Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mizuno Wave Rider 25 Multi Tester Review: Modern Energy!

Article by Bryan Lim, Zack Dunn, Jeff Beck, and Sam Winebaum 

Mizuno Wave Rider 25  ($135)


Introduction

Bryan: I’m not sure if you remember Mizuno’s almost farcical release of ‘The Mizuno Enerzy’ which featured a pink bubbled midsole that resembled a Hong Kong Egg Waffle. Google it, it’s a thing! Fast forward to now, where the Wave Rider 25 forwards the lineage of Mizuno’s long standing traditional daily trainer, and the second iteration to feature the Enerzy midsole which is claimed to be 17% softer and delivers 15% more energy return than previously used materials. The Wave Rider 25 continues Mizuno’s tradition of including a plastic Wave Plate (now in a new geometry and made of bio based PEBA materials)  running from the rear to midfoot to provide a stable but springy ride. What we have here is a sleek looking, well balanced and protective trainer you would wear several times a week if it finds a place in your rotation.



Sam:  Mizuno is not a brand I have run much until recent years. I recall a few Wave Riders years back. The Wave Sky 3 was a pleasant surprise a few years back with its surprisingly springy big shoe ride. It was my heavy duty big shoe of 2019. Then the recent Wave Sky 4 a far firmer not as pleasant ride with a basically un noticeable layer of Enerzy.. Hearing that the Wave Rider 25 would get a full Enerzy midsole with an updated geometry, but still with the classic big drop 32mm heel / 20mm stack I was curious to test. 

As soon as I received and not having the WR24 I went to my local running store, Runner’s Alley, and tried one on each foot. I immediately noticed walking around the store:

  • The platform felt wider

  • The Wave plate while Mizuno told us it is not as flat as before was less noticed and there was less arch pressure

  • There was a more distinct sense of easy fall forward, likely the more sloping plate here

  • The WR25 was more flexible, softer, and bouncier

  • The upper was clearly softer on the foot, more spacious (but well held), and soffter



All of the above was super promising. Read on to find out how they run!


Pros:

Responsive and lively ride, versatile, “classic” flexible running shoe Bryan/Sam/Zack/Jeff/Sam

Dual density Enerzy makes for a lively soft, bouncy ride, well cushioned at the heel, agile up front-Sam/Zack/Jeff

Wave plate is unnoticed and stabilizes the softer Enerzy well -Sam/Zack

Geometry of deep heel decoupling, Wave plate, and 12mm drop moves the foot down and forwarded to an easy flexible toe and not as abruptly as drop would point to -Sam

Smooth fitting upper with excellent heel to mid foot hold: Sam/Zack/Jeff



Cons:

Forefoot cushion a bit thin and could use 2mm of the heel stack up front-Sam/Jeff

12mm drop is noticeable, add 2mm to the forefoot, take 2mm off heel? -Bryan/Sam

Sober styling does not match model's new found energetic ride. Sam

Stats

Estimated Weight:  9.77 oz  / 277g (US 9)

  Samples: 9.77 oz  / 277g (US 9), 10.51oz / 298g (US10.5)

Wave Rider 24: 10.6 ounces / 301 grams men’s US10.5

Midsole Stack Height: 32mm heel / 20mm forefoot, 12mm drop

Full Stack Height (Running Warehouse data for Wave Rider 24): 36mm/24mm

Available Now including Running Warehouse HERE


Tester Profiles

Bryan is a road and trail runner living in Melbourne, Australia. He is a consistent sub 1:25 half marathoner and is presently chasing a sub 3-hour marathon. He is 176cm/ 5'9" tall and weighs about 63kg / 140lbs.

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Zack Dunn: I am a rising  high school senior. I’ve been running for 7 years, and focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 2:02 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying to many fine New England IPA.


