Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash Multi Tester Review: 7 Comparisons

Article by Zack Dunn, Renee Krusemark, Derek Li, Sally Reiley, Jana Herzogova, Shannon Payne, Adam Glueck, Jeff Beck and Steve Gedwill

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash ($160)


The Wave Rebellion Flash is an uptempo trainer/racer featuring a dual density midsole with underfoot Mizuno Enerzy Lite, the same super foam found in the wild Wave Rebellion Pro racer (RTR Review).  Below Enerzt Lite we have a firmer white Mizuno Enerzy foam heel wedge. 

Embedded in between the two midsole foam layers is a rear to midfoot glass fiber reinforced Wave plate said by Mizuno to be highly rigid and 1141% snappier than pebax plates. 

The outsole is an unusual PU resin that is softer than the firm PU outsole of the predecessor Wave Rebellion. On the surface a really good thing as the Wave Rebellion’s was clearly firm plastic and noisy.

The upper is a soft breathable air mesh of a single density with a few rear overlays, a toe bumper stiffener and a semi rigid heel counter with just a rear stiffener.


Effective easy to find front propulsion with a snappy toe off Sam/Zack/Renee/Sally/Jana/Adam

Upper had a good lockdown at both the collars and midfoot: Zack/Derek/Sally/Shannon/Jana/Steve

Roomy buttery soft single layer mesh upper: : Sam/Zack/Sally/Shannon/Jana/Steve

Upper is durable and lightweight: Zack/Derek/Sally/Shannon/Jana

Versatile: tempo runs to shorter races: Sam/Zack/Derek/Sally/Jana

Stable well cushioned heel: Sam /Zack/Jana

New softer PU resin outsole delivers a dramatic improvement in ride feel over prior much firmer and noisier Wave Rebellion outsole: Sam/Zack/Renee

Non harsh/overly rigid in feel Wave plate geometry back to front: Sam/Zack

Roomier overall fit and feel when compared to other Mizuno models past: Shannon


While 8mm drop is appreciated, and at 35mm the heel has plenty of cushion, the 27mm forefoot may get tiring at races over 10-15K for many: Sam/Zack/Derek/Renee/Sally/Adam

Upper may not be secure enough at midfoot for low volume feet at true to size, could use more medial underlays and maybe a gusset tongue: Sam/Renee

Forefoot too flexible for speed work: Derek

Plate still seems too rigid: Steve


Approx. weight: men's 8.4 oz  / 238g (US9)  /  women's 7.1 oz / 202 g (US8)

  Samples: men’s   8.17 oz  / 231 g US8.5

               Women’s 7.1 oz / 202 g (US W8)

Stack Height: men’s 35 mm heel (measured)  / 27 mm forefoot (8mm drop spec)

Available February 2023. $160

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Zack: In all honesty, I was hesitant to test this shoe, particularly because the predecessor to this shoe had left me with a very distasteful experience in which running in the shoe was unbearable over 6 miles, due to a very stiff and unforgiving midsole, as well as a very weirdly fitting upper. 

However, when I did my first impression try on and took a couple of steps in the shoe, I could tell right away this would be a much different experience, a better one. The shoe is true-to-size for me, and I had found no issues in any area. I found the lockdown of the upper to be very good, in both the collar and heel area. The upper was also one of the things I actually really enjoyed about the shoe, as it seems quite durable yet lightweight, which is always something nice. 

Derek: Fresh off a splendid experience with the Wave Rebellion Pro, I had very high hopes for this shoe, even though it is more conventional in construction. 

The color scheme is nice enough out of the box; nothing too flashy. Step in feel was comfortable but I immediately noticed that the shoe runs really large for me. I’m almost suspicious that maybe the sizing was mislabeled for my pair. I have a full 2 finger breadth of space in front of the toes without socks, and still 1.5 fingers with my thickest Darn Tough socks. Fortunately, I am able to get quite good lockdown in the shoe. 

There is plenty of padding around the ankle collar, and it works well with the semi-rigid internal heel cup. 

The upper is mainly composed of a relatively thin breathable synthetic mesh layer that Mizuno calls Air Mesh. 

The tongue is not gusseted and is held in place by the lace slots as pictured. The material is made of thin synthetic slightly padded mesh with a laminated border. 

There are 6 rows of lace eyelets, excluding the heel lock eyelet, which is plenty and should give people plenty of options, should they want to get creative here. Fit is actually quite generous in terms of volume, especially at the heel and midfoot and though it tapers to a lower height at the toe box, the internal laminate toe guard helps to prop things up at the toes. 

Furthermore, the mesh is soft enough that it should accommodate most higher volume feet. The laces are something I am not a big fan of. They use a slippery nylon material and while they do still bite, I kind of feel like I have to put quite a lot of tension into them to get that lockdown. I would have preferred a less slipper material here. 

