Sunday, August 15, 2021

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Multi Tester Review

Article by Zack Dunn, Renee Krusemark, Beto Hughes, Joost de Raeymaeker and Sam Winebaum

Mizuno Wave Rebellion ($180)


Sam: The Rebellion is Mizuno’s first super foam max stack trainer racer, or at least the first available in the US. With a 36mm heel and 28mm forefoot full stack of bio (castor bean) based ENERZY Lite foam, a PEBA with a relatively soft 45C durometer, and a fiberglass reinforced, broad at the rear forked at the front, Wave plate it seems to aim to be a competitor to the popular Endorphin Speed with its near identical 35.5mm heel / 27.5mm forefoot (all in including sockliner) stack, PEBA midsole and nylon plate. 

Yet it weighs 1.3 oz more than the Speed at 9.1 oz and is more at the daily training class weight than uptempo for me. 

This seems to be due to its far broader on the ground platform: 9mm wider at the heel, 6mm wider at midfoot and 5mm wider at the forefoot as well as its broader plate and full coverage outsole of hard PU resin lugs in a mesh matrix. How will they run and fit? Trainer or uptempo near racer? Where might they fit in the crowded field of max cushion, new age foam, plated trainers? We set out to find out! 


Sam: Smooth and well cushioned with PEBA spring. Max cushion grade full stack 28mm/36mm on a broad on the ground platform.

Sam/Zack/Renee/Cheng: Wave plate and platform width stabilizes the rear just enough while providing mild propulsion up front.

Sam: Nice compromise between up tempo and daily training class shoe. Soft heel that is friendly and stable to heel striking and slower paces with a propulsive firmer front.

Sam/Joost: bio materials based PEBA midsole is commendable

Joost: Nice lug-injected outsole

Beto/Cheng: Great outsole durability and good traction on wet roads.


Joost/Beto/Cheng/Sam/Beto: Weird oversized tongue could be shorter and more padded.

Renee/Joost/Beto/Sam:  Heavy for an uptempo shoe at 9.1 oz with a PEBA midsole although platform is notably broader than its direct competitor Endorphin Speed which weighs 1.3 oz less 

Zack/Renee/Cheng: Upper heel area does not hold a good lockdown at all, especially at fast paces. Sam: Heel counter is overly broad, down low and rigid.

Sam/Zack/Joost: some pressure over the big toes felt, mostly only when standing, not running. (Note: Mizuno told us our early samples were about a half size short of production sizing.

Sam/Zack: Hard PU resin lugs are noisy and forefoot firm in feel at the ground. This is felt early in runs but seem to warm up and even soften

Joost: Harsh ride for forefoot strikers


Estimated Weight: men's 9.15 oz / 259g (US9)  women's 7.25oz/205g  (US8)

  Samples: men’s  8.89 oz  / 252g (US8.5) 256g/9.03 oz (US 9.5) 314g/11 oz (US 13) women’s 7.25oz/205g (US8)

Stack Height: 28mm-36mm stack with a 4mm sockliner, 8mm drop

Available Sept 2021. $180  

Tester Profiles

Zack Dunn is 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 on the track, roads, or on cross country. 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 paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes miles 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. 

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Beto Hughes Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

31 yrs old, Height: 5’10, Weight: 195lbs

I started running in 2016 to lose weight. I used to weigh 295 lbs and between running and Crossfit began my love for the fitness life and for running. I am now aiming to be a Boston Qualifier.

Weekly mileage: 60 - 75 miles on Road Favorite distance: Marathon and Half Marathon also Ultra Marathon.

You can follow me on Instagram @betohughes

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. Joost will soon be launching his worldwide coaching business Kufukula Coaching with part of the revenue dedicated to coaching Angolan runners who can't afford coaching otherwise.

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 and Fit

Zack: My first impressions of this shoe, a mediocre experience. I had taken it out of the box and was really intrigued! So I did what i always do when I receive a new pair of shoes, I put them on and walk around for 1-2 minutes. In all honesty, I truly did have a good first impression of this shoe. The thing that really messed things up was the tongue. It is just overly large and fits the foot very awkwardly. Along with that, the heel area was extremely loose and wide which, along with the tongue just made the fit experience feel off. It also fits small, so you may want to go a half-size up. Note: Mizuno tells us our early samples were about a half size smaller than production.