First Impressions and Fit


Bryan: I had no expectations opening up the box to my first pair of Mizunos since 2018, with many peers locally finding Mizuno to have gone stale in their innovation. Quoting a fellow mate and Australian reviewer, “the shoes seem to stick to the same formula every year”. But lo and behold, with the advent of Enerzy, it appears that Mizuno have even gone above and beyond in providing us with this modern looking every day trainer. First time on my feet, the Wave Rider 25 is true to size and is one of the few shoes that felt right in the sense that I knew they would work for me even before taking them out. I found there to be absolutely no concerns around fit for me personally. It's a pretty slim looking shoe for how much cushion the upper provides. Let’s see how this performs on the run.


Zack: In all honesty, I never wore Mizuno shoes and never really thought of wearing them. I did have one friend who wore Mizuno shoes, and he said they were “decent.” Going into this review of my first Mizuno shoe, I wasn't expecting much but upon my first couple of runs I was pleasantly surprised. The shoes overall performed well.

Jeff: I came back to the Wave Rider last year with both the 24 and Neo, which was only released in a few various markets outside the US. The 24 was my first WR in a few years, and I was very impressed with the changes they had made to help mix it up, with the Enerzy midsole being the main improvement. That said, the 25 introduces much more Enerzy into midsole, the 24’s Enerzy was really only part of the cushioning in the midfoot back to the heel. At a time where we are seeing more and more new revolutionary midsole materials, Enerzy is among the top of them for me.

                                                                                                                             

Sam: Sober classic colors in blue with mid foot 3D printed overlays a brighter splash along with  the thin reflective logo breaking things up. I do think none of our colorways reflect what an exciting ride the WR25 has and that is a bit of a misstep. At least one color should be...exciting…

As with every Mizuno I have tested in the last few years, each shoe in a pair weighs exactly the same to the gram. Quality, Control!


The fit is spacious and very well held at the same time, the gusset tongue moderately thick and appropriately padded with a stretch gusset to the midsole. The fit is true to size and about as both comfortable and secure as any trainer upper out there. The toe box is relatively unstructured and while perfectly adequate in hold more comfort than performance oriented If in the past you were on the border of wide and went that way, say in the WR24 I don’t think, based on my store try ons you will need. If you do WR25 is available in 2E wides for men and D for women.


Upper


Bryan: If I had to describe the upper in one, it would be no-frills. It consists of just about everything I would wish for in an everyday mileage trainer with just the right amount of cushion in the heel and collar, a gusseted and cushioned tongue and a seamless recycled PET mesh construct with enough perforations to provide ventilation on warmer days. Design wise, it's just about as clean looking as you can get which is welcomed in a sea of attention grabbing designs on the market now. Performance wise, the upper offers good lockdown at all speeds. It also feels like it's constructed to last. 


Zack: I personally thought the upper was simple yet executed very well with no complaints. It performed just as an upper should. It had just the right amount of cushion in the heel and collar to be comfortable but not feel overly plush. The tongue was also padded very nicely to ensure the laces don't dig into the top of the foot. As with being padded well, the tongue is also gusseted which provides a nice midfoot lockdown. The lockdown was great all around as I experienced no kind of slippage in the shoe. The laces were the perfect length. Honestly, I can't really say anything about breathability, as my runs were in the 85-90 degree weather, and my feet were hot regardless and would be hot in any other shoe so I think it’d be unfair for me to talk about breathability with it already being hot on my runs. Overall though, I was pleased with the upper and felt it performed well and is made to last.



Jeff: I completely agree with Bryan and Zack, this is one of the more plain Jane uppers around, but don’t take that to be an insult. While the aesthetics would look at home in a department store sneaker, the fit, finish, and execution are still very much Mizuno tier - which for me is among the top of the game. There isn’t enough material to feel truly plush, but there is a nice feel to every surface. 

The tongue is so well gusseted it is nearly an inner bootie, and Zack is spot on - the tongue is nicely padded. 