As mentioned above, the sizing is long for me, and I would probably go down a full size in this model. In the above pic, you can see how much space I have up front. I’m wearing my thickest socks here.  (For comparison with recent Mizuno shoes I have tested: Wave Rebellion Pro is true to size but not great with thicker socks, Wave Neo Wind is on the longer end of true to size, and I might size down with thin socks and race day use but as a trainer, I would prefer TTS for flexibility with sock choice)

Renee: I tested the Wave Rebellion in 2021 (RTR Review), and it was a miss for me. The ride was too stiff and unforgiving, and I had issues with the upper being insecure and uncomfortable. 

The Wave Rebellion Flash is a clear improvement in every way. While the ride might still be too stiff for my personal preferences, I ran well in the Flash. 

The upper is much more refined as compared to the 2021 Wave Rebellion. It  is light and breathable. 

I seem to be in the minority here, but I had issues with lacing to find the security I needed to offset the stiff ride. The forefoot and midfoot lockdown worked great, but to achieve a good ankle hold, I had to lace tight. So tight, I lost feeling in my feet. During speed workouts, I had to stop and loosen the lacing. With such a stiff, aggressive ride I needed a tight hold to control the propulsion, and I could not create a balance of security and comfort. For me, the shoes run true to size. 

Sally: I also had a not-so-good experience testing the predecessor Wave Rebellion , so I was wary of this new Mizuno model. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised with the Rebellion Flash. It felt good on the foot right out of the box, so a big improvement right there. 

I have struggled with sizing in Mizunos in the past, but this fit nicely true to size in W8. 

The upper is attractive with its pinks and white, is soft to the touch and lightweight. I found it secure around my narrowish foot, and the only harsh spot that bothered my foot was the stiff achilles collar. I echo Derek’s comments about the laces: too thin and too slippery. I had to double knot them, but it was difficult to lock in the right snugness with the laces. The shoe feels stiff, but I tend to like the propulsion of a firm toe-off.

Shannon: It’s been a minute since I have run in a Mizuno….in 2007 in my much loved Wave Precision. It was my hope that this lightweight trainer/racer might be an echo of that splendid shoe of yore. But it wasn’t. It was better. 

Out of the box, the Rebellion Flash fit true to size, with my women’s size 8 fitting very comfortably, with an accommodating toe box that was nothing like the narrower, more snug fit of the Mizuno shoes of old. The upper material is wonderfully breathable, lightweight, soft, non-constricting, but still managed to deliver a secure fit. While the toe-box allowed for ample space to freely move, it was not a boxy, sloshy shoe, rather, it locked down very securely at the heel to give a fabulously secure fit. 

Jana: Wave Rebellion Flash is my second Mizuno shoe ever run. Coming from a positive experience with my first Mizuno, the  Wave Neo Ultra, I had high hopes for this model. 

The upper is lightweight, breathable, and dries fast. When wet, they still remain very light. Well designed gusseted tongue is soft, causing no hot spots, or any other issues. 

The heel counter wraps around the heel well, and keeps it locked in while providing ample cushioning. Again, zero issues there as well. No issues with laces either. 

The colorway is a head turner, I have received a few compliments.

Adam:  I was immediately impressed with the lightweight upper and bold colors of the Wave Rebellion Flash.  I found the upper had some space behind my heel, but had a solid enough lock over the forefoot that I didn’t notice any slip while running.  The upper’s thinness allowed for excellent breathability and overall stability without feeling overbuilt.  I agree with Derek that the laces could be improved as it was easy to get them too loose or too tight especially considering that the tongue padding isn’t particularly thick.  While it took me a minute to dial in the fit, it was unnoticeable while running which is the best you can ask for.

Jeff: I have a long history with Mizuno, though this is the first shoe of theirs that I’d term a “fast shoe”. My Mizuno experience is normally running in their most cushioned shoes like the Sky or Neo Ultra down to their more traditional daily trainers like the Wave Rider or Wave Inspire, so I was surprised to receive these, but right away was impressed.

As stated above, the uppers are incredibly thin, but it doesn’t feel all that flimsy. I’ve run in another shoes with similar minimal uppers, and they didn’t hold the foot all that well - these don’t give me that same uneasiness. The super thin tongue could allow for some lace bite, but you don’t need to crank things down to achieve good hold, so that’s not really an issue. And while the toebox is massive, it’s definitely good enough for most non-Altra/Topo fans.

Steve: I'll keep it short and sweet, just like the Creamsicle like colorway on the Mizuno Flash, which I totally dig (both the shoe design and dessert). The upper is a silky smooth thin synthetic mesh, which the closest comparison I can think of is the Atreyu Base V2. At step in I still found this new version to feel pretty flat and not super supportive. It does however feel incredibly light and nimble. I found it to be true to size with nice volume up front. A few adjustments with the lacing to get the right hold and I'm out the door!


