Friday, July 23, 2021

Mizuno Wave Sky 5 Multi Tester Review

Article by Dominique Winebaum, Jeff Beck, and Sam Winebaum

Mizuno Wave Sky 5 ($170)


Introduction


Dominique: Back in March, I reviewed the Wave Sky 4 (my first introduction to Mizuno running shoes) and since this past June, I have been running in the Wave Sky 5. There are many upgrades, from the upper to the outsole and especially the midsole,  which makes this fifth edition of the Wave Sky more exciting than its predecessor.   Running at slow pace (most of the time), twenty some miles per week, the Wave Sky 5 is a good fit for me: protective cushioning; responsive ride; comfortable fit; and attractive looking without calling attention.

Sam: The Wave Sky 3 was my favorite easy run shoe of 2019 for its excitement for a big shoe rebounding ride. The firmer, duller Wave Sky 4 with its overdone knit upper was a comparative dud. 


Sam: Clearly a neutral (but inherently stable) heavy duty, highly cushioned, easy run or big and burly style daily trainer, the Wave Sky 5 is designed to last and last, to provide a reliable day in day out ride that even at its up there weight is not ponderous at any moderate pace. So what did Mizuno do to potentially re-capture some of the Wave Sky 3’s magic? 

Left to Right: MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM, MIZUNO ENERZY CORE, U4icx


For the Wave Sky 5 MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM  (white) becomes the bottom layer instead of the top layer which remains U4icx. Very soft rubberized MIZUNO ENERZY CORE (red) is used in place of PU beads embedded in TPU based XPOP as a central core. U4ic X (gray) becomes the top layer instead of being the bottom layer. It is a lighter form or Mizuno’s long time EVA midsole foam.  


The Wave Sky goes from a 10mm drop shoe with a 37mm heel / 29mm forefoot stack by taking one millimeter off the heel and adding a millimeter to the forefoot.


The Wave interface between layers now also appears to be lower in the stack. There is no plastic Wave plate here. The Wave effect is created by the geometry of how the 2 main layers join.

The outsole is reduced in rear to mid foot coverage with a flatter coverage and no massive lugs as before but remains Mizumo’s X10. Upfront, instead of an array of bulky lugs, broad wavy  bands are used. The flex grooves in the outsole are joined by grooves in the top layer of the midsole. For a big 28mm front stack the Wave Sky flexes well.

The upper becomes a smooth stretch woven material in place of the prior Waveknit, a denser thicker knit.


And all of these changes get the Wave Sky to 10.9 oz dropping about 0.4 oz / 11g  from the Wave Sky 4. All of this is promising to say the least.   

 

Pros:

Energetic, deep and stable cushion with 2 flavors of responsive Enerzy foam plus a more conventional EVA layer whose Wave interface creates a flow that is very seamless in feel : Sam/Jeff

Smooth easy landings and transitions off heel: Sam

Easy toe off at slow and fast paces due to outsole and midsole flex grooves: Sam/Jeff

Well balanced back to front weight: Sam/Jeff

Never overly ponderous even at very slow paces and despite weight. Sam/Jeff

Extremely stable for a neutral shoe without its wide platform getting in the way (too much). Sam/Jeff

Smooth fitting, comfortable and very secure stretch woven upper which absorbs very little moisture. Particularly well executed super solid heel counter and collar, incredibly well held, low and pressure free  Sam/Jeff

Unmistakable quality from fit, to finish, to expected durability to identical weight to the gram left and right shoe. Sam/Jeff

Agree with Sam’s description of all pros.  Dominique


Cons:

Broad front platform feel is wide and a bit awkward at slower paces on the medial side. Sam

Wish the weight was lower but it is lower than the 4 by 0.4 oz at 10.9 oz. Sam

Stretch woven upper could use some more venting slots but absorbs little moisture. Sam

Pricey but given its durability worth the investment if this is the type of shoe that meets your needs. Dominique/Sam

Toebox has adequate width, but the pointy toe limits it. Jeff

Stats

Approximate weight: men's / (US9) 10.9 oz  / 309g  women's / (US8)

  Samples: men’ s 10.69 oz / 303g (US8.5), 11.89 oz / 337g (US10.5)  / women’s  9.77 oz  / 277g (US9)

Wave Sky 4 men’s 11.32 oz / 321g (US9)

Full Stack Height: 37mm heel / 29mm forefoot, 8 mm drop

Available August 12, 2021 including in 2E wide. $170


Tester Profiles

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening. 

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.

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 too many fine New England IPA.