Toebox isn’t amazing, but I’d put it in the “very good” tier. The toebox mesh has good vertical stretch, and ample horizontal stretch as well. If you need an Altra or Topo these might be a little tight, but for most runners this toebox is more than enough.


Sam: Not much to add to what the guys have said. A clean top notch comfortable and secure trainer upper.


Midsole


Dual layers of Enerzy foam of the same durometer (firmness). The top layer is compression molded while the bottom is injection molded for more contact durability.  Both are relatively soft foams especially so from Mizuno and with noticeable rebound.

Bryan: If the upper was good, the midsole is great. Looking beyond the plush insole, the Enerzy midsole is indeed softer than their pre-Enerzy shoes. I personally am not one for ultra-soft shoes e.g. Hoka Clifton, but this was the right kind of soft, with a level of responsiveness and ground feel. Together with the “bio” Wave Plate made from caster beans, the midsole works a treat. Note also that the shape of the Wave Plate is new, as compared to the Wave Rider 24 which was less pronounced, especially in the rear. It would appear that heel strikers would benefit more from the more propulsive looking plate.


Mizuno has sculpted the midsole to prevent rocks and debris from getting caught in the gaps between the plate and the midsole foam. See also images below where the plate is exposed from the underfoot. This has worked well, and it appears there has been a focus on this as compared to previous models. I would also have to say that the overall sculpting is aesthetically pleasing and contrasts well with the sleek upper.



Zack: I can say I was pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed this midsole. It was soft and really forgiving, which made running on hard pavement especially nice. It isn’t the most cushioned shoe, but I feel the softness of the midsole allows it to go up to slightly higher distances. I would say the midsole has somewhat responsiveness to it, but that's definitely not where it shines. The midsole also features Mizunos signature Wave Plate which adds structure and stability in the soft heel. Overall I was pleased with the midsole.

Jeff: Bryan sums it up well, this is “soft” for a Mizuno, and really a big step forward for them. It doesn’t seem like the design team was happy just substituting Enerzy in, with the redefined Wave plate taking a big step away from how it’s looked for the last few years. While I wouldn’t hate a little more midsole in the forefoot, comparing the 25 to the 24 I appreciate the little bit extra up front, so I’m not going to complain that they didn’t do even more. Besides, who knows what that would do to the way it runs, which will cover below in the Ride section.


Sam: The WR 24 had a heel to midfoot area of Enerzy with above Mizuno’s classic U4ic more standard EVA foam. In the WR 25 we keep the 32/28 stack height and 12mm drop but now have an all new Wave plate and 2 layers of the same firmness Enerzy foam sandwiching the plate with the top layer compression molded and the bottom layer injection molded for durability of contact surfaces. While said to be the same firmness I sensed the top layer to be ever so slightly more forgiving.  


The Wave plate is totally new in materials, a Castor bean bio based PEBA plastic whose production reduces carbon emissions 25%. It is also new in geometry in not being as flat as the WR24.


One can clearly see the lateral and medial side of the Wave plate geometry are different.

The lateral side is flatter and less aggressive to allow a soft but stable enough heel landing, while the medial below has higher sidewalls for a touch of stability. It all works very well for this neutral shoe runner as I get just enough support and guidance to make the softer midsole and deep decoupling move me easily and smoothly forward.

The midsole package is on the softer side with very noticeable rebound. The plate does a great job of stabilizing the rear while the front is more flexible than WR24 and many other trainers in its class. What you get here is a totally modern, fun and energetic midsole on a big drop shoe with a relatively thin forefoot stack of 20mm. The result is a distinct sense of forward motion and easy toe offs at any pace from slow to faster with lots of rebound but no mush or instability.   


What is Enerzy? Well it is more a collection of experiences, as New Balance’s FuelCell than a single material. . Mizuno did not tell us what the foam is but it feels very much like an EVA/ Oleftin blend and is similar in its distinct softer yet energetic energy return. It does not remind me of the denser EVA/TPU blends unless somehow here it was also autoclaved which I doubt due to weight and price point. Of all the recent midsole foams I have run, it reminds me most of Salomon’s Energy Surge which is a Dow EVA / Olefin blend as found in the soon to release Ultraglide trail shoe. 

