Mizuno flies under the radar in terms of running shoe hype. The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 is their latest solid high-end everyday running shoe. We’ve previously called the Wave Sky line a good place to start if you’re trying Mizuno for the first time and that’s still true. The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 actually made our list of the best running shoes for men. Here’s why:
Let’s start with the cushion. Hello Enerzy. The bottom layer of foam surrounding the rubber pieces of the outsole is soft Enerzy foam. The embedded middle layer, a pink pop of color visible through the outsole, is a bouncier Enerzy core. The top layer is Wave Foam. Mizuno introduced Enerzy last year and is already proving to be their best cushioning asset. This was the liveliest Mizuno shoe I’ve worn. Mizuno is not known for bouncy shoes. But you get some nice energy return from the Wave Sky 5. I ran everything from easy runs to a 16 miler without any issues. The Wave Sky 5 can handle everything. It’s a shoe that doesn’t feel soft on foot but still really protects the legs when you go long. How Mizuno evolves Enerzy will be intriguing. It’s got promise as a versatile running cushion.
The upper also shifts dramatically from previous Wave Sky models. I think of this new upper as a hybrid of mesh and knit. Mizuno calls it Smooth Stretch Woven Mesh. It has a nice stretch even though it’s backed by a more traditional micro mesh. The stretch helps eliminate potential hotspots and makes the fit more accommodating. As usual, Mizuno offers a wide version for Men and Women, but if you’re not a true wide footer, the regular version will work. The Wave Sky 5 fits true to size so buy your typical running shoe size. I hope Mizuno keeps using Smooth Stretch Woven Mesh because my feet really enjoyed it.
Ample padding reinforces the heel to cushion the large heel counter and adds comfort alongside the nicely padded tongue. As usual, Mizuno’s support is strong. The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 is stable. Runners that detest the current trend towards super soft tippy shoes will appreciate the Mizuno DNA.
But going counter to the DNA also serves them well on occasion. Mizuno finally relented to customer feedback and brought the Wave Sky drop to 8mm, a much more typical drop than the 10mm used on previous Wave Sky models. Do those 2mm make a huge difference? No, not to most people. But for some it’ll feel just a little less slanty on foot.
All the pros are features that Mizuno tweaked and made better. It’s a good sign for the brand when the tinkering results in an all-around improvement.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 continues to be on the heavier end of the spectrum as shoes get lighter and lighter. I’m not one to particularly care about weight as long as the shoe does well with fit, comfort, and cushion. But some, especially smaller runners, intensely scrutinize shoe weights so I wanted to mention it.
The traction pattern durability isn’t great. The rubber itself is thick and will last 300-500 miles but you’ll lose the ribbed pattern on your high wear areas after 20-25 miles. The rubber compound itself grips well and I experienced very little slippage. So while the outsole works, I know plenty of runners who will be concerned with how quickly the outsole frays and loses its pattern. I don’t think it’s a long term issue due to the quality and thickness of the rubber, but it’s something to be aware of before you start racking up miles.
The only other concern was some lace slippage on longer sweat-soaked summer runs. If you’re running in the south, be sure to double knot.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 5 absolutely nails fit, comfort, and cushion but is a little heavy and has some outsole durability concerns. At $170, it slots in the $150-$180 for high end cushioned neutral everyday running shoes. Would I like the value better at $150 or $160? Yes I would. But, if you need something supportive and extremely comfortable, you should consider the Wave Sky 5.
How to Buy the Mizuno Wave Sky 5
Thanks to Mizuno for sending a pair to test. Mizuno was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.