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The shoes provided to us for this review were pre-production samples. There may have been slight changes in fit for production.
The long-awaited Wave Rebellion is here, Mizuno's endeavor into plated racing shoes. Instead of a carbon plate, like in Nike's Alpha Fly or Saucony's Endorphin Pro, Mizuno uses a fiberglass plate to propel the runner forward. The fiberglass provides the springiness of carbon fiber but with way more flexibility - think of it as a diving board for your feet.
According to Mizuno, fiberglass is used is because "whether you’re a 60lb kid, or 300lb man, it still loads and returns energy about the same, and allows them to spring into the air."
The Wave Rebellion is a light and responsive shoe, quick enough to be a road racing shoe but also versatile enough to be a daily trainer for some.
Our wear-testers gave mixed reviews on the Wave Rebellion; praising the lightness of the shoe but cited some concerns such as the fit of the heel cushion and feel of the tongue.
The partially gusseted and fairly minimally padded tongue did not resonate well with the testers. One of our testers said she could not lock down her ankle in the shoe, causing it to feel sloppy.
This is Mizuno's first iteration of the shoe, so for the first try it gets a passing grade and our testers are optimistic future versions will be even better.
HEEL TO TOE OFFSET: 8mm
WEIGHT: 6.3oz/178.6g women's, 7.9oz/223.9g men's
USE: Racing, tempo run, speed workout, everyday trainer
SURFACE: Road, track
Jen: I had a few things pop up on my first run with the Rebellion. The toebox felt comfortable and offered enough room around the widest part of my forefoot. However, I had a hard time keeping my heel secured in the heel cup. I felt as though my foot wanted to keep sliding forward. No matter how I tied it, I couldn't properly secure my heel and my big toe on one foot was bruised at the end of a 5-mile run. The tongue is very thin and puckers when the shoes are tied. After the run, I noticed that it had left an indentation on the anterior portion of my ankle joint. However, I really enjoyed the grippy, almost tacky rubber on the outsole.
With the new Mizuno Enerzy Lite technology that is 22% softer and 35% more responsive than conventional sole material, Mizuno has nailed down the underfoot feel given the runner a springy and agile experience.
For a Mizuno, the size runs true for both length and width. I would not recommend it for a user that needs a lot of width in the forefoot. The first thought that came to mind when I put the shoes on was, "Is this actually a Mizuno?" The Rebellion does not have a "clunky" feel or look like Mizuno's have in the past which I think will be a big appeal for most people.
Matt: I felt the fit of the Rebellion was good, and just that. It definitely didn't strike me as spectacular, but also wasn't a bad fit by any stretch of the imagination. It kind of had a nice happy-medium between everything in terms of width, hold, and length. I felt like the shoe in most areas would be considered bordering on plush, but the tongue not so much. It is partially gusseted and fairly minimal in terms of padding, and I would have liked a tiny bit more padding and a full gusset, as it would have done the shoe a lot more justice. My heel sat nicely; no real slippage but wasn't LOCKED in either. My biggest issue with the upper would have to be the tongue kind of wanting to wrinkle and crumple up when tightening the laces. It's actually a little difficult to get it to lay flat over the top of the foot, and it does feel almost like an afterthought. The only other issue I had was the printed on mesh holes in the forefoot, which didn't actually exist. They just added color/pattern in a design to create the illusion of holes in the forefoot mesh, but upon further inspection, I realized there were no holes at all, and just printed hole "camo" if you will. So the breathability was subpar by default, especially since the forefoot material is fairly thick. The shoe is a solid piece of gear, but I did feel it had a somewhat disingenuous aura to it, given the aforementioned discrepancies.
The cushioning was good, and that would be expected of a daily trainer, which is what I would categorize this shoe as. It did not have the dynamic soft/bouncy feel of most other super shoes, but also didn't have a dead feeling like a lot of EVA blends out there. I would say it is forgiving but definitely has a ground contact feel with no sense of "suspension", if you will, that some of these other shoes have.
I was impressed with how true to size this was for me. It felt perfect in my men's 10.5
Jen: Given that I did not feel secure enough in the heel cup, it is hard for me to say that the shoe was stable. I will say though that the feel directly under my foot was stable and I am excited to see what Mizuno will do in future versions of the Rebellion.
Matt: The Rebellion is to me, a surprisingly stable shoe considering the somewhat softer foam and decent stack height. This is partly due to the aggressive rubber outsole, and probably more so due to the plastic (seeming) piece that is wedged in between the foam on the medial side of each shoe. It has a nice rigid heel counter which does help for all you heel strikers out there. This is not a stability shoe by any means, but I think for someone with overpronation issues this would be a great option for daily miles.
