ASICS GEL-Cumulus vs. Mizuno Wave Rider

ASICS GEL-Cumulus provides a soft and comfortable ride to neutral runners. Mizuno Wave Rider delivers a good amount of cushioning in a lightweight package...

Quick Overview

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus and the Mizuno Wave Rider are both neutral running shoes for runners who do not need much stability and support and who are rather looking for a good amount of cushioning.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus and the Mizuno Wave Rider can be placed on a similar level, so they are comparable to each other.

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The latest version of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus is the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com, and that of the Mizuno Wave Rider is the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com.

The uppers of the Mizuno Wave Rider and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus are similar in that they are geared towards offering lots of comfort to runners by keeping their uppers quite open with not many overlays

They differ in that the Mizuno Wave Rider is one of the few running shoes that still has stitched-on overlays in its upper.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus, like many other running shoes these days, has switched to using mostly no-sew overlays instead of stitched-on overlays for additional support.

Stitched-on overlays are generally more supportive and durable than no-sew overlays, but stitched-on overlays are said to potentially cause irritation, while no-sew overlays are said to reduce possible irritation.

Personally, for the longest time that I have worn and run in running shoes, I have never experienced irritation from stitched-on overlays and prefer them above no-sew overlays.

In any case, the Mizuno Wave Rider still manages to deliver comfort despite using stitched-on overlays, because the overlays are located only where they are necessary for extra support and durability.

The biggest difference between the ASICS GEL-Cumulus and the Mizuno Wave Rider can be found in their midsoles.

Most, if not all, Mizuno running shoes come with a Wave plate in their midsoles that not only delivers shock absorption at heel-strike but also provides some stability and support.

Depending on the type of Wave plate, a Mizuno running shoe can deliver a little bit or lots of stability and support. The Mizuno Wave Rider, in particular, is not meant to deliver pronation control, because it is meant to be worn by neutral runners, so it tends to deliver a little bit to a moderate amount of stability and support.

The Mizuno Wave Rider is a running shoe that has always been kept on the light side compared to other running shoes, and its goal is to deliver responsiveness to neutral runners with a good amount of cushioning.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus is less concerned with being light but has been working towards being more responsive for runners, while still giving runners a good amount of cushioning for long runs.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 22

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus has changed quite a bit since it was first introduced.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20, in particular, introduced a more responsive layer of foam in its midsole and more ground contact than in previous versions of the running shoe.

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The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 delivers more ground contact than the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. This should benefit runners who want smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

However, the Wave plate in the midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 also helps it to deliver smoother and faster heel-to-toe transitions, so it can compete with the amount of ground contact delivered by the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

Whether the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 feels more responsive than the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is up to the individual runner to decide, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 has been set up in a better way to feel responsive, because it has a higher heel-to-toe drop than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is also considered to be a bit more stable than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 due to the Wave plate in its midsole that runs from the back of the heel to the midfoot and also serves as a midfoot shank.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 has been found to deliver a good amount of cushioning to men, so they can expect to get an overall soft ride from this running shoe. However, women get a more moderate amount of cushioning from the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22, however, delivers an overall soft ride to both men and women, and because it uses the Wave plate for shock absorption at heel-strike and also has a softer layer of foam under the heel, it turns out to deliver more heel cushioning to both genders compared to the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

Note that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 adds GEL cushioning in the heel between two layers of foam to soften impact at heel-strike, but this still does not give the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 a softer heel than the Mizuno Wave Rider 22.

Unfortunately, though, because of the Wave plate and minimum amount of flex grooves in the forefoot of the outsole, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 turns out to be a relatively stiff running shoe.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 has enough but not many flex grooves in the forefoot, and because it delivers a good amount of forefoot cushioning (at least to men), it has also been found to be a stiff running shoe, but stiffer for men than for women.

One noticeable difference between the outsoles is that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 comes with a vertical flex groove that is meant to help you achieve a more efficient gait.

While the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 does not have such a vertical flex groove, its Wave plate also provides some degree of guidance through the gait cycle.

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 is surprisingly lighter than its predecessors, and its weight does not differ much from that of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. They differ only by a couple of tenths of ounces for both men and women.

Both the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 can deliver comfort through their uppers and have a forefoot that can accommodate big bunions.

They both are also set up in way to deliver enough support around the midfoot to keep your foot on the running platform.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a soft ride from a running shoe, you could go with either the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 or the Mizuno Wave Rider 22, thereby keeping in mind that women might get a softer ride from the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 than from the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 might also be better for both male and female heel-strikers.

Both the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 are good for long runs, but the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 might help you feel faster than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 20.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


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