Renee: Buckle up, everyone. This might be a bumpy review. While the Wave Rebellion has redeemable qualities, my first and final impression of the shoe is that it feels like a prototype instead of a shoe ready for market (and at $180!). The sizing is a half-size short and I struggled to lace the upper to properly hold my foot. I received a women’s size 8, which felt more like a snug size 7.5. For runner’s between half sizes, most definitely choose the longer size and consider trying a half size up from there if you do not enjoy a snug fit.

Joost: This is my first Mizuno shoe, so I didn’t know what to expect or what to compare it to. Visually, it wasn’t very appealing: a greyish black with diagonal white lines and the Mizuno logo that looked like it was spray painted on. Upon trying on the Rebellion, the first thing I noticed was the oversized tongue with a weird felt-like material on the top edge. Walking around in them, the most noticeable thing was a strong rocker effect from the pronounced toe spring and midsole geometry of the shoe. Let’s dive in to see what the Rebellion is made of.

Beto: On paper the shoe seems really promising so when I received the Rebellion I noticed it was half a size short, I am M12.5 and received a size 13 so it felt more like a size M12.5. The tongue is too long and too wide and when lacing up feels like it needs more padding to avoid pressure on the upper part of the tongue. When walking you can instantly feel the rocker is really pronounced so that was promising while the heel felt soft walking around.

Sam: The fit was generally true to size and a bit short with Mizuno telling us our early samples were in indeed shorter than production will be. The fit felt low over the toes when walking but fine on the run. The toe box is not particularly broad or high. Same for the midfoot a near performance fit with the foot well held by the gusset tongue. The heel counter is very rigid, the collars hold is superb but...down low at the rear things feel broad and quite loose.  If you have a wide heel you will be very happy, if you have a narrower heel you may struggle to get lockdown. I did on my narrower right foot but not so much that it was a huge issue, just an annoying bit of looseness down low.


Zack: The upper of this shoe is a single layer air-mesh with at mid foot an inner gusset tongue whose material extends all the way to front of the toe box as a lining. I think in terms of breathability it was fine, my feet never got overly hot. The midfoot was fine with a good fit and hold. The big problem with the upper (as I stated in the first impressions) was the tongue and overall heel lockdown. The tongue was overly large and sat on the foot very awkwardly while the heel lockdown just didn’t work for me especially at faster paces of 6 min./mile and under. 

Renee: The upper did not work for me. I think all reviewers will agree the tongue is overly large and fits cumbersomely across the foot. I laced the shoes somewhat loosely during my first run on hills, and my foot was sliding forward while running downhill, causing my toes to feel cramped. I laced tighter before my second run, ensuring my heel was locked back to allow more room for my toes. The heel cup material bunched and I had a massive heel blister after 10 miles. Run after run, I could not figure out a comfortable way to lace the shoe in a way that held my foot in place without causing discomfort across the midfoot and/or pinching my heel. 

Joost: The Wave Rebellion has a relatively breathable thick mesh that doesn’t stretch. The lines on the upper actually make up a ribbed pattern of mesh that provides lockdown and support. 

There’s a toe bumper that extends over the top of the toes. It feels a little claustrophobic to my big toe while walking, but is ok on the run. The tongue is a thin gusseted affair in a stretchy material with a strange wide top with a rubbery overlay and what looks like felt at the bottom. It looks and feels like it’s out of place on the shoe and buckles while running or walking.

The heel counter is very rigid up to about the top of the Mizuno logo on the shiny piece that joins the upper. There is some padding in the heel collar. In my case it was enough to hold the foot in place, but in a properly sized shoe (sizing was apparently wrong and half a size down in the samples we reviewed) this might cause some issues with heel slippage.

All in all a decent traditional upper. That tongue, though…

Beto: The Wave Rebellion has a single layer mesh upper with mid to front gusset lining, with overlays on the design to give more structure and secure the foot well. Breathability is fine and on hot summer days I didn’t felt hot so points. I dialed in the lockdown on my first run, so no issues with heel slippage, the only issue is that while the midfoot lockdown was fine the tongue extends too high up from the last lacing holes so that every time I lace tight I have pressure on the upper part of the foot. The laces were too long. The heel counter is well structured and has enough padding inside to hold the foot in place in my opinion as the shoe was short (at least in our early samples) the lock was perfect but if you go half size up you likely will see heel slippage.

