Initial Thoughts: Mizuno Wave Rider 17

The following post was sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno

Over the past year, I have bounced through running shoes like Kim Kardashian bounces through boyfriends. Back in the day, I relied on my trusty Brooks Adrenalines until I discovered the Pure line. Then, I found the Mizuno Evo Cursoris followed by the Wave Rider 16s and Wave Sayonaras. I loved some instantly, didn’t completely hate any of them, but overall preferred a few: the Pure Cadence, Mizuno’s (now defunct) Evo Cursoris, and ironically, the Wave Rider 16.

Wave Rider 17

So, when I received the opportunity to give the new Wave Rider 17s a shot, I was curious. This is the first time in awhile that I have worn the same shoe in two consecutive models, so I wondered if I would notice any changes. And you know what? I definitely did!

The Good:

Mizuno has done a hell of a job in cutting the weight of this shoe! At 8.8 ounces, the WR 17s are super light, especially for a traditional (not minimalist) running shoe. If memory serves, they are almost an ounce lighter than the WR 16s, and this is a definite plus for me. As y’all know, I tend to trend towards minimalist shoes with a splash of traditional footwear thrown into the mix, so a lighter shoe is perfect.

My initial run in the WR 17s was while I was at Cedaredge over Thanksgiving. The cabin is on the side of the Grand Mesa, so you have no choice BUT to run up a hill! I did two miles straight up the Mesa (650 elevation gain) before turning around and enjoying the easy two mile descent. During that time, I specifically noticed that the shoes felt very light and not-at-all clunky like I have come to expect in some traditional running shoes. Score! And, just like with the WR 16s, I totally love the cushiony bounce that comes along with this model. I still think the Wave Rider series is my favorite among all of the traditional running shoes I’ve worn!

Wave Rider 17

The Questionable:

When I initially mashed my foot into the shoe, I had a flashback of the first time I tried on the Wave Sayonaras in June. The toe box wasn’t narrow, per se, but it definitely felt a bit more snug than I’d prefer. I wiggled my toes for a bit and realized it wasn’t necessarily the width of the box that I was noticing; instead, it was the height. I almost felt like my toes were being suffocated by a low ceiling or something! (Is that weird?!)

Honestly, I expected this to be a huge problem once I started running, but in reality, I never noticed that tight feeling again. My guess? I know that Mizuno redesigned the upper to make it more sleek and seamless, in addition to cutting weight. Maybe this “tightened” the toe box a bit? No idea really, but in the end, it didn’t matter. To date, I’ve only only run 9 miles in the shoes (including some trail time with Tals!), and that initial feeling has not been a problem. I’ll check back in next month to give y’all an update after I’ve logged some more miles!

Wave Rider 17

Trying to convince Tals to come back and run with me!

Bottom Line:

If you’re already a Mizuno fan who loves the Wave Rider series, you won’t be disappointed with the 17s! If you’re a runner who loves traditional shoes but is looking for a lighter feel with serious cushion, definitely check these out. I suspect most people will be happy with them!

The Wave Rider 17s will go on sale December 5 (tomorrow!) and MSRP is $114.95.


Are you a Mizuno fan? Are you brand loyal with your shoes?


  • Reply Miz at

    IM SO SO SO MIZUNO CURIOUS and currently (whispers) VFF brand loyal 🙂

  • Reply RFC at

    I’m not necessarily loyal with shoe brands…I wear what works, which changes all of the time, specifically based upon current need (gym, treadmill, road, trail, etc). Surprisingly Mizuno is one company I have NEVER run in! Glad to hear the narrow toe box hasn’t given you issues, I’d be curious to hear if you feel the same about it after a longer run?

    • Reply heather at

      Agreed. I’m not totally sold on these ones yet, but they worked enough that I’m willing to give them a shot over the next few weeks. Vamos a ver!

  • Reply nrmrvrk at

    Too much advertising and sponsored posts. Good luck with your blogging “career” I’m done with ya.

    • Reply heather at

      Hey Nrmvrk (sorry, but I don’t know your real name!) Sorry to hear that you feel this way and I’m sad to see you go! I just pulled up your comment history and noticed you tend to only comment on my sponsored posts and that they are always complaints. I mention this only because I inherently feel the need to defend myself…human nature, I suppose. Regardless, I am sorry to lose you as a reader and only wish I had heard from you more frequently.

      • Reply Gene at

        Heather, I LOVE your response to nrmrvrk. I also appreciate your review. I have some as well, and had similar findings (which I will be blogging about this evening).

  • Reply Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's at

    I have been taking a break from the running, but shoes is one of the few things that I don’t have strong ties to any brand. When I get back into running I definitely want to try these.

  • Reply Alyssa at

    We’ve been selling the 17s for like a week now! Maybe only running specialty stores did before? The customers who have tried them on loved them. I need to try them out at work tomorrow!

    • Reply heather at

      I bet your store is special 🙂 Seriously, I’m curious to hear what you think– what do you run in now? I ran in them on a treadmill the other day and I’m still torn!

  • Reply Laurel at

    Hi – after reading reviews across the internet I had high hopes for the 17’s. I’ve run in the Wave Rider for the last 3 years dating back to the 14 model. I’m in my 6th pair now, after out-mileaging the previous shoes. I was able to try a pair of the 17’s yesterday and I just don’t care for them. The rounded cushioned support I am used to is gone. The shoe is flatter and the reduction of fabric on the top to me, feels less stable. I agree with your comment about the Sayonara’s – I totally see more similarity to that model than the previous Wave Rider models. Unfortunately, I won’t be buying the new 17’s. The only think I do like about them is they made the price of the 16’s go down – which is good because I will be stocking up!

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