  

First Impressions,  Fit, and Upper

Dominique: I have literally been transitioning from the Wave Sky 4 to the 5 in terms of road running -- no other shoes in between.  Overall, the fit is snug in my regular size 9 and I need to wear thinner socks to be comfortable. This said the toebox feels slightly roomier than the 4's which is always a plus in my book.  

Left: Wave Sky 4 Waveknit Right: Wave Sky 5


It is extremely comfortable with a soft and smooth upper that keeps the forefoot in place.  

The shoelace system and the gusset tongue creates additional snugness and stability.  I am enjoying this edition of the Wave Sky on all fronts -- fit, comfort, cushioning, and ride, although it is a bit pricey at $170. 

Sam: I might describe the look as stately in my all blue with a touch of irradiance from the supportive wave stitching into the stretch woven sleek looking upper. The eye is immediately drawn to the contrasting blue and white wave tech joining of the two midsole layers which while the Wave Sky 5 has a very flat rear medial side for some stability overall the shoe conveys a sense of forward motion..like a wave... as does the upper.

The fit is true to size for me. The Wave 4 with its dense knit was close to being too constricting in the toe box was OK but not exactly comforting. Here the smooth, stretch woven mesh, gusset tongue, and very stout but decently low heel counter wrap the foot in what I would call luxury and confidence of the heavy duty sports sedan variety. Total security and comfort back to front without going overboard in either sloppy plushness of rigid overdone hold anywhere. The quality of construction is unmistakable here.


Jeff: This is my fourth Wave Sky variation in just a few years (Wave Sky 3, 4, and Wave Sky Neo) and while I enjoyed each of the previous three, I had high hopes for this shoe. Immediately I was impressed - the fit and finish is the top of the line for Mizuno. It’s the little touches, the stitches just seem a little tighter than other brands, the materials just feel a little more premium, Mizuno’s higher cost shoes tend to reflect a higher standard, and this one is no exception. 


My main complaint from the 4, a too low toebox, was clearly fixed even from the first glance, but it’s far from perfect. I have a foot that borders on wide and occasionally run 2E shoes. The overall fit is generous while still feeling trim and even svelte, it doesn’t feel nearly as thick as the 3 or 4, which had some extra heft in the upper. The material breathes much better than the previous iterations, which could get very toasty in the summer. The tongue is part of an inner bootie and has a gusset, and is decently padded, enough so that I couldn’t feel the laces unless I really cranked them down. 


The heel collar is plush, and on the cusp of being overpadded, but it’s just short of being too much. My only real gripe with the upper (other than no pull tab on the heel) is the toebox width, especially on the lateral side. It tapers in somewhat severely, and that really limits the amount of space for the small toe. It doesn’t completely cramp the toebox, just limits it. 


Upper

Sam: I am sure they have been out there but I can’t recall a stretch woven upper which is what the Wave Sky 5 has. Clearly Mizuno wanted to have a similar all encompassing secure fit as prior Sky have but wanted to get away from rougher feeling, warm and dense knit as the prior models had. 

The stretch woven upper combines a smooth smooth fit with the characteristic security of prior Wave Sky There is a touch of stretch here but it does not in any way make the fit sloppy. To the contrary, in combination with the very dense weave, plenty of variable midfoot room (the gusset tongue), and the side supportive but not overdone wave stitching, stout but low heel counter we have a just plush enough plush upper that just works and very well with hold and security its focus.

The now more padded tongue, laces, and gusset work very well together with the upper. I never had to readjust lacing on the go. Rarely the case for me as my left foot is considerably narrower than my right. This indicates to me that the Wave Sky 5 should fit a wide variety of foot shapes and it is non pun intended also available in wide if need be.

The upper breathes adequately but I do wish for a touch more forefoot venting. I did note that in humid conditions the upper absorbed very little moisture.


Midsole

Sam: The Wave 5 has 3 layers of foam with the wave’s action not provided as commonly in Mizuno trainers through a plate, but through the geometry of how the layers mesh together to deliver a smooth ride and stability.

Below the foot we have a layer of gray U4ic X Mizuno’s more traditional performance foam in the lighter x type. It has a durometer of 52C so it is a relatively firm foam but not to worry it is in no way over firm in actual feel in combination with the other layers. 

The U4ic X layer has 4 flex grooves on top just below the foot. U4ic X used to be the bottom layer just above the outsole in the Wave Sky 4 with MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM (gray) just below the foot. The layers are now reversed.