Sam: The outer air mesh upper is thin and pliable. The inner gusset tongue wrap which extends to the toe box is quite thick. In an interesting contrast, the Saucony Endorphin Speed outer mesh is thicker and less pliable but its gusset is only at midfoot with a notably more breathable less constricting toe box (even if volume is very similar) as it has no inner layer up front.

Others have commented on the heel lockdown being less than ideal and I would agree. The heel counter is very rigid and low and while the collar lockdown and padding is excellent, the lower heel width in the counter feels very broad and is not as well held down low as it could be. If you have a broad heel and narrow forefoot, often called Asian foot sizing as this shoe appears to be lasted you likely will get a good fit. If you have a narrower heel less so, I am sure the thick counter also adds to weight. It needs to be revisited and secured with less plastic and a more effective design.

The tongue..All I can think is that Mizuno wanted to spell out and have seen “Wave Rebellion”. Other than it being awkward to lay flat around the foot requiring some tucking and pulling, I had no issues with it on the run but clearly there is room for improvement.


Sam: MIZUNO ENERGY LITE is a plant based bio form of PEBA from Arkama. Its durometer is 45C so softer than MIZUNO ENERZY at 47C or U4icX at 52C or for that matter Hyperburst at 47C in the Elite series shoes and Razor.  It feels about the same firmness maybe a touch firmer than Saucony's PWRRUN PB, also an expanded PEBA pellet midsole foam as we have here. 

Yet, we all noted that the forefoot feels firm and a bit harsh while the heel is on the soft side.

The construction is made up on a top layer of ENERZY Lite, the Wave plate, 2nd rear wedge of ENERZY LIte and the outsole. The overall stack height including glued in sockliner is 36mm heel and 28mm with an 8mm drop so this is a max cushion class shoe for sure.

The fiberglass reinforced Wave plate is likely the cause of this perceived firmness along with the very hard PU resin lugs of the outsole in a glued mesh matrix glued to the midsole is likely also a factor.

The Wave plate as shown above bridges the entire heel and midfoot and has a pronounced rise at the arch. I never felt the arch support was overdone or overly obtrusive despite appearances.

The Wave plate  is higher at the medial midfoot (above) than lateral (below) for some pronation control. I think this could make the Rebellion a good “near super shoe trainer” for those who tend towards some pronation control although for more neutral runners such as me the support is unobtrusive.

The midsole is clearly extremely stable, more stable than competitor Endorphin Speed. The Rebellion is a very rigid shoe in all directions.  The plate from midfoot up to fork is very torsionally rigid although not carbon rigid. Longitudinally at the heel the plate is flexible contributing I think to the soft heel feel and heel striking friendly ride I felt. 

The front forks are much more flexible than the mid foot leading to (while the shoe is rigid overall)to a nice long rocker effect if a bit thin feeling and firm in front cushion despite the 28mm of stack there. Joost aptly notes that at the very front the stack is way down to 10mm and I think that in combination with the very firm lugs produces the firm feel up front. Rebellion handles slow paces very nicely in terms of cushion and especially rear cushion and then as the pace picks up and the runner gets up on the front, or forefoot strikes to begin with, becomes sort of a different shoe. 

Aggressive, snappy, and firm "feeling" the ride reminds me of the ASICS Metaracer with its bottom loaded carbon plate ride but due to Wave Plate here and higher forefoot stack and considerably higher heel stack overall we get a more stable, cushioned and slower paces and heel striking friendly ride.  Compared to the Endorphin Speed, the Rebellion is more stable at the rear and not as cushioned at the forefoot with a longer rocker and less decisive final roll. Again the Rebellion is more slow pace and heel strike friendly and versatile but less pleasing at faster paces. I would not daily train in the Speed but could in the Rebellion but I do wish the midsole/outsole and Wave Plate within were less rigid and in all directions.

