Riding the Running Waves With the Mizuno Wave Rider 16

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Light but not minimal, the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 makes you want to run. Now.

You know how certain running shoes just feel right? Like they were made for your feet? And when you lace them up, you somehow get this magical running power that makes you faster, springier and somehow happier? Like, just the sight of them has you telling yourself, “Damn, I’m awesome.”

You do? Of course you do! And the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 ($115) are those shoes for me.

Similar to how these Brooks Running Pure Project shoes felt like a match-made-in-heaven, the Wave Rider 16 blessed my tootsies with a similar feel-fast experience yet a very different run. Like many shoes these days, they’re light—8.2 ounces to be exact. But they’re not minimalist by any means. While not overly cushy, they’re supportive with—for me—an ideal mix of support and plushness. Right now as I type this, I’m wearing them, and I can wiggle my toes around and feel the plushness. Kind of like having a really cozy hoodie, but for your feet. I love it. It feels like luxury, yet when you run in them, they’re still firm. You feel like you literally spring off and forward when you stride. Like you’re—wait for it—riding on waves.

The shoe is also very breathable, with little mesh-covered vents above your toes, but it doesn’t feel like your feet are totally exposed to the elements. And in fun colors (a girl at the gym nicknamed mine “watermelon shoes,” which I thought was cute and rather appropriate), I can totally see why this is Mizuno’s long-standing flagship shoe. It rocks.

In addition to the running shoes, Mizuno also sent me some apparel to try. We’ve already reviewed the company’s Breath Thermo apparel and declared it amazeballs, and this stuff was no different. While I’m not sure I’d call it super cute (I wish the V-neck was just a touch longer and more roomy), it’s totally functional and keeps you oh-so warm. The fabric—through some crazy-cool process—wicks away body moisture and then turns the moisture into warmth to keep your body warm. It’s amazing and works. And the Mizuno Breath Thermo Wind Top ($60) is perfect for windy and chilly spring runs—and it has THUMB HOLES.

Do you have a pair of shoes that make you feel like bounding around and hitting the streets for a run? What are they for you? —Jenn



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