Equally capable as a daily trainer or as a race day PR-hunting weapon, the Mizuno Wave Ronin 5 is a cushioned take on a lightweight, go-fast shoe.
The fifth iteration of Mizuno’s neutral, lightweight performer brings in a new upper that ushers in an improved on-the-foot feel for increased running comfort. A stretchy mesh wraps around the overlay-free toebox, providing a snug, socklike fit that holds the foot securely in place without feeling constrictive.
Fans of previous versions of the Ronin will be pleased to find a midsole/outsole combination largely unchanged in this update. The AP+ midsole feels more protective than most shoes in this category, and though the ride is on the firmer side, the Ronin 5 offers rebound and a responsive toe-off that lends itself well to faster-paced running.
Though the Ronin 5 makes a great racing option, don’t think of it as a shoe to keep in your closet until the big day arrives. We found it to offer a formidable range of versatility; it’s light enough to race in, yet carries enough cushioning to keep up through longer training miles. Runners seeking a truly lightweight trainer may even enjoy the Ronin 5 for everyday use. No matter the application, the Ronin 5 is a shoe that will easily slot into the rotation of many runners.
“I’m a big fan of the new upper; the open mesh provides a confortable fit without losing out on the security you want in a performance shoe.”
“The Ronin 5 is definitely a firmer shoe, but I was surprised at the amount of rebound during toe-off. It gives the shoe a lively and bouncy feel.”
“The firmer cushioning will make this shoe a half marathon racing flat for most, though I can see efficient runners taking it up to the marathon distance.”