps back when you shift forwards.
In line with Mizuno’s Japanese origins, and in tribute to the Osaka Marathon, the Wave Rider 20 is available in two creative limited-edition designs. The Osaka and the Fuji both feature a floral aesthetic. Noticeable and unique, this is the kind of running shoe you can really make a statement in!
The high 34.3mm stack and the 22.1mm forefoot result in a heel-toe drop of 12.2mm. Mizuno have bucked the trend by sticking to a more traditional profile, as many other brands are now moving towards 8mm. But even though the shoe has a lot of foam, the weight has come down considerably: originally 365 grams, it’s now much lighter, at 292 grams.
Available at any sports retailer.