The midsole has 3 components as shown in Mizuno’s schematic below.

Sam: The white heel area is Enerzy foam, a decently soft EVA blend with characteristics similar to Saucony PWRRUN or Nike React. This layer absorbs landing shocks and stabilizes. There is no sense of instability, bottoming out or over firmness and even at slow and easy paces. 

Above the Enerzy layer we have a front forked Wave plate made of glass reinforced fiber that is said to be 1141% snappier and also more rigid than pebax nylon type plates. Yes it's snappy and rigid but in no way prescriptive, awkward, or overly harsh in feel and mismatched to the rest of the midsole as some carbon shoes are. and this at any pace even slower more daily training like paces for me. 

The Wave plate also provides noticeable linear stability to the rear of the shoe. I say linear as there is no sense it is a more overt stability component medially or laterally. And even at slower paces, also unusual for a plated shoe, no sense of getting hung up at midfoot at less than fast, fast paces. This effective non super rigid stable plate geometry reminds me of the Xtep 160X 2.0 if a bit stiffer than that shoe's flexible carbon plate.


The main midsole is Enerzy Lite, a supercritical non beaded type foam which we first saw in the wild Wave Rebellion Pro. This foam has decent softness and a very quick return. It is slightly softer and my sense less dense than the lower Enerzy layer and is full depth upfront allowing the foot, along with the 8mm drop and guided by the Wave plate, to easily plunge forward to toe off and unusually for a plated shoe pretty much at any pace.  To me, Enerzy Lite feels like a softer ASICS FF Turbo foam or a less dense and bouncier Lightstrike Pro. It is clearly firmer than New Balance Fuel Cell foam.

Zack: Through my testing, I can say the midsole felt great underfoot, and I enjoyed a lot of aspects about it. The main orange foam unit is Mizunos Enerzy Lite foam, which to me was very comparable to Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam in how it felt underfoot. It had a nice responsiveness to it while also being soft for comfort.  

As for the white foam in the heel area, I definitely agree with Sam in that the Mizuno Enerzy foam feels very similar to Nike React, in which it is nothing crazy in terms of responsiveness or comfort, but I think it will be wellwith longevity and durability. Sandwiched in between the two foams is Mizuno’s glass fiber reinforced plate, which provided stability, as well as a stiffness underfoot that made the shoe excel in the uptempo, faster paces. However, this did take away the comfort when it came to slower paces, so that is a disadvantage of the  plate. Overall, I really enjoyed the midsole, and felt that it does an excellent job at being great for faster paces, as it had a nice blend of snappiness, comfort, and responsiveness to where it felt perfect at the tempo paces. 

Derek: The midsole is cushioned and quite springy for a relatively moderate stack shoe by modern standards. We are talking about heel and forefoot stack numbers within 2mm of the Adidas Takumi sen 8 and Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 1. It’s quite clear that Enerzy Lite is the magic sauce, and the Enerzy base layer is less propulsive and really serves more to stabilize the shoe. Loading the forefoot gives you a nice springy rebound sensation, whereas the heel feels rather dull by comparison. Vibration dampening is decent, but the forefoot feels (again) softer and more forgiving than the heel. 

Renee: Everyone else has the detailed specs, so I’ll add my thoughts. The midsole is super stiff. I don’t get a “soft” feeling from the midsole, but once I start running, there is some give to add comfort to the stiff propulsion. I agree with Sam about the shoe not bottoming out at slow paces, which is surprising considering the stiffness of the plate.

Sally: Stiff is an accurate description of this midsole, but it has its soft-around-the-edges redeeming values. The forefoot has some softness and energy return, while the heel feels firmer. I agree that the shoe does not seem to bottom out at slower paces, which I found to be a relief. Despite the stiffness, there is plenty of rebound if you up your input.

Shannon: It doesn’t need to be said again, but I’ll say it anyway: this is a stiff midsole. If you like ooey-gooey super plush softness, this is not the shoe for you. What I was impressed by is that while it was stiff, it’s a forgiving sort of stiffness, and there is a certain amount of cush to the forefoot. In sort, it’s a very intriguing mix of firm heel, soft forefoot, and out of the gate it was apparent this shoe was to have some pop.

Jana: As everyone mentioned above, these shoes feel stiffer, but I prefer it that way. I find them providing excellent underfoot cushioning and impact protection, with stable and smooth ride. Despite the stiffness, there is plenty of rebound. 

Adam:  I really enjoyed the midsole of this shoe, and found the combination of the Enerzy Lite Foam and Plate a compelling yet unique combo.  I agree with Zach that Enerzy Lite feels similar to Saucony’s PowerRun PB, but slightly denser, leading to a feeling of stable and direct response without being overly harsh.  It’s not a soft shoe that rewards slow paces, but at faster speed it returns a lot of energy.  The plate provides a lot of the energy return and propulsion of a carbon plate, but similar to the Endorphin Speed 3, without a lot of associated harshness and low speed turnover issues.  I agree with Derek that this shoe responds better to mid foot and forefoot loading than heel striking.

