Mizuno Wave Rider TT women’s trail running shoes review: barely-there sneakers but for tamer trails only

Lightweight and freeing to run in, the Mizuno Wave Rider TT is lovely for long distances on dry trails

Mizuno Wave Rider TT
(Image: © Mizuno)

Advnture Verdict

If you favor more established trails and are working towards longer distances, this light and freeing but supportive shoe is a treat, and it’s breathable enough to suit hot weather.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Breathable

Cons

  • -

    Limited grip

  • -

    Big drop won’t suit everyone

  • -

    Only one colorway

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Mizuno Wave Rider TT: first impressions

Like to feel light on your feet when running. Then Mizuno Wave Rider TTs could be the women’s trail running shoes for you. Emphasis on “could” as another feature could be more divisive.

Trail running is all about feeling free amid natural surrounding and the Wave Rider certainly provides that. But the stack ranges from 37mm at the heel to 25mm at the toe, which is a pretty big drop for a trail running shoe by today’s standards. Some runners will love this (all running shoes used to have a drop this size), and others might struggle with it (the higher the stack, the less stable the feel). We’d say a 12mm offset is best suited to mixed on and off-road running adventures, and less technical trails.

Having said all that, weighing in at just 230g per shoe, there is a lovely liberating “barely-there” feel with the Wave Riders, despite the relatively large drop. 

These shoes are ideal if you’re working up to tackling trail half-marathons, marathons or even ultra running distances, and want your legs to feel fresh for as long as possible.

Specifications

• RRP: $172 (US) / £130 (UK)
• Weight (per shoe): 230g / 8.1oz
• Drop: 12mm
• Sizes: 3 – 10
• Colors: Coral & Fudge
• Compatibility: Dry conditions on established trails

Mizuno Wave Rider TT: on the trails

They may not feel substantial underfoot, but the Wave Riders still offer a fair amount of grip – on test they performed well on hard-packed trails but were less reliable on slippery wet surfaces, so we reckon they are best saved for dry days on more cared-for trails on grass or in woodland rather than challenging terrain where you might encounter lots of rocks and mud. 

They’re also highly breathable, even on the hottest of summer runs – good if you like to fit trail runs in on your travels abroad. 

We also rated the snug but comfy fit of the Wave Rider, which laces tightly and feels supportive around the ankle – if you often suffer from blisters you may find these offer a more supportive and less slippy fit (see also: how should trail running shoes fit?). If you already own a more heavy-duty waterproof pair of trail runners for winter, this would be a good pair to swap into once the clocks go forward.

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.