Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Mizuno Wave Rider 17, $115

8.9 oz. (men’s); 7.8 oz. (women’s)

31mm (heel), 18mm (forefoot)

Fit: Like previous versions of the Wave Rider, this model has a secure feeling in the heel; however, it’s slightly wider in the midfoot and more roomy in the toe box than previous models.

Feel: Lighter is better, especially in this case. The latest edition of the Wave Rider has a completely overhauled upper with a new pliable and very breathable mesh fabric that’s supported by TPU overlays. The undercarriage has been tweaked too, but the soft sensation in the heel, snappy flex and semi-firm feeling at toe-off remain.

Ride: The continued evolution of the Wave Rider (which includes a new blown-rubber outsole configuration and a new premium sock liner) has resulted in a smoother, quieter ride. It’s a high-mileage trainer with a penchant for speed, a combination that offers enough versatility to be a one-quiver shoe—it’s adept at going long, running shorter, faster workouts or racing from 5K to the marathon. “This is the best version of the Wave Rider yet,” one wear-tester gushed.

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