It has been over two years since we reviewed the Mizuno Wave Universe 4. The new Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is a feather light minimalist racing shoe built for the neutral runner. The 2mm drop minimalist racing flat remains one of the lightest (2.8 ounces in standard men’s size 9) available in the market today.
The Wave Universe 5 is a minor upgrade with the most noticeable changes in the uppers and outsole pattern. The ultra lightweight mesh upper features race-day inspired printing – an airy mesh covers the entire upper and provides breathability to keep the foot cool. Also standard is a sockliner.
There is a contoured heel cup for added comfort in addition to a soft, breathable fabric lining for a great next-to-skin feel. The midsole is made of lightweight U4ic for optimal shock absorption, durability and a resilient ride.
The outsole is made of a lightweight G3 Sole offering grip and flexibility with its rubber dot pattern.
So how did the Mizuno Wave Universe 5 perform?
My size 10.5 Wave Universe 5 weighs in at 3.2 ounces – much lighter than the Wave Universe 4 at 4.4 ounces for a half size smaller (10.0). I am a sucker for racing flats and especially ones that have a wide toe box. They are as minimal as a running shoe can get and perfect for someone looking for minimal shoes after fully transitioning from traditional cushioned heeled shoes.
I wear racing flats for racing (400m, 800m, 1 Mile, and 5K) and for doing speed work training. Track & Field training season starts in early January for me so I get lots of mileage in them at that time. I would only spare myself from wearing them for trails for durability (uppers) reasons.
A racing flat is a good way to fine tune your running form – short of running barefoot or wearing huarache sandals like the Xero Shoes Sensori Venture. You only need the minimal on your feet and let nature kick in the rest of the time – natural running form. And the Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is one minimalist running shoe or racing flat that allows you to do that.
The Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is a significant upgrade and improvement in my opinion. I like the design of the uppers much more – materials and aesthetics. I know a lot of runners hate (maybe dislike) the design of the uppers but I love it! The Wave Universe 5 is also lighter and have a better sockliner fit for running sockless – the sockliner is not removable though.
The Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is available in a single colorway for men and women:
*Product provided by Mizuno. CMP.LY/1 Review
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