MIZUNO ENERZY CORE is the central red layer. This rubberized foam is 293% softer and 56% more responsive than Mizuno’s traditional U4ic foam. It is considerably softer at 14C in durometer. and more responsive than the Wave 3 and Wave 4 X Pop central cores of /TPU PU which were 185% softer and 36% more responsive than U4iC, Mizuno’s traditional midsole foam.


MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM, the white layer becomes the bottom midsole layer instead of the top layer. It has a durometer of 47C so a good mid range firmness equivalent to Skechers Hyperburst in shoes such as the Ride 9 but with for me more bounce feel. It is 17% softer and 15% more responsive than U4ic foam. 

 

One can see in the picture above with Dominique’s Wave Sky 5 (top) and Wave Sky 4 (bottom) that the new dual wave geometry is lower at the heel and more pronounced at the forefoot with effectively more Enerzy foam there and more flex built in for toe off. Essentially the feel becomes much more wave like in flow from heel to toe. Marketing meets function!


The overall midsole is well cushioned for sure as we have a total stack height of 38 mm heel / 28mm forefoot so up there in max cushion category. The geometry and choice of the three different foams deliver a comfortable feel that combines a touch of central softness from the Enerzy Core, very well deflected shock and smooth flow from the combination of layers and for the stack a smooth quite flexible toe off aided by the integration of the wave layering and midsole grooves (both below the top U4ic X layer and below at the outsole). 


I found the midsole effective at all paces, plenty of cushion and stability and with an easy flow and no sense of backweighting, tribute here as an improvement as Mizuno reduced the overdone rear outsole mass of prior editions.  This change also leads to a far more forgiving and pleasing landing than the Wave Sky 4 had. This is not a mushy over soft midsole or a brick like monster. Shock is well absorbed, there is a touch of lively bounce and the flow forward is easy. Just darn well refined and re refined as one would expect in a big luxury sports sedan!


Jeff: Interesting to learn that they reversed the positioning of the ENERZY and U4ic from the previous shoe, because it does feel like a slightly different midsole from last year. It’s still very cushioned and dense, but the density doesn’t harm the shoe’s performance. Mizuno has departed from being a  firm running shoe company a few years ago, and this shoe doesn’t move them back any. It isn’t the most plush shoe on the market, but there’s plenty of give when you land, either heel or midfoot.


Outsole

Dominique

X10 Outsole - Mizuno carbon rubber -  is extremely durable.  


After running more than 250 miles on my Wave Sky 4, there is no wear on the outsole, however, there is no need for all that thick rubber of the Wave Sky 4 which added weight and made the shoe firmer than it needed to be!  

Still very durable, the outsole on the Wave Sky 5 has a thinner carbon rubber, which is shaped in a wave-like pattern up front. 

In addition, the lower midsole layer of MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM’s and its carvings has been integrated into areas of the outsole. 

This creates  a softer and more responsive landing and an easy and also easier toe off than Wave Sky 4’s.

At the rear the outsole is now more zonal to where wear occurs thus reducing weight,  softening landings, and allowing a smoother flow forward as the landing and transition is more decoupled from the extensive firm rubber of the prior Wave Sky.

Not to worry, the Wave Sky 5 still has plenty of rubber and is very stable as a neutral shoe even with less rubber at the rear and on the medial side.


Jeff: Typically outsole revisions are a minor footnote, it went from one rubber pattern to another. But this shoe’s outsole change is a big deal. The old outsole was so thick and heavy, it kind of defined the shoe. The Sky 5 outsole’s rubber is much thinner, and it overall covers a little less, butI don’t think the durability will suffer much. The shoe also gained quite a bit of flexibility in the forefoot thanks to the wider grooves between the rubber.


Sam: Outsoles can make a difference in ride and here for me that is clearly the case. The Wave Sky 4 had a firm and rougher landing than I would have liked. I attribute much of this to its very thick extensive rear outsole coverage.


In the Wave Sky 5, Mizuno redesigns the outsole completely while still using its super durable X10 rubber. More zonal coverage at the rear and better integration of broad higher contact wave shaped bars to the midsole geometry are the key elements.


In combination with the swapping of midsole layers and the lower location of the Wave interface the outsole now plays beautifully with the rest of the shoe and becomes a smoother whole. It remains to be seen if the new outsole will remain as ridiculously durable as the last. Quite frankly, while rubber may have remained close to “intact” after many hundreds of miles, the midsole likely would have eventually compacted before the outsole had worn down much at all. 


