Live Science Verdict
Best suited for long slow runs the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 excel in comfort but are a little stifling in warmer temperatures, and they lack pep for speed work.
Perfect level of cushioning
Lighter than its predecessor
Great for beginners
The fitted upper lacks adequate temperature control
Lacks bounce for speed work
Redesigned heel counter can create overpronation
Why you can trust Live Science
Despite being lesser-known road shoes, the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 are a solid competitor in the rankings for the most comfortable training shoes currently available. They are a great alternative to the more popular Brooks Ghost and Asics Gel Cumulus which some road runners find suffocating due to the excessive cushioning.
By comparison, the Wave Rider 27 design is the Goldilocks of comfort — not too soft and not too hard, but just right, making them the perfect companion for those long easy runs rather than a pair for thrashing out speed intervals.
The U4icX foam beneath the wave plate and under the heel maximizes softness underfoot, protecting your feet from impact mile after mile.
The downside is that the additional 2mm of cushioning may supply softer landings, but in return, it reduces speed and bounce. If you are looking to smash out a 5k personal best, then you'll probably want to avoid this pair.
Weight: 270g women's, 285g men's
Heel stack height: 38.5mm
Forefoot stack height: 26.5mm
That said, if you are training for your first half or full road marathon, these are a great choice. They will also suit ultra runners who need to cover lots of long gentle miles.
During testing, we felt the Wave Rider 27 running shoes were better suited to more temperate climates. Despite an upper designed to maintain a comfortable temperature, our reviewers actually found it tended to make feet feel warm, making this more of a seasonal shoe for cooler weather.
Overall though the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a robust and reliable shoe for building endurance that never wavers on comfort.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: How we tested
We put the shoes through long runs up to 30k, speed intervals and parkruns. They were also used in hill rep training and on shorter tempo runs.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: Build and cushioning
As soon as you slip on these shoes, it feels like you have stepped into running slippers. They are immensely comfortable, especially with the extra 2mm of cushioning in the wave plate. The effect of this midsole is a balanced softness underfoot which doesn't create a sinking feeling.
Less desirable is the additional padding incorporated into the upper to wrap around the ankle and heel. Rather than creating a 'luxurious fit', it tended to swaddle the feet, creating too much heat. We found our feet got sweaty fairly quickly when wearing the shoes in warmer weather.
Despite being five grams lighter than their predecessors, the bulkier padding did make them feel a little heavier. Meanwhile, the redesigned heel counter caused some of our reviewers to slightly overpronate on their runs.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: Design and upper
The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 running shoes come in a small range of colors, which should suit most tastes, with nothing too bold or brash. The Jacquard mesh upper promises temperature control together with the ventilation system in the sole, but even on short runs we found our feet heated up quickly. In this respect, the Wave Rider 27 upper just can't compete with Nike Flyknit lightweight uppers when it comes to breathability.
Where Mizuno fares better is in the fit. There is plenty of room for wider toe splaying and sizing is half to a full size larger than non-running shoes.
Due to the 38.5mm stack and spongy heel, the shoe is definitely bulkier than faster, lighter road models like the Brooks Levitate Stealthfit that we reviewed earlier this year.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: Outsole
Made with an X10 outsole, the Wave Rider 27 is built to last and retained its durability throughout testing. There is more traction provided at the heel and a groove in the center of the base to help create spring, but in reality, it acted as a stone magnet. In wet and dusty conditions the sole had good grip and we felt stable pounding the sidewalk in all conditions.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: Performance
Comfortable from the moment you step into them, the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is a pair that requires no breaking in. They performed well on long runs, apart from some sweaty feet issues on hot days. They are also extremely cozy for everyday walking.
They aren't particularly light or responsive during harder sessions like speed work or hill repetitions, but they definitely helped to stave off fatigue on easy training runs.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: User reviews
There are a limited number of reviews of this shoe just yet but out of 18 ratings on Amazon, all but one gave a full house of five stars. One user summed up his satisfaction like this: 'I have been running in Mizuno Wave Rider shoes for nearly 20 years. They make comfortable shoes and these are no exception.' Another claims 'Running felt like liquid smooth gliding.'
Another happy customer says '...these runners are fantastically comfortable, and they give me support exactly where I need it. I tend to overpronate just a little bit and these seem to correct that in the forefoot a teeny bit. They're very lightweight as well, and I think they look pretty great too. Super happy.'
Mizuno Wave Rider 27: Should you buy?
If you are a fan of the Mizuno Wave Rider, then this latest design shouldn't disappoint. For someone looking for fatigue resistance over long miles, this product oozes comfort whilst providing reliable grip and support. But there are definitely speedier, lighter, cooler shoes on the market if you are looking for something with a bit more zing.
If the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 aren't for you:
For something a little speedier, streamlined and more breathable Brooks Levitate Stealthfit is a great alternative pair, and they come in an array of snazzy designs.
Another everyday shoe with plush padding, ready to wear out of the box is Nike Air Zoom Structure 24. It has a wide supportive midsole and is great for easy recovery and long runs.
Lily Canter is a freelance money, health and lifestyle journalist with more than 20 years' experience. She writes about fitness for Fit+Well, Tom's Guide, T3, South China Morning Post, Runner's World and Trail Running magazine. She focuses on personal finance for Yahoo! Finance UK, Metro, The Guardian, and loveMONEY. In her spare time she is an ultra-runner, canicrosser and UK Athletics running coach. She also co-hosts the award-winning podcast Freelancing for Journalists.