Jen: I personally would use the Rebellion for interval work and tempo runs. It could also be a great option to have for a fast attempt at a 5-10k race. I was surprised by how light the shoe was given that it is a Mizuno. The new technology that is used, Mizuno Enerzy Lite, really gives the underfoot a responsive, bouncy, yet firm feel which makes for a great reason to use for the above options.
Matt: I think the Rebellion has a sweet spot for those daily mile distances. Maybe that 5k-10k range. It's a little hefty for racing, and not super forgiving for longer runs comparing this to a lot of the other options out there and in its demographic.
Jen: I have said for many years that Mizuno's technology with the use of the wave plate from the heel to midfoot feels very different in comparison to other brands that use foam throughout. The Rebellion has a similar feel to the Saucony Endorphin Speed but it lacks the full heel-to-toe spring that you feel in the speed.
Matt: I was really surprised to hear that this was supposedly Mizuno's response to the Saucony Endorphin Speed. I can see how they may have tried that given the overall general aesthetic, but if that is truly the case they definitely missed the mark. That being said, those are BIG shoes to fill competing against the Speeds, pun very much intended. I would say these shoes are almost a 50/50 split between the Asics Glideride and the Saucony Endorphin Speed. They definitely have the Glideride's upper feel, along with that aggressive speedbump-like feeling off the toe. The foam is close to the Speeds, but still not there. Ultimately, these are a heavier, less breathable, and less forgiving version of the Speeds, albeit with what I believe to be much more overall durability and fortitude.
Jen: So far, I have accumulated 8 miles of road running in the Rebellion. I tried several ways to re-lace the shoe in an attempt to lock my heel in place. As I had mentioned above, my left big toenail did get bruised on each run which was a disappointment. Mizuno has a good thing going with this first model in terms of the feel under the foot while you're running and the response of the shoe. Changes have to be made though to secure the foot more.
The Rebellion would be a great versatile shoe, not just for running but for cross-trainers as well. I am excited for the future models of this shoe to see what changes are made.
Matt: I ran up to a half marathon in this shoe, along with quite a few daily runs between the 5k and 10k marks. I tried Fartlek runs but definitely didn't really enjoy them as much when substantially picking up the pace. I also didn't find them super appealing at recovery paces either. At those daily training paces, this shoe really shines and feels very stable and protective. Just a little warm and absorbent, thereby heavy, in hotter weather.
Despite all my concerns and what I would consider shortcomings, I think this shoe would be a great daily training option. I feel like this shoe shouldn't be touted as a competitor to the Speeds, as much as it would be a great partner to the Speeds. I think a lot of people prefer the Saucony Endorphin Speeds over the Endorphin Pro iteration, so I feel like the Rebellion would partner well as a daily training version of the Speeds for those who want to keep their Speeds and save them for those special runs, races, or to push a higher pace with more forgiveness on those tempo days. I think the durability of this shoe is top-notch, and the outsole aggressiveness is extremely well done with some interesting/ impressive design and material use. Being that these are a far more stable and durable shoe than that of the Speeds, I think this shoe would actually offer a great marriage between the two. The Rebellion is definitely a shoe I would recommend for anybody, especially someone looking for a reliable daily trainer with a great happy medium between forgiveness, stability, and durability.
40 year old
Wears women's size 8
If I were to write a book, I would call it, "The Lessons That I Have Learned Through Running." I have been working in the running specialty industry for over 7 years and it has been fun to see the subtle changes in shoes and how new footwear technology is changing everything. I have been running for almost 20 years and what an adventure it has been. Whether I am out on the road or on the trails, running has become a huge part of my life and I am excited about what other fun adventures I will encounter.
29 year old
Wears men's size 10.5
I have been running since 2017. I have come to love it more and more every day, and although it started out as a hobby, it has grown to become a strong passion in my life. I run anywhere from 30-50 miles a week on average, all varying paces. I have a sub 6 minute 5k PR, and I have yet to run an official marathon, although the distance is not foreign to me. Running helps me to manage the general stresses and anxieties of the day, and adds a sense of structure to my schedule and overall being. Running takes the mundane away, and gives full control for as long as is manageable. It’s not always easy, but running favors courage and callouses pain amidst its own hurt. To have the ability to lace some shoes up, and go run 5 miles, or 10 miles, or 20 miles, is one of the most liberating and primal feelings available to us as humans. And that freedom is literally in our hands, on our feet, and right outside our doors.