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Mizuno Wave Universe 3 Review

Mizuno Universe 3

This post is long overdue – I have had the Mizuno Wave Universe 3 running shoe in review since they arrived in April. These running shoes are very specific in nature and are without a doubt the lightest footwear of any kind I have had the opportunity to test. They weigh in at an incredible 3.8oz and are designed for runners who place a strong emphasis on the word “pace” in their vocabulary!

As a soccer player, I am definitely all about getting some road running in to keep fitness up rather than running around a field. And, having the right footwear is absolutely paramount in ensuring you make the most of your workout. This releases is designed for those who need a lightweight shoe that performs over longer distances, with an emphasis on speed rather than comfort. I wore the White/Red version in a size 9US.

Mizuno Universe running shoe

Lightweight Mizuno Universe 3

Built for Serious Road Runners
Because of their lightweight nature, the Wave Universe 3 is designed for serious runners who run longer distances at a higher tempo. If you are looking for support, these shoes do not fit the bill. The sole is toned down to a minimal level in order to produce the lightest shoe possible. My advice would be to explore them as a pre-season option when you are getting the miles in, or alternatively use them when you are recovering from injury and building up endurance.

Fit
I wore a size 9US and they fit pretty well for a running shoe. They run slightly long, but that is pretty much needed for extra comfort while running. I am a huge fan of how the arch is supported by the sole – there is a slight overlay that curves the arch and provides really good comfort.

Mizuno Universe Upper

The See-through Upper
One of the ways Mizuno cut weight is by adding an almost non-existent mesh upper. If you are looking for a runner that provides breathability, it doesn’t get any better than this. They are a perfect shoe for running in warm conditions, when you want every ounce of wind to cool your feet down.

The Sole
The sole almost feels like it is made out of Styrofoam! You get the added bonus of a lightweight shoe with bounce, but (and of course there is a but) it seems to wear down pretty quickly. In my opinion, you are only going to get a few months use before you will need to find a replacement. I’m not familiar with the normal life period for a running shoe, so I can’t guesstimate the exact time period or number of runs!

Mizuno Universe 3 shoe

Watch Those Knees!
For players who have knee of ankle injuries, you are going to want to focus on a shoe that offers more bounce and support in order to protect your joints. These running shoes are designed with lightweight in mind rather than comfort. If you like Mizuno running shoes, check out something like the Wave Creation 12, which is designed with the ultimate in cushioning, rebound and durability.

Summary
Whether they are the right option for you or not, you have to give props to Mizuno for creating a 3.8oz running shoe – I mean, does it get any lighter? I definitely would not recommend them for casual runners, but if you are trying to really rack up the miles and get your body in to prime condition, they are worth considering. Mizuno has released a new version in the time I have been testing these, the Universe 4, which means you can get some great deals on the Wave Universe 3 right now!

*Shoes supplied for review by Mizuno USA

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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2 comments

  1. I haven’t run in these yet – but I’ve noticed them shopping online.

    I’ve been working into lighter and thinner running shoes over time. The biggest part of each transition is improving form. Keeping your stride short, landing on the mid and forefoot.

  2. Nowadays knee issues are more commonly associated with poor running mechanics like heel striking than with the cusioning on the shoe. The more minimalist shoe here is actually more ideal for preventing knee injuries because it is supposed to encourage you to land on your mid and forefoot where the forces are distributed and absorbed through your lower leg rather than your knee joints. That being said, in this case you have to worry more about achilles, calves and metatarsal fracture type injuries more.. At least that's the latest theory.

    How far are you running in 3 months that you need a replacement? I think there are other minimalist type shoes out there that will last longer.

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