Renee: The midsole is firm and rigid. On foot, the Wave Rebellion does not feel comfortable, but after a few minutes of running, I was able to adjust. The midsole is not hard, just very firm and rigid. Despite my issues with the upper fit, I always ran  decent paces in  the Wave Rebellion. 

Zack: I agree 100% with Renee’s thoughts on the midsole. On foot it was firm and rigid, but while running, especially faster uptempo efforts, the midsole was much better feeling underfoot. At easier paces it was quite rigid and i definitely wouldn recommend  it for easier pace work. 

Joost: Energy Lite is quite a firm foam. It is a plant based form of PEBA, but looks and feels like TPU, although it’s not as heavy. There are 2 layers of it, sandwiching a fiberglass reinforced wave plate in between, according to Mizuno for extra responsiveness and spring. 

The plate is winged in the forefoot, allowing for some torsion. It is fairly rigid in the back, but allows for some flex in the ball of the foot. In that area, it is a lot less rigid than a carbon plate would be.

The official stack height is 28mm-36mm, with a 4mm glued in sockliner and 8mm drop. Due to the rocker, your toes are at just over 10mm from the ground. Depending on your footstrike, this creates the impression of a much higher drop. The firmness of the foam, coupled with the relatively rigid plate and the accentuated roll-off towards the toes makes the Wave Rebellion a very firm shoe. I would almost go as far as to call it harsh, but if you’re a heel striker, you get quite a bit of cushion from the 2 thick layers of foam in the back of the shoe. If you’re a forefoot striker like me, it definitely feels harsh.

Beto: The Mizuno Energy Lite midsole made of PEBA that we all may think is going to be super soft and bouncy but that is not the case here, I’m one of those people who really enjoy a firm ride, so when I started testing the shoe the first thing was that it wasn’t soft at all, it feels firm on easy runs but enough cushion when picking up the pace, especially for tempo or 400 meter reps.

It is not the lightest shoe for that but it does the job, thanks to the fiberglass Wave Plate that gives a lot of stability at the heel and a nice propulsive feeling at toe off. During my first 2 runs, I felt the plate like a little bump under my foot especially between my last two toes but after the 3rd run in the Rebellion that feeling was gone.

As a midfoot striker the shoe felt firm with just enough cushion, but as Joost said for forefoot strikers the shoe can feel more harsh.


Renee: The outsole reminds me of the Reebok Run Fast (v1). I love that shoe and the outsole worked great on dirt and gravel. The Wave Rebellion (despite the firm midsole) ran well for me on gravel and crushed rock. I did not run in the rain or wet conditions with the shoes.

Zack: The outsole was the part of the shoe I genuinely liked. I feel it has enough outsole rubber to provide just enough traction on dry and wet roads while not adding a ton of weight. Now I don’t expect it to last 400 miles (but Mizuno told us they have pairs tested and going well at 375 miles); I'm pretty sure the goal of this shoe wasn’t to last but to be fast, so this is a really good outsole for the type of shoe this is. That being said, I can see this shoe lasting in the 250-300 mile range for me.

Joost: I agree with Zack and Renée. I think the outsole is actually the best part of the Wave Rebellion. It should offer great grip on light trails, dirt and gravel. If you tread lightly, you’ll probably get over 300 miles out of the outsole before it wears down too much.

Beto: I agree with Zack and Renée. The outsole is the best part of the Rebellion, I ran on wet roads and some rainy days here in Mexico and had no issues.  The shoe really grips well, the rubber nubs from the outsole are attached to a type of mesh fabric material and I think that makes nubs compress into the midsole on each step and that helps the ride to be less firm, but I think if they replaced the fabric and add a TPU base for the rubber nubs think about the RC Elite v1’s outsole and that type of rigid plastic will make the Rebellion have more pop.

Sam: Beto is right, the outsole reminds of the super expensive to produce Dynaride outsole of the RC Elite 1. An array of very small firm lugs injected or in this case somehow attached to a matrix below. Each lug essentially operates independently for cushion and grip. Here there is some sensation of that but far less so than in the RC Elite 1. 

I think the reason maybe that instead of small triangles as in the RC Elite 1 here we have longer far bigger bars of firm plastic PU resin somehow adhered to a dense lower mesh that in the exploded sample is pliable but when glued likely is very rigid. 

