Mizuno Wave Sky 5 Review

Mizuno has increasingly made a name for themselves in the running world over the past several years.

With major updates to shoes like the Wave Sky 5 and Wave Horizon 5, Mizuno has increased their popularity and traction amongst runners of all levels.

The Mizuno Wavesky 5 is their softest neutral shoe in their lineup, but it still has the traditional wave plate feel keeping it rigid and structured under the foot.

The shape of the shoe is quite narrow and has a minimal volume from top to bottom but for those it fits, it has a smooth and springy ride with each stride.

Pros Cons
Cushioned Tight & Low Volume
Durable Heavy
Luxury materialsExpensive
mizuno wave sky 5

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Quick Stats

The Mizuno Wavesky 5 uses its own wave energy technology that is supposed to feel like you are being propelled forward like a wave in the ocean.

The Mizuno Energy Core in the midsole is their most responsive and lightweight material to date. It is a super-soft yet resilient foam adding spring to every step.

The Mizuno ENERZY foam is combined with the Energy Core in the midsole and adds another layer of comfort to the shoe. It helps the shoe maintain resilience to various loads placed on it during training.

The Mizuno WAVE is the traditional design of all Mizuno shoes and helps disperse energy from the impact to a broader and more stable platform.

The outsole is designed with an X10 carbon rubber increasing the durability of the shoe.

The new updated upper is a Stretch Woven mesh that feels like a security blanket around the foot and was a change from the traditional WaveKnit upper in previous models.

The Mizuno Wavesky 5 shoe sits at an 8 mm drop height which is lower than other Mizuno shoes. It has a weight of about 11.8oz in a Men’s size 9, and 9.8oz in a Women’s size 8.

This is a little on the heavier side for running shoes but is due to the added foam in this model.

The Mizuno Wavesky 5 is a comparable shoe to the Brooks Glycerin 19 and can withstand a lot of miles during training. It is considered a high cushion shoe but has a snappier, more rigid feel than others.

The downside to this shoe is the width and volume. It is really ideal for someone with a narrow fit and low profile kind of foot.

But, if the shoe fits, you can’t go wrong with the Wavesky 5. It is an exceptional update to previous models and has placed Mizuno on the right trajectory going forward.

mizuno wave sky 5

Woven Mesh Upper: The Eco-Friendly Security Blanket

The title says it all with this new upper on the Mizuno Wavesky 5. This update definitely played in Mizuno’s favor.

The new Smooth Stretch Woven Mesh is made of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) making the carbon footprint on this shoe much lower than its counterparts.

Mizuno previously used a Waveknit upper but updated to the smooth stretch woven mesh to make a seamless, and secure feel.

It fits around the foot tightly and feels like it is being squeezed in all the right places creating a secure and stable fit.

In addition to the material used, the shoe also added more lacing eyelets which helps increase the secure fit by offering more variety for lacing the shoe.

I personally found the fit to feel soft, luxurious, and smooth around my foot. I like that they changed the material to something that feels a little higher-end, considering the price of around $170.

Unfortunately for me, I have a very wide foot and a high volume (high instep) kind of foot, so the shape of Mizuno is really not ideal for me.

The Mizuno Wave sky 5 was a bit too tight around my foot and I didn’t feel comfortable secure; it just felt too tight for me.

With using the new materials there are some shortcomings. The new upper is less forgiving than the Waveknit material and has less breathability.

For some, this may be optimal, but for others, it may feel too tight and constrictive.

mizuno wave sky 5

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The WAVE ENERZY and ENERGY CORE: All about the Foam

All running shoes these days are in a race of their own with creating innovative technology and improving energy return.

The Japanese design team wanted this new foam to be a combination of softness and springiness that also performed well for the athlete.

They definitely delivered with a foam that is uniquely soft but rigid. They created a foam with what they call ultimate rebound and ultimate performance.

The Wave ENERZY foam was developed to give a rebounding energy return that is higher and continues longer than any other Mizuno shoe. In other words, the rebound does not stop immediately after the initial impact.

Mizuno claims that the softness and rebound are more durable and are 17% softer with 15% more energy return than previous models.

