Tried and tested – Mizuno Wave Duel 2020 – Runner’s World (UK)

Tried and tested – Mizuno Wave Duel 2020  Runner’s World (UK)

  • Weight: 200g (M) 165g (W)
  • Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 9mm
  • Type: Road
  • Price: £74

RW summary

‘A fantastic combination of speed and reassurance.’

  • generous last [shoe outline] for wider footed runners
  • durable and reliable
  • good multitasking ability makes it even better value for money
  • upper needs better weatherproofing

Fans of the now-defunct Wave Sayonara may be comforted to know that this latest new performance shoe from Mizuno feels a lot like its successor. It has the same combination of speed and responsiveness coupled with good lateral stability and a last that is wide enough for the shoe to be used on longer runs.

The outsole

This is one of the most durable shoes we’ve come across in a while. A couple of testers gave it a proper good hammering and after a few hundred miles the outsole rubber looked barely touched, while the upper had not started to bag or sag in any way, which was impressive.

The old-school midsole

If you’re now used to the bounce and significant energy return that many modern racing shoes give, you may be disappointed here since the Duel offers none of that – it’s quite old school in that respect. The speed comes from the responsiveness of the shoe which is very good indeed, and the low weight. Runners who feel that technologies such as energy return foams and carbon fibre plates are ‘cheating’ will find the duel well worth looking at.

An upper that needs some improving

The upper is where Mizuno needs to make some improvements. It wasn’t terrible but it didn’t help the shoe along much, and a couple of details need to be sorted out, such as the underlay in the toe box which makes the toe section crinkle a little when you flex your foot, the heaviness of the overlays in the midfoot, and the porous nature of the mesh upper which make the shoe vulnerable in poor weather.

Efficient runners will find that they can use this for track sessions all the way up to about half marathon distance, making an already cost-effective choice even better value for money. A lack of attention to the smaller details means this gets a solid B grading.

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