The giant decoupling groove does a great job in the mix of reducing heel weight and allowing the foot to easy transition off the heel  while the plate gently directs and stabilizes. While I did not run the WR 24 my sense is the WR25 now leans more towards moderate daily training paces with a little less response ( less firm midsole) and more pleasant well directed bounce.



Outsole

Bryan: As with the rest of the shoe, it's pretty and also functional. 

As with Zack below, I found there to be no issues with wear. Unlike the Wave Rider 24, it appears that X10 rubber has been used throughout in the Wave Rider 25, cf. softer blown upper in the forefoot. 

The Flex Grooves continues the Wave Rider’s ethos in being a flexible shoe, allowing for smooth transitions and natural toe offs. The placement and height of the outsole grooves are also well thought out. There is ample traction regardless of conditions and ample depth in X10 rubber to last a while. The sculpting of the midsole is continued to be observed in the underfoot and adds to the overall refined nature of the shoe. 


Zack: In terms of outsole, I quite enjoyed it on this shoe. There were actually many things I liked about this outsole. One thing I liked about it seems very durable, as it has no wear after 50 miles. Another thing I enjoyed is the flex grooves in the forefoot which allowed for a nice natural toe off. It also has great grip on wet pavement, and is even good on dirt/gravel roads. Overall I think the outsole was executed really well. 


Jeff: I was jealous of the blue colorway before, but after seeing that outsole (compared to my boring gray/white/tiny little bit of red) I’m now super jealous. The guys are right, the outsole has lots of flexibility forward of the midfoot. And the flex doesn’t just happen between the rubber, each of the rubber pods has some little slits in it, allowing the rubber itself to bend with your foot. I don’t think durability is going to be a massive problem, however, as a heavier runner I am seeing wear in the gaps where there is exposed midsole. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was in the Wave Rider 24 (that had slightly larger gaps between the rubber pods), and I don’t think it’ll cause premature failure, but just something for heavier runners to be aware of.

Sam: This is an outsole heavily focused on providing the appropriate wear surfaces without interfering with the flow of the ride. It is admirably part of the entire system. From the rear pads separated by the deep rear groove, to a now more sculpted and uncovered midfoot area where no "extra" outsole is really needed, to outstanding easy front flexibility the outsole is totally integrated into the ride effect Mizuno is seeking. 


Ride


Bryan: The ride is modern and yet traditional where the Wave Rider 25 has a high drop to a relatively thin, flexible forefoot propelled by a dynamically fun midsole foam. While I am not a huge fan of high drop shoes (over 10mm+, with a preference for 8mm for every day trainers), the 12mm drop in the Wave Rider 25 is not as noticeable to that in the Asics Dynablast for example. However, it is still noticeable. 


Combined with a secure fitting upper, I found that the ride was easy going and nimble. The construct of the shoe is well-balanced, which allows for smooth transitioning. Shoes in this form factor and class are often responsive and firm with a flexible forefoot, but the Enerzy midsole adds pleasantness to the ride, making this shoe versatile for short and longer runs. Fans of shoes with a thicker and more cushioned forefoot may be restricted in taking the Wave Rider 25 out for only shorter runs.


Jeff: This might be the best riding “traditional” running shoe to come out. I’m with Bryan, I usually don’t love high drop shoes, but these don’t really feel awkward in any way. The geometry feels very “normal” for lack of a better word, but Enerzy might be the best version of normal around. I do like a well cushioned forefoot, and would agree that the forefoot would keep this from being a long distance shoe, but would wear them for 5-8 miles without any hesitation - a testament to the effective cushioning of the midsole - and I’d be smiling the entire time.