Ride

Dominique: The reconfiguration of the midsole and outsole in this latest edition of the Wave Sky creates a more responsive and softer ride, yet one just as stable.  I am really enjoying the ride.  The wave like pattern of the Mizuno carbon rubber in the forefront of the outsole enhances flexibility.  Likewise, the MIZUNO ENERZY FOAM which is integrated into the outsole from the midfoot section and to the rear of the outsole, creates a smooth and responsive landing and rolling of the feet.  


Jeff: Dominique absolutely nails it. There’s nice flexibility in the forefoot, and the shoe’s ride is incredibly smooth. I mentioned the shoe’s density in the midsole section, and that gives the shoe it’s soft but not squishy feeling. While it excels for easy mileage, it doesn’t feel bad at uptempo speeds. Maybe not the shoe of choice for repeats on the track, but this shoe feels much more responsive as you pick up the pace.


Sam: I agree with Dominique and Jeff. The ride is considerably improved from the Wave Sky 4 and even the Wave Sky 3. Softer at the heel, far smoother in flow, pleasant to run if serious the ride is ideal for basic moderate pace miles, recovery runs, or long runs where you seek more shoe.  More than adequately stable (and upper secure) it is a good ride for mild to moderate pronation control shoe runners who want to try a neutral shoe.  (Note we all pronate some, it is natural and I think pronation control shoes are often “over prescribed”).  The weight is noticed as the pace picks up but the shoe is well balanced and transitions well. My only qualm with the ride is that the medial side forefoot platform seems a bit broad and can sometimes be sensed as such.


Conclusions and Recommendations


Dominique

My experience with Mizuno running shoes has been limited to the Wave Sky 4 and 5 -- unlike Sam, I haven’t run in other Mizuno models and/or earlier editions of the Wave Sky.  (He is suggesting that I should try the Wave Rider.)  This said, I have been pleasantly surprised by the changes - improvements - made in the Wave Sky 5 while getting better acquainted with the Mizuno brand.  The shoe is a good match for me and I don’t feel I need to run in my favorite brand (Hoka) to elevate my experience as a runner.  Change is good.  

Dominique’s Score: 9.2 / 10


Jeff: Mizuno’s most cushioned trainer got much better in every element. The upper is no longer overly thick and made of warm materials. The outsole shrank by what feels like a magnitude from last year’s bottom heavy cruiser. The midsole got flipped upside down and the result has a little more pop pop to it. This is no longer a shoe to consider if the Triumph or Glycerin disappointed you, it should be among the first big mileage shoes you consider.

Jeff’s Score: 9.1/10

Ride: 9.5 (50%) Fit: 8.5 (30%) Value: 9 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)


Sam: Significantly refined the Wave Sky 5 takes its place in the lead pack of the max cushioned, traditional higher drop, premium daily trainers.  It loses some weight to check in below 11 oz, doesn’t over plush its upper choosing to provide security and hold with plenty of comfort over pillows, over stretch, or over soft and sloppy in fit. 


Underfoot the new wave geometry and its 3 layers of foam including two flavors of Enerzy, and excellent new outsole design provide a well balanced, flowing and flexible ride that is never ponderous, over firm (as Wave Sky 4 was), or mushy soft. As such I scored considerably higher than last’s year Wave Sky. 


It is premium priced at $170 and I wish it checked in at $10-$20 less but the construction quality is exceptional and expected durability should be very good.  


I recommend it for beginner runners, those seeking an inherently stable neutral shoe, and for any runner’s moderate pace runs, recovery runs, and more easy going long runs. If you want a similar but faster more daily training all around experience in Mizuno look at the Wave Rider 25 with its lighter weight, very well integrated wave plate, and somewhat softer more comfortable upper. It is currently in first place for my daily trainer of the year.  Areas for improvement might include a somewhat narrower platform on the medial side up front and a lighter more ventilated stretch woven upper. 

Sam’s Score 9.17 /10

Ride: 9.3 (50%) Fit: 9.3 (30%) Value: 8.5 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Mizuno Wave Sky 4 and 3 (RTR Review)

Jeff: The Sky 4 runs small, and the toebox runs very low. It’s also heavier with a much warmer upper. The 5 is a little lighter on the scale but much lighter on the foot.