Jeff: Yup, spot on, comparison with Saucony’s PowerRun PB, with some added density. There’s an overall stiffness from the plate, and while the midsole allows some sink in, it is very stable. No question I’m the slowest runner of this group, but even at my paces I felt some really good rebound. I’m a bit of a cushioning snob, and have spent a lot of time in truly maximal shoes over the last twelve months, so I wouldn’t mind a slightly higher stack height - though I could see this being a good entry into more modern plated shoes for runners who prefer the old traditional racing flats.

Steve: Not to be a broken record, but I found the midsole to be quite stiff as well. It's not overly harsh, but I don’t care to do easy miles in them. The midsole of the Flash comes alive at tempo and faster paces, learn more below in the ride section!


Sam: My biggest knock of the first version was the very firm PU resin outsole, essentially a firm plastic and not the usual rubber embedded in a fabric mesh further hardened by the glue bonding it to the midsole. Noisy, firm in a spike shoe way this outsole was downright strange and I would say unpleasant to run

Problem fixed. Same approach but now the PU resin lugs are clearly softer and much more like harder rubber outsole material as opposed to the usual blown rubber up front.  This new outsole is clearly a better match with no disconnects in feel  to midsole as before and loses none of the snappy quick return of the previous as far as I can tell.

Zack: The outsole is quite simple, yet great in what it is supposed to do. The traction it provides is very good, even on surfaces such as dirt or a limestone trail. It also seems to be quite durable, as even after 53 miles there seems to be little wear. Overall, the outsole I would say is just fine. 

Derek: The Mizuno outsole is excellent for me, with very good traction and wear resistance. No complaints here. Beyond this, I just want to point out that as durable and rigid as the outsole is, the ride is relatively quiet once you get into a groove. 

Renee: I ran on packed snow (some ice) and found the outsole to work great. The underfoot feel is more forgiving on snow than it was on the treadmill. As compared to the 2021 Wave Rebellion, the softer PU resin outsole is more forgiving.

Sally: I ran on some slippery icy surfaces and this outsole provided great traction. The others comment that this outsole/rubber is quieter than the past version, but I still think it is a loud shoe and could be quieter (perhaps I did not succeed in getting into a groove with this shoe, as Derek points out results in a quiet ride?).

Shannon: On my first run in this shoe, I covered a route that was comprised of asphalt, concrete, crushed gravel, dirt and scree, and wet wood. The flash handled all of those well (minus collecting some rocks in the bottom of the heel while scrambling up a scree-covered hillside, but let’s not forget that this is no trail shoe). On occasion I’ve noticed shoes with an extremely firm, almost plastic-like outsole material can get slick on wet surfaces, but that was not the case in this shoe. I’d feel confident over virtually any road-like terrain in this shoe.

Jana: I have nothing else to add to what was said above - they have excellent traction and wear resistance. I tested them mainly on a wet pavement, and on steeper uphill and downhill for miles, with zero traction issues so far. 

Adam:  This outsole has excellent durability, good traction even on light trails, but is on the louder side when not run with a mid-foot or forefoot strike.  I don’t have a ton extra to add here, but I think the additional traction increases the versatility of the shoe.  

Adam:  This outsole has excellent durability, good traction even on light trails, but is on the louder side when not run with a midfoot or forefoot strike.  I don’t have a ton extra to add here, but I think the additional traction increases the versatility of the shoe.  

Jeff: Not to just follow the crowd, but the traction on these is exceptional, and with a little more supportive upper they could even hold their own on many trails. The construction is a little odd, with the cloth between the lugs, but I don’t have anything bad to say about it - and it’s clear that it isn’t making the shoe heavy by any stretch.

Steve: I'm going to mention something about the outsole that hasn't been addressed yet! Well now that I have your attention, I found the outsole to provide excellent grip as well! During runs that included wet, slushy and slick surfaces, the Flash provided great traction. Did someone touch on the great durability?


Derek: The ride is smooth and springy, but really rewards efficient midfoot and forefoot strikers most. 

Hard heel strikers may find the heel a little too firm for longer runs. It performs best when you consistently load the front half of the shoe. In terms of stability, even though this is a neutral shoe, the excellent outsole and relatively firm and stable heel makes the shoe a good option for runners who only need light stability. 

The shoe works adequately at moderate to uptempo paces, but did not really inspire me for interval work. I found that at fast paces, the forefoot lacks snap. Maybe I am too used to having carbon plates in all my workout shoes, but absence of a prominent rocker makes it hard to maintain fast paces in the shoe. At slower paces, the shoe feels ok, but there are probably softer and more forgiving options out there for these runs. I think the shoe might work as a daily trainer if you don’t have very long runs planned. In my case during runs beyond 12 miles, the balls of my feet got sore in this shoe.