Zack: Jeff and Bryan had it spot on and I couldn't agree more. With all the max cushioned shoes or shoes with full-length nylon/carbon plates, it’s nice to have one that goes back to the basics. As with the other guys, the 12mm drop didn’t bother me at all, but I just wonder why they chose that instead of something more common such as 10 or 8mm in the first place. Jeff put the use of the shoe perfectly - runs in that 5-8 mile range, anywhere from easy to even moderate paces if you really needed it for that. Overall, the ride was smooth, soft, and a pleasure. 


Sam: Take a big drop classic trainer and give it an energetic softer midsole and voila you get the Wave Rider 25. Similar class shoes have taken more baby steps (including Mizuno in the WR24)  than what they have done here. 


By modifying the Wave Plate geometry and using Enerzy throughout, this classic now clearly gets a new and far more exciting ride than many if not all in the class. I found the ride pleasant, energetic and most importantly equally effective at all slow to moderate paces I ran them, tired or fresh, it didn’t matter the flow was there, the softer energetic midsole never was mushy or unstable thanks in large part to the new plate design.  Agreeing with the others, the softer, quite low these days midsole stack of 20mm and flexible forefoot can feel a bit low as the foot drives forward through the 12mm drop and can get a touch tiring as the miles pile on and pace picks up. This said for your daily 3-9 mile runs at any pace expect maybe super hard when the oh so comfortable forefoot upper and toe box can’t quite keep up,  the ride is wonderful. 


Conclusions and Recommendations


Bryan: If not for the 12mm drop, this would possibly be my favourite daily trainer of all time! I just wished that Mizuno added 2mm or 4mm to the forefoot to provide a more neutral drop, and to incidentally provide more cushioning.


Asides from that, I couldn’t really find fault with any other aspect of the shoe and really enjoyed my runs in them. I love the balance between its cushioning and ground feel, the durability and robustness of the shoe, and importantly that it is fairly light weight - heavier than the Hoka Mach 4, but lighter than the Asics Novablast and Saucony Ride 14. It is a versatile shoe that is priced well with its competitors. I would readily take them for runs from easy to moderate paces, and would be confident to inject pace into them in uptempo efforts within a long run. 

Bryan’s Score: 9.35/10 

Ride: 9 (40%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value (including durability): 9 (15%) Versatility 9 (10%) Style: 10 (5%) 


Zack: Overall, I was happy with the ride of this shoe. It had a nice, soft landing while having a fairly moderate stack height. I think the best thing about this shoe is the overall build quality and durability, as it will definitely last at least 500 miles.  The midsole has a soft landing with a subtle responsiveness. It is great for easy to moderate paces and will do you well. Personally, it didn’t wow me in any categories but performed great in all. 

Zack’s Score: 9.1/10 


Jeff: Mizuno just keeps picking up steam with each release they bring out. I’m really impressed with how good the midsole feels, and how smooth it runs. I think Bryan is right, if Mizuno were to add 2-4mm up front it would give the shoe a little more versatility for me in the cushioning department (and bring the offset down a bit, which wouldn’t be awful), but for a fairly “standard” daily trainer this shoe punches above its weight. The fact that it continues Mizuno’s tradition of using really nice materials that feel premium if not heavy and plush is just a bonus.

Jeff’s Score 9.45/10

Ride: 9 (50%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value: 10 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)


Sam: Finally a truly exciting Mizuno and one that stays true to its high drop, Wave plate, flexible forefoot tradition. This is more than a “tune up” roll over, minor update to a new model so the loyalists will stay on board. In fact, Mizuno is taking some well calculated risks here with their most important shoe which deserves to gain them new runners while retaining loyalists with a more modern ride feel. It checks in at 9.77 oz / 227g so under the magic 10 oz and with a substantial full stack of 36mm heel / 24mm forefoot.


