For many years, I was a long-time fan of Mizuno running shoes – from my first pair of Wave Rider 13’s until even the most recent iteration, Mizuno shoes had always been one of the best fitting brands for me personally. It was unfortunate however, that Mizuno seemed to not evolve with the arms race of technology going on between the likes of other running giants like Nike, Asics and Adidas. Enter – the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro. With the latest entry to their array of running shoes, Mizuno has forayed into the realm of carbon plated shoes. Sporting some uniquely designed geometry and an upgraded wave plate, I could not wait for the return of Mizuno. My overall thoughts on the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro after having clocked a few 15-20KM runs are that it provides all the things I like in a long distance racer but was able to create that feeling using a combination of some interesting technology. Despite Mizuno’s history of having a firmer ride in a lot of their shoes – their Enerzy Lite Pebax-based foam gives us the cushioned comfort we’ve come to know and love in our carbon plated super shoes but yet felt quite responsive under foot.
As soon as I laced up the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro – I could tell it was going to be a unique ride. With a new technology called ‘Smooth Speed Assist (SSA)” and the height of the midfoot stack, the Wave Rebellion Pro puts your centre of gravity over the midfoot and encourages a quick transition to toe-off. At first glance, the beveled heel and midfoot stack look like it might cause some discomfort making such a large change to where the majority of your weight rests but to my surprise, the dual-density midsole foam (a combination of Soft Enerzy Lite+ and Firm Enerzy Lite gave a plush initial contact but yet responsive feel during mid-stance into push-off. Last but not least, it sports a carbon-infused nylon plate in order to keep the weight as light as possible.
The Mizuno Wave Rebellion offers a minimalist yet durable upper that feels thin but firm to touch. While the upper doesn’t seem to have much stretch, it doesn’t feel overwhelming tight. Some runners have reported the toe box to be a bit narrow but despite having flatter and wider feet, I felt the toe box to have plenty of room and actually hoped for a tighter feel in the forefoot to minimize shifting as I tend to forefoot strike quite hard. It does however have a solid lockdown feel in the back courtesy of a firm heel counter, padded ankle collar and a well placed lacing system. The outsole on Mizuno shoes have always been Grade A – and the Wave Rebellion Pro is no exception. Mizuno’s G3 outsole feels tacky to the touch and has a certain resin texture that enables it to grip even on the commonly wet asphalt on Vancouver’s rainy streets. As a result, I felt quite secure turning tight corners and changing elevation throughout my runs. Overall, I’m a big fan of the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro. As Mizuno’s first entry into the super shoe race, I would say that there is some room for improvement but that the Wave Rebellion Pro is going to give some industry leader’s a run for their money. The interesting midsole geometry is something I am going to have to keep an eye on as there are some potential applications to the design that could be beneficial to runners suffering from plantarfasciitis or heel bursitis but more extensive mileage are required before I can comment on that feature. The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro provides a very stable ride for long runs and gives an integrated feel under foot that has the bounce and cushioning of a daily trainer yet has the responsiveness and rocker propulsion of a race day shoe. I would consider the Wave Rebellion Pro as a good alternative marathon racer if you’ve had issues with the fit of more traditional brands like Nike, Adidas or Asics. Fit: 7.5/10 Feel/Rollover: 9/10 Outsole/Grip: 8.5/10 Comfort: 8.5/10 Durability: 9.5/10 Overall Rating: 8.5/10