Renee: The ride is not my preference; it’s just too stiff. The midsole has some give to it once a pace is established, and the shoe runs much more comfortably than they initially felt on foot. I don’t like to train in plated shoes, and if I do, I would prefer a race-specific shoe (as the Vaporfly). The stiff underfoot feel is a bit too hard to make this a daily trainer for me and for long runs I need a softer or more flexible ride. The Wave Rebellion Flash fits into speed and uptempo runs category, ideally around the 10 mile mark for me. I had three great interval speed workouts with the Flash and maintained good-for-me paces. That said, I wasn’t excited about picking up the shoe for those types of workouts, as I’d prefer something more flexible. 

Sally: This is a stiff ride but with enough softness and spring to make it not harsh. I find this shoe works best for me for shorter uptempo training runs. It feels smooth and quick and secure on the foot. But then I did a 14 mile run in this shoe as part of my Boston Marathon training ramp up, and concluded that it is not cushioned enough for my (not youthful) feet for runs beyond 8-10 miles; my feet were tired and my legs were feeling the miles more than usual. When I tired, I found my stride felt flat-footed and flat in general - perhaps due to the inflexible stiffness of the shoe. (Bear in mind that as I get older, and I am OLD/mature in years, I prefer a more forgiving ride.) I hope I don’t sound too negative - this shoe is fun and responsive for me on runs up to 10 miles, and gets a big thumbs up then. So not a long run shoe, but a fun and quick tempo run shoe.

Shannon: Okay, this is a straight-up fun shoe to run in. To me, the midsole really comes to life once you squeak into tempo-pace territory. It’s bouncy and it’s energetic and it’s got some major giddy-up. Bear in mind that you’ve got to like a stiffer, on the firm side ride to get along with the Flash, but I felt excellent running in this shoe.

It feels fast, yet it doesn’t feel like a shoe that is only exclusively for speed days. This is a fabulous shoe for those runs entailing a lot of change in pace as it still has pep in the step at slower speeds. While I wouldn’t really encourage it for a long-run or easy day shoe as again, there isn’t much about it that is particularly cushioned or forgiving, it’s an excellent option for both race day and workouts.

Jana: Shannon above sums up my overall feel about this shoe. Smooth, springy, fast, and  without sacrificing on comfort. I am a fan.  They will stay in my road shoes rotation. Excellent uptempo workouts and race option.

Zack: I definitely think this shoe was really good to run in, especially when compared to the original Wave Rebellion, which was for me not so much fun. Talking about the ride, the shoe definitely felt best at the tempo paces, as it was a little too stiff for easy running, but not light and responsive enough for the race / interval paces. 

An example of a run in them was a 12 mile run/workout which consisted of a 3 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo (5:30-5:15 / mile) , 6 x 800m (5:00 / mile pace), and then a 2 mile cooldown. It definitely to me felt like a stiffer Endorphin Speed, as it had comfort and responsiveness, but I would best associate it with having a springy feeling most of all (which is what makes it best for tempos).  

Adam:  Zach hits the nail on the head for me when describing this as a stiffer Endorphin Speed.  It’s a shoe I’d use for similar niches and workouts, feels best at tempo paces, but can slow down or speed up as necessary.  The stability and predictable ramp in response to power make it a dependable shoe for workouts, and the traction is excellent when I mix some dirt and light trail into my intensity runs.  For racing, I’d still want a bit more cushion and probably a carbon plate, but I really enjoyed testing this shoe and will definitely reach for it for future runs.  

Adam:  Zach hits the nail on the head for me when describing this as a stiffer Endorphin Speed.  It’s a shoe I’d use for similar niches and workouts, feels best at tempo paces, but can slow down or speed up as necessary.  The stability and predictable ramp in response to power make it a dependable shoe for workouts, and the traction is excellent when I mix some dirt and light trail into my intensity runs.  For racing, I’d still want a bit more cushion and probably a carbon plate, but I really enjoyed testing this shoe and will definitely reach for it for future runs.  

Jeff: It’s got a stiff ride, but it actually works well despite that. And yes, it’s definitely best at faster speeds, either races or speedwork, but has a nice pop to it even at my slow lumbering easy pace. If I had to keep just one shoe for everything, including races, this would be on the short list purely on their pace versatility. 

Steve: I briefly touched on how I don’t care to run easy miles in the Flash and here’s why; Even with a decent stack height, I found the plate too rigid and not flexible enough. The Flash does shine at tempo and faster paces however. The buttery soft upper basically disappears when turning up the heat and the turnover feels fast and natural. I felt a good amount of snap in the forefoot and a nice connection to the road. I wish it was a more forgiving ride to also make it a well rounded trainer.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Derek: The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I think it has promise as a sort of uptempo trainer harking back to the days of the original Wave Sayonara or Hitogami, but it seems to lack that snap that you want to feel in an uptempo shoe. 