The Wave Rider 25 is an energized, modernized classic in the best sense of the word with now a an energetic fun ride which combines a new foam with a new bio based (kudos there)  new Wave plate geometry, and a comfortable (if not quite state of the art mono mesh blends and such maybe adding to weight. All of this a reasonable $135 for a high quality all around daily trainer with expected long durability. I do wish it was styled more “energetically” to match its new and exciting ride,

Sam”s Score: 9.49 /10 

Ride: 9.6 (50%) Fit: 9.3 (30%) Value: 9.8 (15%) Style: 8.5 (5%)


12 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Mizuno Wave Rider 24 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Last year’s shoe started showing what the Wave Rider could be, and the 25 just continues improving. The 25 has more Enerzy, and the forefoot feels like it has much more cushioning, while the upper is both softer and more breathable. Great update, definitely opt for the 25.


Mizuno Wave Rider Neo 

Jeff: The Neo was Mizuno’s alternate Wave Rider released in a handful of markets outside of the US. Like the 25, it appears to be all Enerzy underfoot, though the Neo has the more traditional Wave Plate and feels like it is a little bit thinner midsole, especially under the forefoot. While the Neo looks much cooler, its thinner midsole limits its role somewhat, also, in a bid to reduce weight they removed nearly all rubber from the back half of the shoe, creating potential early wear problems. I really enjoyed it compared to the 24, but the 25 has made some major gains, and I would recommend it much easier than the Neo.


Mizuno Wave Sky 4 (RTR Review)

Jeff: The Sky is the Rider’s big brother, with a few more millimeters of midsole, and no Wave Plate. But while the WR25 is all Enerzy, the WS4 uses some Enerzy sandwiched between their previous midsole materials, XPOP and U4icX, and the end result is very clear that Enerzy is the future. Also, the Sky 4 has some sizing issues, with some of our reviewers having to swap out for several sizes different, and I personally found the toebox painfully low, with every run in the WS4 bringing pain to my big toes. I’d love to see a Wave Rider Plus, taking the design of the WR and bringing it in line with the Sky stack height, but in the meantime, I’d favor the WR25.

Sam: Lumbering, firm at the heel with a denser upper the Wave Sky 4 is more shoe but not more fun as its predecessor the 3 was. It may a touch more stable, maybe more durable for heavier runners but for most if for daily training clearly and for me WR25.


Brooks Ghost 13 (RTR Review)

Sam: Clearly direct competitor in the “classic” class of higher drop 12mm trainers I found the Ghost 13 midsole overly soft and its companion outsole mismatched in being firmer to try to keep up with the softness of DNA Loft. DNA Loft is not Enerzy while both are on the soft side as it is comparatively mushy and lacking in return while having a soft midsole at the heel without the Wave plate or the decoupling has the Ghost not nearly as smooth flowing or energetic.


Saucony Ride 13 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Saucony made a big step forward in the “traditional’ running shoe line with the 13, but against the WR25 it has a firmer ride. Mizuno’s Enerzy feels like it fits cleanly between Saucony’s PWRRUN and PWRRUN+ midsoles, and it kind of brings the best of both worlds. The Ride 13 was one of my favorite shoes of the year, but the WR25 outclasses it quite a bit.

Sam: My daily trainer class shoe of the year 2020, so a shoe suitable for most all daily training  I agree with Jeff that the WR25 clearly pulls ahead with a more energetic ride and lighter weight by 0.4 oz,  if one that isn’t quite as responsive upfront at faster paces  as the Ride with its big rubber chevrons. The tables turn at slower paces with the WR 25 smoother and more pleasant. Clear preference here for WR 25.


Saucony Ride 14  (RTR Review)

Bryan: Two firm everyday mileage trainers, two very different outcomes. I think Jeff covered it well in saying that the Enerzy foam fits between Saucony’s PWRRUN and PWRRUN+. I really enjoyed the Ride 14, and prefer the 8mm drop as opposed to 12mm in the Wave Rider 25. However, the latter feels a lot more refined, both in design and performance. The Wave Rider 25 also comes in at 16g / 0.56oz lighter which is also welcomed. The Wave Rider 25 is no doubt the better shoe for me.


