Mizuno Wave Sky 7 Introduction
The Mizuno Wave Sky 7 is a high-stack trainer that is fantastic for logging long miles and offering lots of energy return on each of your strides.
This shoe uses Mizuno’s ENERZY Foam and ENERZY CORE to create a responsive ride on a plush platform.
The advertised feeling mostly hits correctly, but at $170 list price, it better. At this price point and with this amount of cushion, the Wave Sky will battle against offerings from competitors such as Saucony Triumph 21, Hoka Bondi 8, Puma Deviate Nitro 2, New Balance 1080 v12, adidas adizero Boston 12, Brooks Glycerin 20, ASICS Gel Nimbus 25, and the Nike Invincible Run.
I’ve run in the Triumphs, 1080s, and Glycerin from that list. Of those four I would say the Wave Sky compares best to the Glycerin; they are well cushioned and ride well, especially on long runs, but they are not exciting or life-changing. In this category, of the shoes I’ve tried, I’d put them in the second tier.
Mizuno Wave Sky 7 First Impressions
I had a little trepidation about this shoe. I have not had a good history with Mizunos, and for years I didn’t want to try them. To be honest, I didn’t know I was going to be reviewing these until they showed up, but I was very pleasantly surprised with them from the beginning. The blue and orange colorway is eye catching, and the sole unit stands out visually.
When i put them on my feet I was impressed from the start with the cushion and the overall feel. On my first run they performed very well, and I felt very comfortable. When I tried them out as an all-day shoe, they were comfortable the whole time and made me second-guess my Mizuno hate. That’s a good first impression.
Mizuno Wave Sky 7 Upper
The upper is made up of a stretch woven material that flexes, stretches, and allows air in to keep you cool. The material is very comfortable, and soft on the foot. It works well for warm-weather running, but I think would perform admirably during colder-weather runs. It allows air in, but not so much that you’d need to double your socks.
The upper uses printed overlays and a reinforced lacing system to make sure your foot stays locked in. This is imperative, because the shoe itself runs on the wide side. The heel is a normal width, but not snug, if you suffer from Achilles problems, or have a narrow heel, you’ll need to use a heel-lock lacing.
The shoe widens a bit in the arch, which I felt made the shoe feel a little wobbly at times until I got my lacing perfected. Then it widens more into a roomy toebox. If you have a narrow foot, this shoe design is not the best.
On the other side, the shoe fit perfect in length as true-to-size.
Mizuno Wave Sky 7 Sole Unit
This sole unit is a standout for me. It is a very large sole unit with 40mm under the heel and 32 under the toe. However, you don’t feel as if it is that high when you wear them.
Mizuno uses their signature ENERZY Foam, a U4ic foam, that is very soft and comfortable for almost every impact. However, they couple that with a middle layer of ENERZY CORE, which is their most responsive material. This is designed to try to give a great amount of energy return so you can pick up the pace.
On the outsole, Mizuno uses a X10 carbon rubber, which offers a huge amount of traction. This showed up during test runs on streets, gravel, and dirt. At no point did I feel as though the traction was going the fail.
This sole unit is designed with a slight toe rocker, but nothing nearly as aggressive as many other shoes out there. Although the cushion is soft, and decently responsive, the overall design does not push you forward and the ride seemed to be most comfortable during slower paces.
Mizuno Wave Sky 7 Conclusions
For years I have refused to run in a Mizuno. Their earlier offerings caused me to develop injuries and wore out my muscles more than almost any other shoe or brand. And this was across their lines. Their cushion was too firm for me, and their dedication to the hard rubber wave just didn’t resonate with me.
I even ran in their (at the time) $220 Wave 5 (2016) and just didn’t understand the design. This was a “max cushion shoe” that I didn’t feel any cushion from, and just had a heavy, jarring ride. People told me that I “wasn’t big enough” to get the benefits of the shoe, and that I needed to land “more extremely on the heel”, but that doesn’t make any sense.
All of that is to say, I haven’t touched a Mizuno shoe in 7 years. And yet, I found myself wanting to run in the Wave Sky 7. This shoe IS NOT the best shoe on the market, but it is a fantastic shoe none-the-less.
The combination of wonderful cushion and decent energy return made this shoe a pleasure to use for easy effort runs of any length. They truly shined on long-slow runs, as the cushion just wouldn’t quit and the energy return was fantastic for that workout.
I didn’t feel enough energy return, or push from the rocker design, to make me feel like I could use these for tempo or speed runs and truly feel the shoe help me. However, I feel it has a place in the rotation.
The biggest drawbacks to me were the lack of push from the shoe, the overall weight (11.6 oz for a size 13), and the overall width of the platform and upper. It took a few runs before I got my lacing dialed in and figured out exactly how tight I needed to tie the shoes. If I had a more narrow foot, I would have had an excess of laces that I would have needed to figure out where to put.
Those drawbacks mentioned, that does not stop me from happily running in the Wave Sky 7.
At $170, it is pricy, and I believe there are better options in the price area and cushion level (namely the Saucony Triumph 21 and New Balance 1080 v12), but it is definitely a shoe I would tell someone to check out if they want to log miles and want to feel great after the run is over.