Mizuno Wave Rider 18 vs. 17 review

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a lightweight everyday trainer for neutral runners wanting enhanced cushioning. Learn what has changed compared to the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

NEW! Mizuno Wave Rider 19 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and Mizuno Wave Rider 20 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 19

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is the updated version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17. Both are neutral running shoes that can be worn by runners who underpronate or have a normal gait.

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The first thing that is different in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 compared to the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 is the newly designed upper.

All of the overlays expect for the overlay displaying the Mizuno logo and the one at the front of the shoe have been removed from the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

This includes the overlay that used to pull the top of the heel towards the midfoot in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and the overlay at the back of the heel.

So basically, the Mizuno logo is wrapping the midfoot in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 to provide a secure fit there.

And while there is a round stitched overlay at the back of the heel of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, it is just to display the logo once again and perhaps add a final design touch to the shoe.

The mesh in the upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is still soft and pliable and should move freely with your foot and provide a close-to-foot fit without causing any irritation points.

Mizuno has updated the sockliner inside the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 to give you more rebound during your runs and a better feeling under your foot. All in all, the in-shoe feel should be a bit better in the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 than it was in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

The midsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 has not changed much compared to that of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

The midsole still consists of the same type of midsole foam and cushioning with a parallel Wave plate in the heel that provides shock dispersion and lightweight support and responsiveness.

What has changed is the construction and layout of the outsole. The biggest change has been to the forefoot of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 where the rubber lugs are smaller and more squarish than they were in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17. They were more like large squares with circular cuts in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

This change should make the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 feel a bit more flexible than the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 in that area. However, you may still have to break it in just like the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

When you compare the outsoles of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 side-by-side, it is clearly visible that the area of rubber that lies just underneath your toes and the comes just before the first deep horizontal flex groove that goes from one side all the way to the other of the shoe, is much larger.

And Mizuno say that they have refined the toe-spring to deliver a much smoother toe-off. So all-in-all, the new outsole design should not only provide you with optimal durability, but also better shock attenuation, and consequently help you get a more effortless ride.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 weigh about the same amount, and with a sleeker looking design, less constricting upper, and bouncier feeling, if you already loved the Mizuno Wave Rider 17, it will be hard to pass up on the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, which is even more resilient and responsive.

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.

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This review falls under: Mizuno

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