Mizuno Sky Neo (RTR Review)

Jeff: I think the 5 compares closer to the Neo than it does the 3 or 4. Similar uppers, but the 5 has more structure, the Neo has a much better toebox with more room on the lateral side. The midsoles feel incredibly similar, virtually the same. The Neo outsole is reminiscent of the 4, but it is a pared down version that isn’t over-engineered, though I prefer the more minimal design of the 5, I think it helps the shoe at faster speeds. The 5 comes in lighter, and less expensive - plus there’s the added potential complication of importing the Neo, since it wasn’t released in all areas. Ultimately, with the exception of the tighter toebox in the 5, the 5 out-Neos the Neo in every aspect. Which is fantastic.


Mizuno Wave Rider 25 (RTR Review)

Jeff: These two are probably the closest the Wave and Rider models have ever been. In an A/B test they feel very similar, with the softer landing going to the Sky, and the extra room in the Rider toebox is very evident. There’s still the daily trainer/big daily trainer dynamic between the Rider and Sky, but it’s more blurred than it’s ever been.


Sam: The Wave Rider 25 has a lower stack height at 36/24 so 2mm less at the heel and 4mm less at the forefoot in a big 12mm drop. It incorporates a redesigned plastic Wave plate that is far less obtrusive than prior in a midsole that is now all ENERZY FOAM. So while the Wave Sky 5 has both the same ENERZY FOAM and a layer of firmer U4ic X, its higher stack does lead to more cushion, especially upfront,  but disagreeing with Jeff a bit Wave Rider has a firmer feel than the Wave Rider 25 which is softer and bouncier for me. The Wave Rider 25’s geometry of higher drop, Wave plate, and thinner more flexible forefoot as well as lighter weight by an ounce makes its ride more dynamic and faster and thus a better all around daily training, faster paces choice than Wave Sky 5 for me.


Brooks Levitate 5 (RTR Review soon)

Sam: Multiple flavors coming of the Levitate with 2 kinds of knit uppers and for each a neutral geometry and a GTS or Go-To-Support rails based light guidance versions.  They are close in price to Wave Sky at $150. 


The Leviate midsole is a PU based compound with a measured pneumatic rebound and geometry that seems to require either runner weight or faster paces to come alive so in my view not nearly as smooth and versatile as the Wave Sky’\. I struggled some at slower paces in the Levitate to flow along more than in Wave Sky 5, with a more ponderous feel not helped by its full coverage not as well decoupled or grooved midsole outsole combination. Depending on upper, the StealthFit knit upper version weighs less with the comfort and somewhat sloppy circular knit upper about the same. As far as looks the Stealthfit upper is sleeker looking than the Wave Sky but I am always ride before looks!


Topo Phantom 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: If you are looking for a broader toe box and lower drop consider the Phantom 2.  It too has a central core of softer foam with its exterior “frame” of a firmer and denser single foam than Wave Sky 5’s Enerzy and U4ic x combination. It is less pace versatile than the Wave Sky as it is not nearly as well decoupled to flow forward at slower paces but once up on that broad responsive forefoot it is a faster shoe.  Overall and especially for slower paced runs the Wave Sky 5 is a smoother more versatile shoe for me.


Saucony Triumph 18 and 19 (RTR Review)

Jeff: This was immediately where my mind went when I got my first run in the Wave Sky 5. Both shoes have a very similar ride, dense but plush. The upper of the Triumph is lighter and roomier than the Sky, and it also has a wider toebox. But the Sky’s ride is much improved over the Triumph, every bit as soft but also has more responsiveness at toe-off. Maybe not a huge deal on an easy miles trainer, but it definitely has a nice pop to it.


Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Jeff: Even more dense than the Wave Sky, the Endorphin Shift is much firmer than the Sky, but uses an exaggerated rocker design to encourage fast steps. The Endorphin has a wider toebox, and a much looser fitting upper, while the Sky’s upper fit is more dialed in, and it has a much softer ride. 

Sam: Jeff has it right the Shift is considerably firmer even though it has more stack height at the forefoot, has a rigid rocker profile, and is yet more stable. It is lighter and faster but not as friendly to slower mellow paces as the Wave Sky 5. If you like a rocker based shoe or have a need for a fast, big stack long run shoe it is a better choice but otherwise the Wave Sky is a more practical big shoe.  


ASICS Nimbus 23 (RTR Review)

Jeff: On paper these match up pretty cleanly, but the ENERZY/U4ic X midsole combination is much more substantial than the ASICS GEL/Flytefoam Propel combination. The ASICS upper isn’t as refined, but it has more room up front. The Mizuno midsole and ride are head and shoulders above the Nimbus with a softer landing and more responsive toe off.


adidas Ultraboost 21 (RTR Review)

Jeff: While Mizuno keeps innovating and trying things in midsole materials, the Ultraboost 21 Boost midsole is eight years in the making and feels very long in the tooth. This iteration got a plate in the forefoot, but it’s implementation was problematic being so close to the outsole. The Ultraboost 21 wins in the toebox department, but otherwise, the Sky 5 outdoes the UB21.