On the other hand, the shoe may not be cushioned enough to be a daily trainer/long run type of shoe. Over and above this, it’s a challenge to see where the shoe sits in Mizuno’s lineup. 

The way I see it, you have the Wave Neo Wind, the Wave Rider 26, the Rebellion Flash and the Rebellion Sonic. While they all have varying degrees of cushioning stack, the underfoot feels are actually fairly similar, except perhaps the Rebellion range have a more springy Enerzy Lite foam that is really only perceptible in the forefoot and not well perceived at the heel even though it’s there. 

The subtle irony here is that the stiffer foams in the Neo Wind and Rider 26 actually give them a more snappy forefoot, which is what you need in the Rebellion range. I think the Rebellion Flash is an attempt to merge the Rider 26 with a bit of speed capability, and it almost gets it right, but they need to either extend that plate more into the forefoot or make it stiffer still to make it work. 

This is a crowded space, and the Rebellion Flash at $160 competes directly with the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, Puma Deviate Nitro 2, and a whole host of options out of China such as Xtep’s 160x and 260x range shoes. I just don’t see it winning this fight (yet). 

Derek’s Score: 8.53 / 10

Ride 8.5 (50%) Fit 9 (30%) Value 7.5 (15%) Style 9 (5%)

Smiles Score 😊😊😊1/2

Renee: I’ll agree with Derek’s statement about the Flash being a mixed bag of promise, but that promise greatly depends on running preferences and usage. The shoe does not have the type of cushion needed for easy or long runs. The stiff underfoot ride works for speed days, but I personally prefer a non-plated, more flexible shoe for speed. A positive, the Flash is an improvement from the Wave Rebellion of 2021.

Renee’s Score: 8.5/10 (-.1 upper/heel fit, -.50 overly stiff ride)


Sally:  The Rebellion Flash is definitely an improvement on the Wave Rebellion, we can give it that credit.  It is a great shoe for those who like a firm almost old-school ride with no rocker geometry, simply a stiff springy forefoot that gives back plenty of pop if you are willing to put some effort in. 

I enjoyed it for quick tempo runs of 6-8 miles, but found it uncomfortably un-cushioned and exhausting on a 14 mile run. 

Mizuno is coming out with some great new concepts, but I agree with others that it is difficult to pinpoint where this shoe will fit in the mix. It has much promise but has some shortcomings at this point. I would choose the Saucony Endorphin Speed or a similar peppier bouncier shoe for my tempo training runs over this one, for now.

Sally’s score:  8.5/10

Ride 8.4 (50%) Fit 9 (30%) Value 8 (15%) Style 9.5 (5%)

Smiles Score 😊😊😊

Shannon: The fit, feel, and ride of this shoe is a big improvement since last I tried a Mizuno, and the Flash is a great shoe for those faster days, even those faster days that might entail getting into double-digit miles. I would not suggest this shoe for long runs, easy runs, or for folks who generally heel strike pretty significantly as this ride would likely simply feel too harsh and unforgiving for those types of mechanics. If you like a fast, plated-shoe type feel that doesn’t necessarily force you to forefoot strike but definitely rewards those who do, it is a great option. This is a fast, fun ride for everything from races to fartleks to tempos.

Shannon’s Score 8.5/10😊😊😊😊

Zack: I think the Flash shoe performed pretty well, and I think it shows promise in what Mizuno has to offer. In this case, they offered a shoe that does very well for uptempo running , as it has quite notable aspects of being responsive, stiff, cushioned, and having a springy feel. However, the downside for me was the versatility aspect, as this shoe only really felt good at very specific paces (tempo in my case). For easy running it was way too stiff and unforgiving, and I definitely think there are better faster options for racing. So if you’re a runner who likes a stiffer yet responsive ride, then this shoe will definitely do you good, but other than that, I would say look the other way. 

Zack’s Score: 8.8/10

Adam:I really enjoyed this shoe, but feel like it’s stuck between an uptempo trainer and a versatile distance shoe.  For distance, I feel like I’d want a little more cushion, and for uptempo a little more snap, but for those looking for a slightly firmer but still responsive Endorphin Speed like shoe with a little more stability, this is a great option with good foam and upper technology.  

Adam’s Score 8.5/10 😊😊😊😊

Jeff: I liked this shoe much more than I thought I would. I tend to favor ultra cushioned and softer shoes with a plush upper, and this is none of those things - yet still works very well. I was impressed by how fun they were, even at my easy pace, as most “fast” shoes are awkward at easy paces. I wouldn’t want to take these past a half-marathon distance, as my larger frame really does appreciate the extra squish, but I could see most runners throwing them in the mix for speedwork and races of almost any distance.