The grip is fantastic but I think this outsole contributes to a final at the ground sensation of firmness and harshness even though there is copious cushion through most of the length of the shoe. But as the forefoot gets considerably thinner (down to 10mm) and with increasing pace or forefoot striking the outsole almost acts as a spike plate in feel or a bottom loaded carbon plate. 

I think a rethinking of the layout with less coverage, smaller lugs and less firm “rubber”  would smooth things out and make the shoe less noisy as the hard plastic lugs hitting the road are loud!  Again, I look at the contrast to Endorphin Speed (shown below) and its more minimal (and likely less long term durable) coverage of softer material and more prominent front flex grooves.  The trade off being likely less durability and less stability but as I experienced softer more bouncy feel at the road surface for the Speed.


Renee: I needed a few warm-up minutes on each run to adjust to the firm and rigid ride. And despite preferring a more flexible shoe, I ran well in the Wave Rebellion. The midsole and ride work best for fast paces, tempos or intervals. The rigid and unforgiving ride became somewhat uncomfortable for me during a 14-miler at 30 seconds slower than marathon pace. During shorter and faster efforts, the ride encouraged a healthy and consistent forefoot strike, which is by far the most redeemable quality of the shoe for me. The shoes are strangely heavy for their potential uses though.

Zack: As I stated previously, I think the ride and engineering of the shoe made it good for faster efforts but that's really it. The ride is not bad, it’s just something you have to adjust to. It’s very firm and rigid, which personally only works for me at fast paces. I didn’t find the actual midsole to be very responsive or soft, i would say the plate and somewhat rocker shape is what gave it a more speed-oriented feel. Unless you like a rigid shoe for easy days, I would not recommend this for those.

Joost: The ride of the Wave Rebellion did not sit well with my gait unless really picking up the pace. I found it way too firm and rigid. The awkward sensation of a “boxy” ride disappears a little when you go really fast, but that limits the usability of the shoe to speedwork for me and I have shoes in my rotation that are way more fun to run in at speed and also on easy runs. If you’re a heel striker, your mileage may vary, since there is a lot more cushion in the heel than in the forefoot.

Beto: The Rebellion really shines at faster runs. Fartleks or Tempos worked great for me but the shoe really feels stiff at the forefoot which I don’t mind as I really like firm shoes for fast workouts, 

When I took them for Long Runs where I just want to cruise the miles the shoe felt good at certain paces, but at after mile 20 the weight of the shoe started to feel noticeable, because it is made of PEBA I thought it will save the legs but its not the case with the Rebellion for long mid pace runs.

The thing that I really enjoyed is how it got me cruising the miles but because it's too firm you can beat up the legs early, something to point out. Other than that, doing easy runs felt OK if you heel strike as the geometry really helps on the transition to the forefoot as the heel landing is softer that the toe off, but during easy runs on the forefoot you really notice the firmer ride.

Sam: Two distinct “rides” for sure here. Soft at the heel at slower paces with a pretty easy transition. I did notice that the shoe seemed to need to “warm up” as every run took a few miles to have it somehow soften and smooth out.  As the pace picks up, the Rebellion front of shoe becomes notably firmer, more aggressive and snappier. Almost too much so for me. It could use more front flex and less firm “rubber”, more front foam stack up front to extend its range. Mind you there is plenty of cushion from the heel through near the toe off and if you like an aggressive on the road feel you should enjoy the snap and response. I also think, while effective, the Wave plate is overdone, too broad and rigid for me especially right at midfoot and ahead of mid foot before its fork.  

Conclusions and Recommendations

Renee: For me, the Wave Rebellion is a shoe that seems to be in the prototype stage. For redeemable qualities, I ran well with the Rebellion and I liked that the ride encouraged a fast, forefoot landing. For longer distances, the rigid/firm ride was not comfortable but that’s my personal preference.

The biggest negative here is the fit of the upper, and I struggled to lace the shoes in a way that locked my foot while being comfortable. The Wave Rebellion is best for runners who like firm and rigid rides and who like to train in a shoe that is heavier than their race day shoes. While I do not discount that the Wave Rebellion can be a quality fast-pace trainer, the fit of the upper might be a deal breaker for many runners, especially at $180.

