Mizuno Wave Rider 18 vs. Saucony Triumph ISO review

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a lightweight everyday trainer that provides a good amount of cushioning. Saucony Triumph ISO delivers a plush and smooth running experience.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO are both neutral running shoes that are geared toward runners who are looking for cushioning but no stability and support. They cannot be seen as each other's counterparts, though.

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The uppers of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO differ quite a bit.

The Saucony Triumph ISO comes with broad overlays wrapping the midfoot, while the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has just the Mizuno logo to connect the saddle to the midsole.

Therefore, the amount of support you get from the Saucony Triumph ISO is much greater around the midfoot. However, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 offers enough support to keep your foot on the running platform.

The mesh of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is more open and free of overlays than that of the Saucony Triumph ISO, which should make the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 quite breathable.

Both have an open toe box but because the overlays that wrap the midfoot come quite far forward toward the forefoot of the Saucony Triumph ISO, the Saucony Triumph ISO may feel a bit tigher than the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

So while the Saucony provides a good amount of support through its upper, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is the one which is most likely to feel quite comfortable and looser on your feet.

Both the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO are meant to provide heel-to-toe cushioning, but Mizuno has come to be known as a manufacturer that produces running shoes that may feel somewhat firm under the foot.

Running shoe lab tests confirm that the Saucony Triumph ISO is very cushy and the more cushy running shoe of the two for both men and women.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 provides an average amount of cushioning, which is not too firm or too soft. The difference between the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO should be quite noticeable for men because the Saucony Triumph ISO provides a maximum amount cushioning to men.

For women, however, the heel cushioning of the Saucony Triumph ISO and that of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 come very close to each other, so the only noticeable difference will be in the forefoot, where the Saucony Triumph ISO is very cushy.

The large amount of heel cushioning in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 might be due to the Wave Plate in the heel that serves to absorb shock at heel-strike, similar to the crash pad in the heel of the Saucony Triumph ISO.

The Wave Plate also has a centering effect on the foot, which increases the amount of stability provided by the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 despite the fact that the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is not a stability running shoe.

Part of the Wave Plate also serves as a midfoot shank under the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. The Saucony Triumph ISO does not have a midfoot shank but rather provides full ground contact under the midfoot.

The latter increases the stability provided by the Saucony Triumph ISO as well as its potential of providing you with a smoother ride from heel to toe.

So all in all, both the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO may wind up providing a similar amount of stability and support despite them not being stability running shoes.

Due to the difference in the amount of ground contact offered by the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Saucony Triumph ISO, their outsoles also differ in the way they look.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has a more tradional-looking outsole with a forefoot and rearfoot area that are well segmented for shock absorption and dissipation. However, it has just two main flex grooves in the forefoot.

The outsole of the Saucony Triumph ISO is more of an all-in-one outsole that displays a good connection between the rearfoot and the forefoot. It is also well segmented and has a good amount of flex grooves in the forefoot.

However, despite the amount of flex grooves, the Saucony Triumph ISO turns out to be a stiff running shoe for both men and women. Running shoe lab tests reveal that the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is also stiff for men but somewhat more flexible for women.

The women's version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 weighs approximately 7.6 oz (215 grams) and the Saucony Triumph ISO for women weighs 8.4 oz (238 grams).

The men's version of the Saucony Triumph ISO weighs about 10.1 oz (286 grams) and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 for men weighs about 9.3 oz (264 grams).

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a very soft and smooth ride, the Saucony Triumph ISO would be the one to consider.

And if you are looking for a somewhat lighter running shoe that delivers an adequate amount of cushioning that would not get in the way of making you feel fast, then the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 would be the one to consider.

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: Mizuno | Saucony

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