Sam: The Ultraboost 21 is a style show piece more than a running shoe and the Wave Sky is all serious run business. Heavier and with its giant forefoot plastic plate just above the outsole I much prefer the some lighter, more refined, smoother ride of the Wave Sky 5 


Hoka Bondi 7 (RTR Review) and Bondi X (RTR Review)

Jeff: As big daily trainers get bigger and bigger they start encroaching on the real big stacked trainers like the Bondi 7 and Bondi X. But worn left/right, the Hokas still feel like they are on another level. Perhaps it's the extra soft midsole or just the overall volume increase of the shoe, but that works either for or against the Hoka. If you want no compromises super soft, the Bondi 7/X are waiting for you. If you are looking for a more general purpose, but still well cushioned, daily trainer, the Sky 5 is the right call.

Sam: If a super plush super soft heel landing with carbon propulsion of the mellow variety up front are on your radar the $200 Bondi X is worth considering. It is for sure a more exciting ride but in some ways runs more like a concept piece than a reliable daily training partner. Tuning down the giant rear of the shoe which feels somewhat back weighted and overly soft would make it lighter (it is a few tenths of an ounce lighter than Wave Sky)  and more practical. I enjoy its ride but lean towards the more practical Wave Sky, ever so slightly here.  


Skechers Max Road 5 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Max Road is a huge 2.5 oz lighter on a similar heel stack with 4mm more upfront so a 6mm drop vs. 10mm for Wave Sky. Its upper is far lighter and as decently secure but not with the total lockdown of the Wave Sky. The Max's Hyperburst foam is livelier and its pillared front geometry not as reassuring stable as the Wave Sky's front platform.The Max favors faster paces and a mid foot strike to really take advantage of its carbon infused plate and is easy to run at moderate paces or back on the heels as the Wave Sky is. It is far more fun but not as versatile or reliable if you are seeking a general heavy mileage shoe. The Wave Sky should prove considerably more durable with far more outsole rubber and coverage potentially making up for some of its $35 higher price tag.


ASICS Novablast 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Novablast has a similar stack height with 2mm more in the forefoot. It weighs a full ounce less and has a bouncier ride. While improved in stability it has a narrower on the ground platform and favors faster paces and more midfoot striking whereas the geometry of the Wave Sky doesn't care where you strike or your pace. Novablast is clearly a faster shoe and more overall daily training oriented if your mechanics allow it.

The Wave Sky 5 will be available August 12, 2021

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another great review.
Can we have a Skechers Maxroad 5 and Asics Novablast comparison please, thanks :)

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks Anonymous!
While both in my mind in a different class of trainers I hope the comparisons below and in the review are helpful. Thanks for suggesting them.
Sam, Editor

Skechers Max Road 5
Sam: The Max Road is a huge 2.5 oz lighter on a similar heel stack with 4mm more upfront so a 6mm drop vs. 10mm for Wave Sky. Its upper is far lighter and as decently secure but not with the total lockdown of the Wave Sky. The Max's Hyperburst foam is livelier and its pillared front geometry not as reassuring stable as the Wave Sky's front platform.The Max favors faster paces and a mid foot strike to really take advantage of its carbon infused plate and is easy to run at moderate paces or back on the heels as the Wave Sky is. It is far more fun but not as versatile or reliable if you are seeking a general heavy mileage shoe. The Wave Sky should prove considerably more durable with far more outsole rubber and coverage potentially making up for some of its $35 higher price tag.

ASICS Novablast 2
Sam: The Novablast has a similar stack height with 2mm more in the forefoot. It weighs a full ounce less and has a bouncier ride. While improved in stability it has a narrower on the ground platform and favors faster paces and more midfoot striking whereas the geometry of the Wave Sky doesn't care where you strike or your pace. Novablast is clearly a faster shoe and more overall daily training oriented if your mechanics allow it.

Jared said...

Any idea how does Wave Sky 5 compare to Puma Magnify Nitro.

As from the existing comparisons it looks like this model is really contending for among top listed of Max cushion category.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Jared, A good comparison to make. Similar max cushion rides. I would lean to the Puma as the Nitro layer is livelier, on the run they weigh a quite felt 0.6 oz less, cost $30 less and should be close to equal in durability.
Sam, Editor