Overall, the feel of this model is cushioned but not plush like a Bondi 7. It provides a feeling of stability even though it is a neutral shoe.

When you place your foot in the shoe the immediate feeling is comfort and as you walk around in it, it feels bouncy and almost like it is on a slight rocker.

Unlike some other high cushion shoes, the foam does not feel like you are wobbling from side to side and the platform of the shoe feels secure.

The sensation between walking and running is quite different in this model.

While running, it feels a lot more springy with greater rebound than the previous model but loses some of the cushiness, so it gives a more traditional feeling.

mizuno wave sky 5

The X10 Outsole: Durable Carbon Rubber

Mizuno spends a lot of time investing in their materials and technology. Their X10 outsole design is no exception.

The X10 is a carbon-blown rubber that is supposed to be more durable while adding to the responsiveness of the shoe.

This carbon rubber outsole is strategically placed in areas where the load from impact is higher. For example, there is a higher concentration around the heel.

The placement helps add traction and increases the durability of the shoe.

The X10 outsole hits the mark for a grippy feel to the road. After many miles, it still feels secure, even in wet conditions.

The durability for the sole is also on par with the quality of the shoe. The outsole of this shoe can withstand at least 350-500 miles (which is typical of a running shoe).

The only downside I have found with the Mizuno shoes on the outsole is the glue holding it together. The durability of the sole is solid with the rubber used, but I have seen it peel away from the base.

This is not a common occurrence, but depending on how your foot strikes it could happen.

The X10 outsole on the Mizuno Wave sky 5 was a smart move for this shoe. It adds to the lifespan and meets the quality of the other materials used making this shoe competitive with other highly cushioned shoes.

5 1

A Wavelike Ride

The feel of the shoe while running is quite nice. There is definitely the traditional wave feel that propels the foot forward.

However, the heel is a little heavy feeling in the later stages of a run. It is well cushioned, but the rigidness and weight of the shoe are noticeable in the later stages of the run.

It does provide the spring that it claims to have, but I have found that other brands still do this slightly better.

For that reason, I would recommend this shoe for easy, recovery miles or as a daily mileage trainer.

Additionally, the feel of Mizuno is a dichotomy because it is soft but you can still feel the road underneath you. In general, I like this sensation under my foot but it is definitely different.

The Mizuno feel is unique but this is still a fantastic shoe for some. It just takes the right foot and person to really appreciate all the extra design features and structure on this model.

mizuno wave sky 5

The fit: Snug, secure, but not for everyone

The major pitfall for Mizuno is their shoe shape. While this model will fit many people it will not fit all foot shapes like a Brooks might.

The fit is narrow and low profile from top to bottom. This means that if you have a high volume foot or a high instep you may find some issue with this shoe.

The forefoot of the shoe is fairly narrow, but for Mizuno is a tad wider than other models.

Personally, I have a high instep and my feet are not comfortable in this model. It is just a bit too snug and feels like the laces press against the nerves and tendons on the top of my foot.

This situation will not be the case for everyone, and the shoe fits a lot of people really well, but in general, I would recommend trying it on first.

The immediate feelings when putting the shoe on is quite nice. The materials used around the heel are comfortable and feel expensive.

In general, the shoe feels very high quality and comfortable, but it has a unique shape and will not fit everyone.

The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 – Conclusions

Mizuno added some really nice features to the WaveSky 5 with their new ENERZY foam and X10 outsole.

This shoe is a good daily neutral trainer with a high cushion, wave-like feel, and can withstand the miles.

It is ideal for someone with a longer, narrow foot but those with a traditional width and volume foot will also be alright in the shoe.

With improved visual designs and materials, Mizuno is definitely making their mark in the running community again, and you will not regret giving the Wave sky 5 a chance.


Ride: 7/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Cushion: 7/10

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Durability: 6/10

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Upper: 7/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Outsole: 6/10

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Overall: 6.5/10

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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mizuno wave sky 5

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Amanda Martin is a dedicated club runner and running shoe guru. When she's not racking up 60+ mile weeks, Amanda spends time working in a running shoe store, helping other runners choose the right shoe for them - as well as studying PT.

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