Ride the Wave: Mizuno Group Run & Rider 16 review

On Thursday night, our Mizuno rep, Riley, paid us a visit for a group run. Similar to our Asics run in January, he had with him dozens of trial shoes in tow. However, Mizuno certainly knows how to start a party! I watched in excitement as a table of snacks, water, beer, giveaway pint glasses and water bottles, and a to-be-raffled backpack unfolded in the store. Nice work, Riley.

I had been looking forward to testing out the Wave Inspire 9, since it feels nice from the few minutes I tried it on at work once. I used to run in the Inspire way back when, in late 2007/early 2008. Now, as you all know, I am a Brooks devotee. I used to be wary about taking a different shoe on a run since I’m so injury-prone and whatnot, and rarely did it when the opportunity presented itself. I’ve since changed my mind and decided to do it, because it really gives me a better idea of how to present the shoe to customers. So, with my luck, there were no Inspires in the bag that were my size, and the sizes around it definitely felt wrong. I tried on the Wave Rider 16 and hopped on the treadmill. I videotaped myself and then analyzed it in slow motion after…and they looked fine! I was surprised, as I thought I would need more stability, but apparently not. Huh. Goes to prove my point that most runners are mildly (or severely) overcorrected if they have never been analyzed running in a neutral shoe! (Haven’t done this? Have no clue what I’m talking about? Go to a good running store, now, and insist on it!)

Thursdays are typically my favorite running day, because I do 7-8 miles wherever the heck I want. I take advantage of my Thursdays. I led the group to Witherspoon Woods – it was the first group run in so long that was light enough to hit up some trails! I felt great, and hardly noticed I wasn’t wearing my Ravennas once we got on the trails. It was an hour of twists and turns and hills, with some interesting talks (did you know that forests can be razed and then grow completely back in just a few hundred years?). I was on such a runner’s high when I returned…cliché, but come on, you know those runs. It’s a real thing. And it’s awesome. So was this stout, to my surprise:


Thoughts on the shoes…most of my expectations before were proven wrong on this run. This is great, because it means I can tell these things to customers from a firsthand experience. Honestly, I want people to come up with and share their own opinions on the shoes, but sometimes you can tell they really want to hear yours, and may even ask.

1. Expectation: narrow forefoot. Reality: even more spacious forefoot than the Ravenna. The stitching placement was perfect, the toe room, height and width, was perfect.

2. Expectation: they are very neutral. Reality: I always thought I needed just a tad of stability, and I was running 100% neutrally in these. I’m not saying it’s stable, it is neutral; but, maybe it is more firm all around (compared to neutral Asics, Nike, etc.).

3. Expectation: Firm ride. Reality: this was definitely true. There was less “bounciness” to the cushion of this shoe than the Ravenna, and many others. I think I like that bounce, but the firmness wasn’t too hard; I could tell there was cushion there.

4. Expectation: hot color. Reality: got that one right too. Loving the coral red.

At the end, I got to keep the shoes! Score! Maybe I’ll rock these Riders on my easy runs this spring.

Speaking of spring, it is finally here! I’m still waiting for the day I can sit outside in a t-shirt and write or read for hours without shivering, though. Jackets are still recommended, I’d say.

Do you run in Mizunos? Thoughts? If you hated the Rider 14 and 15 and swore off the shoe:  listen to me now: TRY THE 16! IT IS SO DIFFERENT AND I THINK YOU WILL FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH IT.

I have like 5 posts to catch up on…going in chronological order here (sooo busy…).


3 thoughts on “Ride the Wave: Mizuno Group Run & Rider 16 review”

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