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Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 – Volleyball Performance Review

In the world of volleyball footwear is always something that players ponder. With the technical advancements in cushioning and materials of basketball shoes they have stormed the feet of many volleyball players. Yet, some have stayed true and continue to wear volleyball shoes.

Wondering how the Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 holds up today amongst other court shoes? Find out with the WearTesters Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 performance review.


Mizuno - Traction

It’s made up of what Mizuno calls XG rubber or extra grade rubber. It’s practically a gum bottom sole and has a combination of multi directional patterns and flex grooves (which is mainly on the forefoot area). The non-marking traction on these definitely needed to be broken in. The XG Rubber felt like it had a layer of glaze or some type of protective layer on it and upon first wear it didn’t feel like the traction was going to be good. After playing the outsole did break in but the traction wasn’t stop-on-a-dime traction — it was adequate. Also, keep in mind that different playing surfaces will create different experiences (i.e. sport court, hardwood, both dusty and clean, composite floors, and tile) and the outsole responds differently to each court.

In volleyball, which involves a bunch of quick rallies and time in between plays, there are tons of opportunities to wipe the bottoms of your shoes and these feel like they need to be wiped after each play. It can get annoying really fast but if you play volleyball at a high level then this isn’t much of a problem. If you plan on trying these out don’t expect the greatest traction ever.


Mizuno - Cuhsion
Mizuno - Cushion 2

It’s pretty minimal in the cushioning area. The midsole is made up of what Mizuno calls PoWnCe (Power + Bounce = PoWnCe). It’s a light version of another cushion midsole it calls ap+ which is described as a “lightweight mid-sole material that increases rebound and cushion durability while maintaining performance.” There is also SR Touch mixed into the midsole that is described as a “lightweight shock absorbing mid-sole material that keeps the transition smooth and fast.” And lastly there is the Wave plate technology that “disperses impact forces away from foot and doesn’t break down over time.”

With all that tech in the shoe the cushioning left more to be desired. Sure, it was lightweight and felt pretty responsive but the amount of impact my body received from all the jumping and landing was tremendous. I felt every landing from the bottom of my feet all the way up to my knees and hips. After each session I played in the shoes my legs ached. The Wave plate system is in the rear area of the shoe and only disperses impact if you are landing or planting in that area.

And although PoWnCe and SR Touch are predominately in the forefoot area, what you’re landing and planting on is about half an inch thick which isn’t much. You can feel some response and compression from the forefoot tech when jumping and landing but it is not substantial enough to help with the heavy impact in a game of volleyball.

So, if you’re a grounded player who wants great court feel then the cushioning will play great for you. However, if you’re in the air often then you can pass on these or just add a more cushioned insole to compensate for the lack of built-in cushion.


Mizuno - Materials

The uppers of most court shoes today are made of some type of fuse and the Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 is no exception. Fuse runs practically the length of the upper while the heel area featuring some foam padding. The toe area has a dedicated drag zone which is a feature that has been in the Mizuno Volleyball series since the start. It’s made up of plastic and added rubber just waiting to be dragged upon. In the last couple years Mizuno moved away from using leather (or synthetic leather) uppers and moved onto using more fuse and TPU uppers to help reduce weight and create a more defined fit. I liked the quality of the older models and it was a bonus to volleyball players to receive nice quality materials at decent prices even though the shoes weren’t the most appealing looking things. The materials on these aren’t anything new, as fuse is just the go to material for most companies now, but it’s not restrictive and breaks in pretty fast. Plus, it looks like it will hold up well so the materials are pretty good in my book.


Mizuno - Fit

These fit true to size but do run a bit narrow. The shoe’s upper is made of DynaMotion Fit which is meant to have the shoe and user move together, keeping you locked in. The tongue is even designed anatomically. I had no issues with the fit. The upper kept me locked down and wasn’t bothersome or restrictive.

The only problem I had was with the tongue. It was weird and quite uncomfortable to have a shoe that features a tongue that doesn’t run up past the collar of the shoe. When the shoe is on foot the laces go up past the tongue and it doesn’t feel good once laced down. Besides that the fit was great.


Mizuno - Support

Support is all over the place when it comes to the Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2. DynaMotion Fit keeps your foot locked down and prevents it from moving around inside the shoes. The DynaMotion Groove and D-Flex Groove provide flex areas for the foot and a diagonal flex groove that helps transfer speed and power to all your foot’s movements. There is also the Wave plate that acts as the midfoot shank plate to help rigidity and arch support. Connected to that Wave plate is what Mizuno calls Sensorpoint that connects the Wave plate to the floor to help with stability.

Lateral support was good even though there was no outrigger. I think that is due to how the shoes flexed and created a natural feel. I never felt like I was going to have my foot roll over in the shoe or roll over and turn my ankle. With how narrow the shoes looked and felt they supported me pretty well.

Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 Overall

Mizuno - Overall

The Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 created a more natural shoe experience. It’s a prime example of a shoe that’s an extension of your body. It doesn’t add any enhancements to your game. Rather, it allows you to play your game at your own level. To be real, there are lots of technologies and gimmicks in this shoe — heck, there is a vent at the bottom of the shoe just to help with ventilation!

In my eyes this shoe is for a grounded player who needs great court feel. If you’re a player or hitter in volleyball that needs cushioning, and don’t act like you don’t, then you might have to pass on these and take a look at the Wave Tornado X.

If you’re looking to pick up a pair of the Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 you can here. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to drop a comment in the box below.

Mizuno Score CArd
  1. Good performance review. The wave plates are really hard to flex unless you a big guy. I wonder if Mizuno will ever make basketball ball shoes.

  2. Nice review, thanks. I ordered them last week from the shop with free shipping and free returns. Probably i will use return cause of lack of cushion mentioned. Will try insole from lebron xi but they will probably two big. I play as a hitter mostly so without cushion my knees and back would not be happy . Looking forward for drose7 and crazy explosive.
    Thanks again guys, volleyball players also contributes from reviews 😉

  3. Very curious about the Tornado X as well, esp. the Mid (the new Black/Volt colorway looks dope).

    I haven’t worn Mizuno or Asics volley shoes in years, choosing basketball shoes instead. Wondering if I’m missing out by doing so.

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