Jeff’s Score: 9.35/10

Ride: 9 Fit: 10 Value: 9 Style: 10


Steve: The Flash is definitely an upgrade over the original Wave Rebellion, but I still find it a bit stiff and rigid for my liking. I really only see this as a tempo shoe and that’s ok, because the Flash does that quite well. With slightly more cushioning or at least a softer feeling ride, I would rate this shoe a bit higher and consider it more versatile. I find the Flash just kind of one note, it's great at one thing (tempo paces) and very much middle of the road in other categories. For its lack of versatility I don’t see how this fits in my usual rotation. 

Steve’s Score: 7.5/10



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Mizuno Wave Rebellion (RTR Review)

Renee: The Flash is the improved and upgraded version of the 2021 Wave Rebellion. The upper of the Rebellion fit like a prototype (sloppy and undersized). The ride underfoot of the Flash is more forgiving, but remains too stiff for me. The Flash is the more refined, lighter version of the Wave Rebellion. Sizing is similar with the Flash having more length (the Wave Rebellion ran almost a half size too small). 

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the Rebellion Pro, and seem to fit an 8.5 better in the Flash. These are two very different shoes. The Flash runs like a bouncy version of a traditional daily trainer, with a relatively flexible forefoot, while the Rebellion Pro is all rocker and an incredibly radical assistive ride. The Flash has better stability, being a lower slung shoe with a wider footprint, but the Rebellion Pro is better at everything else, including easy runs. 

Brooks Hyperion Max (RTR Review)

Renee: The Max is not a plated shoe, but it does have a responsive ride and roll forward from a forefoot landing. The ride of the Max is firm, but not stiff, making it more forgiving and user-friendly as compared to the Flash. I liked Max the more I ran. For a fast and more forgiving ride, the Max is the winner for me. 

Adam:  Renee says it all. I really like the Max for long tempo runs and smooth acceleration.  The Flash is a snappier shoe and has better traction and acceleration, but for fast smooth cruising I’d prefer the Max.  

New Balance FuelCell SC Pacer (RTR Review)

Derek: I fit US9.0 best in the SC Pacer and likely fit US8.5 best in the Rebellion Flash. The Pacer is a stiff and snappy minimalist speed shoe, while the Rebellion Flash is more of a daily trainer variant with more cushioning and more flex through the toe box. The Flash is more versatile, while the Pacer has a very narrow skill set, but it is very very good at that narrow skill set. I would use the Pacer for workouts, and the Flash for daily training. 

ASICS Magic Speed 2 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the Magic Speed 2 and likely fit US8.5 best in the Rebellion Flash. These two shoes seem to sit at opposite ends of the spectrum for me. The Magic Speed 2, while officially holding a 7mm heel-toe drop, really feels like a shoe that you need to run on your toes, and yet the heel feels softer than the forefoot. (It has a bit of that Metaspeed Sky+ feel) It feels rather dead at moderate paces and feels best when you are doing 5-10k pace reps right up on the toes. It is quite a rigid shoe. The Rebellion Flash is significantly more forgiving underfoot, but maybe too flexible through the toes. As a daily trainer, I think the Flash feels a lot better at easy to uptempo paces, but for short intervals, I think the Magic Speed 2 is a better shoe. 

Nike ZoomX Streaklfy (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.0 in the Streakfly (half size down from my usual size) and likely fit US8.5 best in the Rebellion Flash. The Streakfly works best as a short interval shoe in the same vein as the NB Rebel / SC Pacer, or the Skechers Razor Elite. The Rebellion Flash has more underfoot cushioning than the Streakfly, while both have good flex through the toes. If the focus is workouts, I think the Streakfly is the better option, but if you are looking more for a daily trainer/uptempo hybrid shoe then the Flash is a better shoe. 

Zack: In most scenarios, I believe I would choose the Nike Streakfly over the Rebellion Flash, as long as the workout does not exceed 6-7 miles, in which I would then choose the Rebellion due to higher cushioning. However, I definitely prefer the feel of the Streakfly underfoot, as it is a lot lighter and for me a lot smoother to run. Both shoes are great, but I think if I had to choose one, I would go for the Streakfly. 

Steve: I agree with Zach that I would choose the Nike Streakfly over the Rebellion Flash in just about every situation. The Streakfly is lighter, softer, and more flexible. I would still choose the Streakfly in runs over 6 miles, the plate in the Flash is too rigid to want to take it any further than that.

Adidas Adizero Boston 11 (RTR Review)

Derek: I am true to size in Boston 10/11, and fit best a full size down in the Flash. The two shoes have very different rides. Boston has a very prominent rocker, and a fairly firm and stable ride. It has quite a high stack and so ground feel is quite low. The Flash has a more traditional feel with a bit more flex through the forefoot. The foam is also a bit softer and springier, especially at the forefoot. However because it has lower stack, you also feel the ground more in the Flash. Bottom line, if you like a more rockered forefoot geometry, then the Flash won’t be your cup of tea

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the Speed 3 and fit US8.5 best in the Rebellion Flash. The Endorphin Speed 3 has an overall softer underfoot feel than the Rebellion Flash, but if you break it down into heel and forefoot, while the EndoSpeed 3 heel is definitely softer and smoother than Flash, the Flash has a softer and springier forefoot than the EndoSpeed 3. 