Renee’s Score: 8.2/10 (-.25 weight for usage, -.25 price, -1 upper fit, -.15 sizing, .-15 firm/rigid ride)

Zack: I did not think about the shoe like this until Renee said it, but she hit it spot on in that it does seem like a prototype shoe. I say that because it seems like a shoe with all of the right ideas but executed imperfectly and that went through inadequate testing. The pandemic may have had something to do with that. Not to mention the $180 price point is definitely not justifiable for this shoe. Now, I'm not saying this is a bad shoe at all, it's actually decent, but it is not a good $180 shoe, I would say it feels like a “decent” $150 shoe. 

Zack’s Score: 8.5 / 10 

Joost: My first ever Mizuno shoe and it is a bit of a letdown. This one won’t make it into my rotation. The main weakness of the shoe is its excessive firmness and a ride that’s more square than rounded. As Renee and Zack mentioned, it feels more like a prototype shoe, an idea still ripening and one that definitely needs work, especially at $180 retail. Then again, if you enjoy a very firm ride with a pronounced rocker feel to it, you might want to give them a try.

Joost’s Score: 7.05/10

Ride: 6.5 (50%) Fit: 8 (30%) Value: 7 (15%) 7 Style: (5%)


The Rebellion is a good shoe that needs to be tweaked more, the idea is good and it works. It just need a softer PEBA and I'd add TPU Rubber Nubs at the outsole for more pop when running. The shoe is firm and has the stack height of a max cushioned shoe and the rocker is really noticeable. It works. You can feel it even at slow paces and it shines during faster workouts, it’s heavy for an uptempo shoe but still will get the job done. As Renée said, the Rebellion feels like a pPrototype shoe so maybe the Rebellion 2 will be a much better option if they fix the tongue, lose weight, and add a softer PEBA the shoe will be more fun to run at different paces. 

This is a shoe that I end up using more than I thought I was going to, firm ride yes but I really like how it worked for me. I'm a heavier weight runner (195 lbs) so I believe I really got the benefit of the plate and the midsole more than a lighter runner might. 

Beto’s Score:8.1/10

Ride: 8.5 (50%) Fit: 8.0 (30%) Value: 7.5 (15%) 8.0 Style: (5%)

Sam: The Rebellion has a distinctive and unique max cushion super foam ride with two distinct personalities: a soft, heel striking friendly at slower paces ride that as the pace picks up becomes snappy, firmer up front and more aggressive in feel. 

The combination of an extensive broad and mid foot rigid Wave plate and the outsole design (my suspicion when glued very rigid and for sure firm) when combined with low very front stack deliver the fast almost harsh front ride at faster paces. This is despite the high overall stack. Yet the more flexible rear of the plate and massive 36mm of ENERZY Lite at the rear can also, at the same time, deliver a softer and heel striker friendly ride at slower paces.

While bio based PEBA is a premium and admirable material, the Wave plate is a sophisticated design and the outsole should prove extremely durable at $180 pricing is up there. At $150 it would be a very good value especially if as I suggest below the Rebellion and Mizuno made up their minds and either focused on being a racer trainer or a daily trainer.

The rear hold needs tuning, the tongue a new design, and given modern single layer mesh I don’t see the need for a thick to the very front gusset/lined construction. 

I think the next version needs to decide what it wants to be. The broad platform adds weight and stability in combination with the Wave Plate and maybe the outsole taking it into daily training weight class

So either the Rebellion needs to soften and get less rigid overall to become a more friendly daily trainer or become a lighter racer up tempo shoe. 

Mizuno trainers such as Wave Rider and Sky Wave are notably flexible up front while stable. There is plenty of lively base cushion and stability to be a trainer with some modifications to the front firmness and rigidity. I wonder what the same platform with a more conventional length Wave plate, only at the rear would lead to...I bet mighty fine.

Or Rebellion needs to slim weight through a narrower overall platform width, upper construction, and outsole design in combination with a less aggressive firm feeling forefoot to become more racer/trainer-like.  

