HOME > WAVE RIDER 20 / HERITAGE > WAVE RIDER 20 THE EVOLUTION OF WAVE RIDER Mizuno, true to its ‘never settle’ manifesto, has worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to develop the Wave Rider 20 into the runner's choice that it is today. In celebration of the culmination of improvements, some big and some small, in material, design and technology, Mizuno’s restless pursuit of perfection is obvious. There remains some semblance from the original design but ultimately the Wave Rider has improved year on year and continues to impress even the purest of runners. THE ROAD TO PERFECTION Part of the research and developmental process for the Wave Rider was critically listening to feedback. The most significant example is a consumer study known as Kansei Engineering, which is a Japanese product philosophy that simulates the buying experience for runners. The ultimate result of this was finding out exactly what athletes were looking for when purchasing their next running shoe. The ability to embrace innovation and also adapt to feedback is what has made Mizuno’s Wave Rider 20 the success that it is today. LIGHTWEIGHT PROGRESSION You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. When originally conceived, the Wave Rider was but a shadow of today’s contemporary industry leading shoe. Weighing in at 365g, it paved the way for its descendants to adhere to the Wave Rider’s principle development strategy of “just what you need and nothing more.” The very first Wave Rider struggled to gain a following, but it was exactly this that lead Mizuno to make the changes that have sculpted the latest incredibly successful model. Through intensive developments and improvements year on year, the Wave Rider 20 weighs just 290g, and is a far cry from the original. PARALLEL WAVE TECHNOLOGY A prime example of Mizuno’s quest for cutting edge is its innovative design. The Wave Rider 6 enhanced its series when the plastic Wave design was replaced by a softer composite resulting in a smoother heel strike. Not satisfied with just improving the design of the shoe, part of the Wave Rider 12 was made from Castor Oil which significantly reduced Mizuno’s carbon footprint helping benefit the planet. Today, the Wave Rider 20's Parallel Wave offers the perfect amount of cushion and energy dispersion, allowing the foot to move in its natural motion. Perfect for neutral‑foot types who don’t need as much support, the wave plate disperses the impact forces evenly throughout the midsole and keeps the foot centered on the shoe’s platform. LIMITED EDITIONS Over time, the Wave Rider has seen some exciting developments in both technological design and also aesthetics. Mizuno has created two limited editions to the Wave Rider 20. In celebration of the Osaka marathon, which took the creative design one step further by incorporating unique floral prints across the Osaka and Fuji editions, Mizuno loves connecting with athletes and producing limited edition shoes is just one way to say a big thank you to all those who run with us. Year 1997 The Wave Rider is turning 20 years old! Mizuno has worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to develop the Wave Rider into the shoe that it is today. Here's the first ever Wave Rider shoe that made its debut in 1997. Year 1999 Grilled cheese in the shoe? No, it’s the Wave Plate that propelled the Wave Rider to fame back in 1999. The plate offered runners a cushiony ride, while creating hollow spaces in the midsole to reduce weight. Year 2000 The third edition of the Wave Rider focused on comfort in the upper with the addition of VS-1 technology to the forefoot for shock absorption and cushioning. For longer wear, X-10 carbon rubber was added in the outsole. Year 2001 Wave Rider 4 brought some cool to runners with the first Intercool ventilation system that reduces trapped moisture and protects feet from blisters. Year 2002 #Throwback to the Wave Rider 5 with a refreshed look (for that time!) while packing the good ol’ Wave Plate and Intercool technology. Year 2003 #Throwback to 2003 when pounding the gravel became even easier with the Wave Rider 6, which switched out the plastic Wave Plate for a composite material. Year 2004 Wave Rider 7 improved the shoe’s breathability with the AIRmesh technology and a softer interior feel. Year 2005 The Wave Rider 8 introduced SmoothRide Engineering which created a more caterpillar-like feel for a smoother heel to toe transition.The toe off was improved with flex grooves in the forefoot and a more responsive AP midsole for an even softer ride. Year 2006 The Wave Rider 9 was all about looking fast! The added metallic textures to the upper and a redesigned outsole for increased grip and extra cushioning made this footwear look the part. Year 2007 The Rider's tenth edition got a sleek update with a more streamlined body. Year 2008 The Wave Rider 11 introduced a new upper not only to improve the look but also the level of comfort inside of the shoe mid-run. We investigated how the skin of your foot shrinks and stretches with each stride to supply a more flexible, atomically correct fit for shoe-to-foot contact. Year 2009 Women and men received a tailored experience with the Rider 12, with models specifically designed to fit each gender’s running biomechanics. Year 2010 The Wave Rider 13 the midsole from the former WR12, and was the best selling neutral runner at its price point (2010). The loyal Rider fans loved the thinner looking midsole and the lower walls that achieved a sleeker look and a wrap-like feel. Year 2011 A snug fit was the priority of the Wave Rider 14 which hugged the heel for extra security and stability. Year 2012 The Wave Rider 15 saw Mizuno introducing the SmoothRide technology that propelled runners forward with greater efficiency. Year 2013 #Throwback to the Wave Rider 16 which sported a sunburst-inspired design. Dynamotion Fit technology combined snug fit with flexibility. Year 2014 The Wave Rider 17’s lightweight U4ic midsole shaved off grams for race days, yet still boasted support for high mileage training. Year 2015 To improve the venerable Wave Rider 18, Mizuno restored characteristics of previous versions, such as a more curved toe and a bouncier Wave Plate, the bendy piece that runs through the midsole and acts as a shock absorber. New features include a more structured upper that hugs the midfoot and added durability in the form of thicker sole rubber. Year 2016 The Wave Rider 19 enhanced its sock liner for energy rebound and resiliency, plus an updated version that offers a refined toe-spring for smooth and efficient toe-off. With an improved U4ic midsole and an upgraded premium sock liner, this men's neutral running gives an upgraded cushioning, comfort, and flexibility in every step. Year 2017 The 20th edition that eclipses all.