Mizuno Wave Rider History

The evolution of the Wave Rider


19 Years of Wave Rider

Mizuno, true to its never stop pushing manifesto has worked tirelessly for the past 19 years to develop the Wave Rider into the shoe that it is today. The Wave Rider 19 is the culmination of improvements, some big and some small, in material, design and technology. From its humble origins in 1997 and the very first introduction of Wave technology to todays Wave Rider, Mizunos restless pursuit of perfection is obvious. There remains some semblance from the original design but ultimately the Wave Rider has improved year on year and continues to impress even the purest of runners.


The evolution of the Wave Rider


Changes to the Wave Rider 

You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. When originally conceived the Wave Rider was but a shadow of today’s contemporary industry leading shoe. Weighing in at 363g it paved the way for its descendants to adhere to the Wave Rider’s principle development strategy of “just what you need and nothing more”. The very first Wave Rider struggled to gain a following but it was exactly this that lead Mizuno to make the changes that have sculpted the latest incredibly successful model. Mizuno’s most recent Wave Rider weighs just 260g and is a far cry from the original, it has been developed and improved year on year and continues to receive great reviews.

 Mizuno Wave Rider 1 and Wave Rider 19
 Mizuno Wave Rider Technologies  

The technology in the Wave Rider

Within the Wave Rider series there have been a number of models that have revolutionised not just this particular shoe but also running shoes across the industry. Mizuno’s Intercool system, first introduced on the Wave Rider 4 originated a design used across all generations to come. The ventilation system channeled humidity down through the shoe and out the bottom to regulate temperature and reduce exposure to potential blisters caused by trapped moisture. A prime example of Mizuno’s quest for cutting edge, innovative design. The Wide Rider 6 similarly evolved the series when the plastic Wave design was replaced by a softer composite resulting in a smoother heel strike. Not satisfied with just improving the design of the shoe, Mizuno’s Wave Rider 12 was made from Castor Oil which significantly reduced Mizuno’s carbon footprint helping benefit the planet.


Adapting the Wave Rider to customer feedback 

Part of the research and developmental process for the Wave Rider was listening to the feedback from the athletes and customers who competed in the shoe. The most significant example of this was when developing the Wave Rider 10; Mizuno conducted a consumer study known as Kansei Engineering, which is a Japanese product philosophy that simulates the buying experience for runners. The ultimate result of this was finding out exactly what athletes were looking for when purchasing their next running shoe. The Wave Rider 10 was designed to have a faster, sleeker look and was greeted with great success. Mizuno also quickly redesigned the Wave Rider 15 after realising that the tighter fit of the predecessor wasn’t what customers were looking for in a neutral running shoe. The ability to embrace innovation and also adapt to feedback is what has made Mizuno’s Wave Rider the success that it is today.

 Mizuno Wave Rider 10
 Wave Rider Special editions Osaka Amsterdam  

Limited editions of the Wave Rider

Over time, the Wave Rider has seen some exciting developments in both technological design and also aesthetics. Mizuno has created various limited editions to this model. One to celebrate the Amsterdam marathon for example, which incorporates ornamental Dutch details into the sleek upper design. Another of these limited edition shoes was for the Osaka marathon which took the creative design one step further by incorporating 7 different colours into the sole to represent the 7 different charities that the Osaka marathon happily supports. Mizuno’s way to promote the cohesive union of charities in their Japanese hometown marathon. Mizuno love connecting with athletes and producing limited edition shoes is just one way to say a big thank you to all those who run with us.


Wave Rider 19

Building on the legacy of the Wave Rider line this is our best model yet. With more resilience and cushioning that delivers a superb ride sensation and a more harmonious fit that works with the runner at every stride.