Sam’s Score: 8.5 /10

Ride: 8.7 (50%) Fit: 8.5 (30%) Value: 8 (15%) Style:8 (5%)


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Skechers Razor Excess (RTR Review)

Sam: The Razor Excess gets to the same place (versatile all arounder with a lean towards uptempo)  with less stack, no plate and at a lower weight (2 oz lower) and price ($140). I do think the Rebellion is more heel strike slower pace friendly than the Excess with the Excess having a superior upper.

Skechers Razor+ (RTR Review)

Renee: Both shoes have similar usages for me: fast pace shoes that have enough stack height for longer distances (I ran a 50k in my Razor+). However, the rides are totally different. The Razor+ is much lighter in weight and has a softer, more forgiving midsole and ride. Runners who like a firm and rigid midsole might prefer the Wave Rebellion, but for me, the Razor+ is the clear winner because of comfort, weight, and upper fit. I wore a women’s size 8 in both, with more room in the Razor+ as compared to the cramped Rebellion.

Joost: (M9.5 in both) The Razor+ is a very different shoe. Hyperburst foam is very soft and bouncy and there’s no plate in the Razor+. The upper is also very unstructured and loose. This was the first shoe in the Razor 3 line with a good upper. One of my favorites, so no contest there.

Sam: I find the Razor heel low and not heel strike friendly especially as miles add up. It is far lighter, has considerably less stack height and is less expensive. I would note that the Razor’s foam durometer of 47C  is the same as the Rebellion so the firmer feel we all noted in Rebellion is most likely from its plate (Razor has none), outsole and geometry at the front in some combination. 

Skechers Speed Freek (RTR Review)

Joost: (M9.5 in both) While both are comparable in stack height and are plated, that’s where the similarities end. The Speed Freek is a great shoe, let down by a bad upper. The Wave Rebellion has the better upper, but the ride quality of the Speed Freek is something else. Unless you want to go over 15k and have wide feet, the Speed Freek is the better choice.

Beto: (M13 in both) I agree with Joost they are similar in height and both plated, even the rocker felt similar. The upper on the Rebellion is way more comfortable than the Speed Freek, but if you plan to do long runs the Speed Freek is a better option, lighter and more responsive and with a bit more cushion at the forefoot. 

Endorphin Speed (RTR Review)

Beto: (Endorphin Speed M12.5 and M13 on Rebellion) both had the same fit for me. These two shoes really appear similar:  PEBA midsoles and flexible plate. The Speed has a more flexible less extensive nylon plate than the fiberglass plate of the Rebellion. Both uppers accommodate and fit well but the Speed weights 1.3 oz / 37g less. 

The Speed feels more responsive and more bouncy with a fluid rocker and the PEBA midsole really saves the legs a lot, especially on long runs above 21k you can easily keep going. With the  Rebellion after the 21k mark you can be more beat up but will still bet cruising the miles. I can only say Speed is more soft and bouncy and Rebellion firmer with a great rocker.

Sam: If uptempo and  “speed” is your need, the lighter, more flexible, less firm and more dynamic Speed is the better shoe. If you need more stability and/or tend to heel strike or need a shoe for a wider range of paces the Wave plate and broader platform of the Rebellion is worth serious consideration in this comparison.

ASICS Evoride or Noosa Tri (RTR Review)

Joost: (M9.5 in both) Both shoes have a rather pronounced rocker and a more structured upper. The Evoride is also on the firm side, but doesn’t have a plate, so the ride ends up being less boxy. My preference goes to the Asics.

Renee: I agree with Joost and my preference is the Evoride (v2). Both have a firm midsole, but the Rebellion’s is much firmer and more rigid. The speed in the Rebellion is created by the plate, whereas the Evoride 2’s speed is created from its pronounced forefoot rocker. The Evoride is more friendly for a variety of paces. I wore a women’s size 8 in both, but the Rebellion’s fit is about a half size smaller. Both shoes weigh about the same. 

Puma Deviate Nitro (RTR Review)

Joost: (M9.5 in both) Both plated shoes. While some people have issues with the upper in the Puma, my initial niggles with the heel padding was relatively soon forgotten. The Mizuno is a lot firmer than the Deviate Nitro. I like the lugs in the Wave Rebellion, but the outsole of the Deviate Nitro is one of the best out there. While the Deviate Nitro is not a speed shoe per se, it does well at all paces and is a far better all-rounder than the Mizuno.

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

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