In terms of cushioning and vibration dampening, the Endorphin Speed 3 is a more cushioned shoe. I don’t necessarily like either as a first choice for a long run trainer, but if I had to pick one, I would go with the EndoSpeed 3. 

In terms of outsole grip and durability, the Flash seems to be significantly better in that department, so if you are going on dirt paths or wet roads, the Flash would be a better choice. In terms of overall versatility and performance, I think the EndoSpeed 3 covers all the bases a little bit better than the Rebellion Flash.

Sally: The Endorphin Speed was one of my top picks for all of 2022, so I preface my comparison with the fact that I love that shoe. It is more cushioned and smoother than the Flash and definitely more forgiving on a longer run. However, I think it comes down to understanding a runner’s mechanics: those who naturally forefoot strike are going to love the pep and energy of the Flash as their running style will reap the benefits of this shoe’s midsole. The Endo Speed simply works better for me.

Zack: I would personally choose the Speed 3 over the Rebellion Flash for a few reasons. They are quite similar shoes in many ways, but Saucony managed to make the Speed such a versatile shoe which is not something I can’t say the Rebellion is.

Steve's Beer Comparison!

Steve: Introducing Going Places IPA from Hopewell Brewing Company. Hopewell is located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Hopewell opened in 2016 and is a business that centers people over profits and community over individual gain.

Why is Going Places IPA a good match for the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash? Well obviously running shoes are going to take you places haha, but the colors and line art on the can and upper of the shoe match quite well.

Going Places IPA pours a light golden yellow with minimum haze. On the nose you get some bright citrus and some pine. Definitely very orange citrus forward with a mild amount of pine bitterness. It's medium bodied and drinks quite light. It's quite crisp and has a solid bitter finish to round it out! Another delicious offering from the team at Hopewell!

⅘ Beer Mug rating 🍺🍺🍺🍺

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Tester Profiles

Zack is a college sophomore/ runner at Lewis University. 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 60-75 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 4:25 for 1600m, 9:45 for 3200m, 15:27 for 5K, and 25:24 for 8k.


Derek is in his 40’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:39 marathon PR from the 2022 Zurich Marathon.

Jana took up running in 2016, after a back injury. Prior to that she was a speed skater, but due to back pain and doctor's recommendation, she transitioned into running. Since then, starting with shorter ultra distance races she quickly evolved into an avid long distance and unsupported mountain runner. She also loves to take on challenges/races in arctic and subarctic climates, mainly in unsupported and semi-self supported style. She currently lives in Utah/Wyoming.

Shannon is a Colorado native currently residing in Northern California. NorCal is nice, but Colorado will always be home. Having run competitively for around 20 years, she was a 7x All American at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, was a 2x member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team, 2x winner of the Mt. Washington Road Race, and was 3rd at the 2014 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championship. While running will always have her heart, she recently segued into DEKAfit and qualified for the 2022 World Championships. Looking ahead, she has goals of doing more DEKAfit (only faster and better), more gravel bike races, the Mt. Washington double (the running race and bike race in the same year), and returning to the Pikes Peak Ascent podium.Her favorite shoes currently include the Hoka Torrent and Saucony Kinvara, and her favorite runs include anything that goes uphill. 

Sally is a lifelong runner and mother of five who agreed against her better judgment to run her first marathon at age 54; she has since run the past nine Boston Marathons, two NYC Marathons, and one Chicago, with the WMM Six Star Medal now in her sights. With a Boston PR of 3:25:55 in 2022 (9th place in AG) and two consecutive 2nd place in Age Group awards in NYC, she is about to run in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Age Group World Championships at the London Marathon on October 2, 2022 (W60-64). She also competes in USATF races with the team Greater Lowell Road Runners (5K, 10K, 5 Mile, 10 Mile, Half Marathon, etc). To add meaning to her Boston Marathon races she runs with Team Eye and Ear and has raised over $260,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital. Sally is a compact (petite) runner at 5’2’’ and 105 pounds and lives in Marblehead, MA, training outdoors year round. 

Adam is an endurance athlete (cross country and AT skiing, running, mountain and gravel biking) who formerly competed at the NCAA’s in cross country skiing while studying at Dartmouth College.  He can run a 4:43 mile, 16:20 5k, 1:23 half, and grew up running in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  He’s currently working as an engineer in the Bay Area and exploring trails from Santa Cruz to Tahoe.  You can follow him at on Strava

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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