Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Women’s Running Shoes Review

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Mizuno Wave Rider 20 women’s running shoes review, with pros and cons.

My very first “real” running shoe was made by Mizuno. I had signed up for a half marathon as part of my Jogging 101 class in college (for reals) and my final was to run a race. The Moab Half Marathon was my pick for my final, so I figured I better get fitted for a real running shoe. I went to the only speciality running store in the area at the time, Runner’s Corner, and honestly, I felt so intimidated walking in. Speciality running stores at that time (13 years ago!) were rare and felt reserved for very serious runners. And while I had been running for 5 years before that, I still felt out of place.

I’ll never forget the experience. They put me on a treadmill and watched me run. I tried on 7 different pairs of shoes and had me run in the parking lot in each pair. They taught me about heel lock lacing. They taught me the importance of wicking socks. And they sold me a pair of Mizuno Wave Riders. I haven’t worn them in years (I’ve recently been hooked on Adidas Adizero Boston Boosts), but when I had the opportunity to try their latest version, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20, it tugged at my heart strings.

Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Women's Review

Shoe Overview

  • Support type: Neutral shoe for those with a neutral footstrike or mild pronation
  • Drop: 12mm (from heel to forefoot)
  • Weight: 8.3 oz
  • Price: $119
  • Width: Available in Narrow and Wide


  • Responsive and cushioned
    • If you like a more cushioned shoe that is still responsive, you’ll like these. They feel very cushioned, but they aren’t too soft where you lose the responsiveness which I find is an issue with many cushy shoes.
  • Soft Material
    • Something about the material is so cozy to me. It’s like putting on your favorite pair of sweatpants. They just feel good.
  • Long Enough Laces
    • I like that the laces are long enough to accommodate heel lock lacing (which is an issue in multiple pairs of other running shoes I have). And good laces – length + width – has become something I really look for in a shoe since it’s super annoying when they come untied midrun.
  • Wide Toe Box
    • I like that there is plenty of room for my toesies to spread out.

Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Women's Running Shoes Review


  • It looks big on my foot
    • These look kind of big on my foot, especially since I’m used to less shoe.
  • Limited colors/design
    • This obviously doesn’t affect the performance of the shoe. When I got mine, they only had teal, which I don’t really like. But, they now have a Baton Rouge/White (reddish orange) that I love.
  • “More” shoe
    • Depending on what you’re looking for, this may be a pro or a con. These weigh more than all my other shoes and have more of a heel to toe drop, so they are definitely more shoe. This is only a con for me since I like “less shoe” given how petite I am (5’1″, 110-115 lbs).

mizuno wave rider 20 women's review

Bottom Line:

I go for the Mizunos on easy running days where the workout is shorter and doesn’t have much structure. They’re a little bit heavy for my taste though.

Let me know if you have any questions! And if you run in these, I’d love to hear what you love about them!

Note: This post was sponsored by Mizuno through a partnership with Fitfluential. I received a free pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 20s to try out. All opinions – pros and cons – are my own. 


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    5 responses to “Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Women’s Running Shoes Review”

    1. I run in both Mizuno Sayonara’s + Wave Rider’s (19, and 20’s). I actually prefer the WR’s to the Sayonaras – but I’m not an experienced enough runner to discuss the pro’s con’s of them both… I just know that the Rider’s feel more comfy for my 5k’s than the Sayonaras sometimes rub a bit more.

      • I’ve never tried on the Sayonaras, which seems weird since I swear EVERY runner has run in them at some point! Isn’t it funny how we like different shoes for different things? I love having a billion pairs of running shoes now and I used to NEVER have more than one!

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