Mizuno Wave Paradox vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Mizuno Wave Paradox is a motion control running shoe for severe overpronators. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides moderate overpronators lots of protection from the road.

NEW! Mizuno Wave Paradox 2 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 22

The Mizuno Wave Paradox and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are both stability running shoes with the Mizuno Wave Paradox being a motion control running shoe and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 a running shoe for moderate overpronators.


So the Mizuno Wave Paradox is expected to provide more stability and support than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

Support starts in the upper. For this the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 offers good sturdy traditional overlays on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe.

In addition, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has smaller and thinner no-sew overlays running in between the stitched-on overlays and in the frontal part of the shoe.

This allows the upper of the shoe to really wrap your foot and give you a glove-like fit. And last but not least, there is a sturdy heel counter at the back of the shoe.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox differs a lot from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 in that is has an almost completely no-sew upper and you barely see any overlays. But they are there.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox has very light overlays that pull the saddle down towards the midsole, towards the back of the heel, and towards the front of the shoe.

While the overlays on the Mizuno Wave Paradox should give you enough support to keep your foot in place, nothing beats the amount of support provided by traditional overlays, which can be found in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have midsoles that offer heel-to-toe cushioning, but the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 offers just more of it.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has two layers of foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest one and the one closer to the ground the more responsive one.

And then in between these two layers, there is GEL cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot, thereby making the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 feel super soft under your foot.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox does not offer that much cushioning. And its midsole is much thinner than that of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21. You can see the Mizuno Wave Paradox as the more responsive shoe and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 as the more cushy shoe.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox has a Wave Plate that runs along almost the entire length of the shoe. The main purpose of the Wave Plate is to provide stability and support as it fans out into 2 parts and 3 waves on the medial side of the shoe to prevent your foot from rolling too far inward.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has firmer foam on the medial side of the shoe to achieve the same result. However, because the Wave Plate also has a centering and stabilizing effect on the foot, which the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does not offer, the Mizuno Wave Paradox can be seen as the more stable running shoe of the two.

The last purpose of the Wave Plate is to provide extra shock absorption. This increases the softness of your landings, especially in the heel. So while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is very cushy overall, the amount of heel cushioning provided by the Mizuno Wave Paradox is not that far off.

However, you can see the forefoot cushioning of the Mizuno Wave Paradox as being quite firm due to the thin midsole as well as the presence of the plate in the forefoot.

The rubber outsole of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is pretty traditional with separate rearfoot and forefoot areas that are joined by a midfoot shank.

The Mizuno Wave Paradox on the other hand has the Wave Plate running under the foot and its midsole extended at the midfoot, thereby providing good ground contact, giving you good arch support, and increasing the stability of the shoe.

However, because the plate runs along the length of the entire shoe, the Mizuno Wave Paradox turns out to be pretty stiff, despite having some segmentation in the plate on the lateral side of the forefoot.

But this amount of stiffness is generally appreciated and welcomed by heavier runners who tend to overpronate severely.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does not lag far behind in stiffness either, though, since it provides so much protection from the road with its relatively thick midsole.

So both running shoes can be seen as almost equally stiff with the Mizuno Wave Paradox tipping the scale a bit more, especially for women.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Paradox weighs approximately 8.8 oz (249 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's versions of the shoes weigh 11.4 oz (323 grams) and 11.3 oz (320 grams), respectively, with the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 being the lighter one.

If you are a moderate overpronator looking for a very cushy running shoe that provides a good amount of stability, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might be worth considering.

But if you are a severe overpronator who requires lots of stability and support, then the Mizuno Wave Paradox would be the one to look into.

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.

This review falls under: ASICS | Mizuno

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