- New Upper Mesh: An open mesh design improves breathability and offers a fit that more easily adapts to your foot.
- Softer Heel Cushioning: The VS-1 cushioning compound in the heel is replaced with SR Touch, a new technology with improved shock absorption and increased smoothness.
- Lighter Weight: The Rider 16 drops weight, shaving over an ounce in the Men’s version (10.0 oz size 9 as measured by Running Warehouse) and half an ounce in the Women’s (8.4 oz size 8 as measured by Running Warehouse).
Long the go-to option for neutral runners who dig a responsive ride, Mizuno’s Wave Rider enters its 16th version with a few key changes that make for a better running experience.
The upper of the Rider 16 utilizes a new open mesh, and testers reported increased breathability over its already breathable predecessor. In addition, the upper has become more flexible around the toebox and the base of the midfoot thanks to the removal of several overlays, allowing it to conform to the shape of the foot through the gait cycle.
Though the midsole may appear to go unaltered in the update to the 16, running in the shoe revealed slightly softer cushioning under the heel. A layer of VS-1 cushioning compound has been replaced with a lower-density SR Touch material, resulting in a softer feel and increased protection upon the initial impact at heelstrike. For those who land mid-to-forefoot, the change in material is not noticeable.
For the neutral runner seeking a reliable daily trainer, the Rider 16 will continue to be a popular option, and with a big decrease in weight, Rider loyalists will have good reason to remain faithful.