Jeff: The Ride 14 is essentially the Ride 13 with a very minor upper update, and the comparison result is the same. The Ride 14 is a great shoe, but the WR25 is just that much better. No hesitation, Mizuno’s Enerzy runs away with it.

Sam: Concur with Bryan and Jeff here.


New Balance 880v11 (RTR Review)

Sam: Another classic traditional trainer with Fresh Foam instead of Enerzy and as a result a somewhat firmer more responsive ride. Weighing about the same and with a bit less full stack height the Wave Rider 25, except maybe for fast paced running where the response comes in handy is a clear winner for me for its superior versatility and ride.


Nike Pegasus 37 (RTR Review)

Bryan: Whilst almost identical in weight, the Pegasus 37 was probably the most problematic running shoe I’ve worn in terms of causing foot pain mid-run. The midsole as in the Pegasus 38 is a combination of React midsole with a Zoom Air forefoot pocket. Although a protective shoe with ample stack height, and putting the pain aside, the ride isn’t refined as compared to the Wave Rider 25. At polarising ends, the Pegasus 37 felt dull whilst the Wave Rider 25 lively. The Wave Rider 25 is by far the better shoe.


Zack: I'm on the opposite end of Bryan here in terms of the Peg 37 and Waverider 25 comparison. Now, I'm specifically a 5k runner, so I incorporate a lot of speed and strength work such as tempos and fartleks into my weekly routine, and I felt that the Peg 37 just was more versatile in the sense it was more responsive and worked for those things much better in my opinion. But in terms of easy running, I'll give it to the Waverider 25. 


Sam: I agree with both Zack and Bryan here concerning the men’s Peg 37. An awkward ride unless run hard or with a powerful mid to forefoot strike. It’s upper was super dense and scratchy but more supportive and performance oriented. Switching to the lighter softer women’s Peg 37 one of my 2020 favorites we have a similar smooth flow to WR25 on a somewhat thinner forefoot with a much better upper than the men’s that bridges comfort and performance very well. 


Nike Zoom Pegasus 38 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Nike’s long time daily trainer combines their React midsole with a Zoom Air forefoot pocket that is very noticeable. While it is nicely cushioned, it doesn’t have the same smooth yet bouncy ride the WR25 brings to the table. The Mizuno materials also feel like they are in a much higher cost shoe than the Pegasus. WR25 for the win.

Sam: Concur with Jeff here adding the women’s version of the Peg 38 is identical in weight, upper and almost the same now in underfoot feel so no advantage for me for the women’s as with the Peg 37 and I tested both versions for both models.


Asics Dynablast (RTR Review)

Bryan: In terms of midsole, the FFBlast utilised in the Dynablast is a high rebound and energetic foam. The Enerzy foam is similar but perhaps provides lesser rebound but is matching in terms of energy return. I prefer the ride of the Wave Rider 25 over the Dynablast probably because of the build of the shoe over the characteristics of their respective midsole foams. The Dynablast may be lighter, but it feels a lot clunkier because of the roomy knit upper. The 12mm drop is also more noticeable than that in the Wave Rider 25. The Wave Rider 25 is the better shoe for me.


Asics Novablast  (RTR Review)

Bryan: Also sporting the FFBlast midsole like the Dynablast, the Novablast is a lot bouncier and the ride is less ‘structured’ given the higher stack and lack of torsional support, although this notably improved in version 2. Contrast this with the Wave Rider 25 which has a Wave Plate that provides stability in the midsole. The Novablast is a fun shoe, but the Wave Rider 25 is more versatile. Both are built as everyday trainers but the Wave Rider 25 wins here.

Sam: The Novablast 2 has a very arrow shaped ride, lots of cushion, and a bouncy ride. If you like the bounce faster days shoe Novablast, cruiser base miles shoe WR 25


The Wave Rider 25 is available now at our partners below

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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