I ran 35 miles in the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2, and it’s the most radical racing shoe I’ve tested

Mizuno’s carbon racer delivers a wild ride

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 on a running track outside
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is a racing shoe that makes no compromises in its search for speed, with a novel design that features a huge heel cutout and a towering stack of springy foam, along with a carbon plate. It can feel unnatural and doesn’t suit every running style, but it’s terrific fun and certainly a fast option.


  • +

    Bouncy midsole foam

  • +

    Aggressive, fast ride

  • +

    Great grip


  • -

    Won’t suit all running styles

  • -

    Not stable

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The best carbon plate running shoes all have pretty outlandish designs, with features like very high midsole stacks with cutouts and wild colors all par for the course.

However, the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is even more radical, with the large heel cutout on the shoe being something I’ve never seen from another brand despite having tested almost all of the super-shoes available.

It’s a distinctive shoe with a distinctive ride, and certainly a fast racing option, but the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 won’t work for every runner. If your running style works with the geometry of the shoe it could be a winner, but even if it does suit you, there are racing shoes I rate more highly, like the Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris and Nike Alphafly 3.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 review: price and availability

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 launched in January 2024 and costs $250 in the US and £210 in the UK. The price is about par for a super-shoe in the US, and it does seem to pop in up sales more often than other carbon plate running shoes.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 review: design and fit

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 outside on a sidewalk

(Image credit: Future)

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 is currently only available in one color in the US, which is the all-white shoe that I tested. An all-red version is available in the UK as well. 

It has a snug fit and if you are on the fence between two sizes then I would go for the larger one — I found a US 10 fit me well while a US 9.5 works better for me in other Mizuno shoes.

Mizuno lists the stack height of the shoe as 38mm at the heel and 36mm at the forefoot for a 2mm drop, but the design of the shoe means it feels like it has a higher stack and higher drop when you run in it, because you land on the highest part of the midsole, which is at the midfoot, and are then rocked forward. The shoe weighs 8.1oz in my US size 10.


Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 carbon plate running shoes on a track

(Image credit: Future)

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 has a thin engineered mesh upper that has very minimal padding around the tongue and collar to keep it light. It’s a good racing upper that secures the foot tightly for fast running without feeling constrictive or rubbing, with an internal strap helping to hold the midfoot in place.


Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 on a sidewalk

(Image credit: Future)

The midsole of the shoe uses two PEBA foams, with the top layer being made from Mizuno’s Enerzy Lite+ material, while the bottom layer is Enerzy Lite, which is a little firmer than the Lite+.

The combination of foams creates a springy ride, and the midsole has a dramatic rocker shape that tilts you forward from the midfoot onto your toes, which Mizuno calls its Smooth Speed Assist.

Along with the cutout at the heel, which more or less forces you to land on your midfoot when running, there is a long cutout that runs the length of the shoe along its center. 

his reduces the overall weight and shows off the plate in the midsole, which is made from carbon-infused nylon to make it more flexible than a full carbon plate.


Aside from the central cutout there is rubber covering most of the bottom of the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2, with the G3 outsole providing reliable grip even in wet conditions during my testing. While the shoe itself is not particularly stable, you can rely on it providing traction on sharp corners.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 review: running performance

I enjoyed running in the original Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro, but found it a shoe that I had to use sparingly and mostly for shorter distances because of the unstable ride and the large heel cutout.

I found those features feel even more noticeable with the Wave Rebellion Pro 2, but I do think it’s an improvement as a racing shoe, with a slightly lighter and more aggressive design.

The ride is incredibly bouncy, and when you pull the shoe on it feels like a special occasion. This is not a shoe that works well at your easy paces, and when walking around it almost throws you backwards because of the heel cutout.

Once you start running with purpose and hitting your straps, however, you’re pushed onto the midfoot and get the benefit of the Smooth Speed Assist rocker. I’ve done several speed sessions in the shoe, including doing longer reps at around my marathon pace as well short all-out 200m and 400m reps.

It’s very fast and it does feel efficient in that it helps you hold a fast pace over long distances.

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2 outsole

(Image credit: Future)

However, I am not a natural midfoot-striker myself — I land further back on my heels normally — and because of the way the shoe pushes you onto your midfoot I find that it feels unnatural and tires my muscles in a way other racing shoes don’t. 

It’s also not a stable shoe, with a narrow design at the back. This is a common problem with carbon plate shoes owing to the high stacks of soft foam they use, but I noticed it more with the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 and it’s another reason I’d only use it for shorter races and speed sessions myself.

It’s also best confined to smooth roads or the track, and ideally events on mostly straight courses — it’s not the easiest shoe to run fast around corners in. Mizuno also markets the shoe for very fast runners aiming for a sub-2:30 marathon.

As a sub-2:30 marathoner myself I don’t really agree with that idea — whether you get on with the shoe will depend more on your running gait than anything else in my opinion.

With my shuffling, heel-striking style I find the Wave Rebellion Pro 2 only suits me well for shorter reps and races at faster speeds than marathon pace. But if you have more of a bounding style and land midfoot, it will be a good marathon option.

Should you buy the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2?

While I think it’s a great racing shoe, the radical design and competition from the best carbon plate running shoes means that it’s hard to recommend the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro 2.

It’s tremendous fun to run fast in the shoe, and if you are a midfoot or forefoot striker it could well suit you better than it did me, but I’d still recommend checking out a few others ahead of it if you’re in the market for a racer.

The Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris and Nike Vaporfly 3 are both lighter than the Mizuno and still have propulsive rides that make them perfect for races of any distance. I also prefer the bouncy Nike Alphafly 3, and all three of these shoes will work for a wider range of running styles and are a little more stable, especially at slower paces.

If you like the idea of a very bouncy carbon shoe but aren't sure about the stability of the Mizuno, then the Hoka Cielo X1 is a great alternative. It's a little heavier than other carbon shoes, but very springy and I've enjoyed doing a lot of training runs in it this year, along with races.

Nick Harris-fry
Senior Writer

Nick Harris-fry is an experienced health and fitness journalist, writing professionally since 2012. He spent nine years working on the Coach magazine and website before moving to the fitness team at Tom’s Guide in 2024. Nick is a keen runner and also the founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers, which specialises in reviewing running shoes, watches, headphones and other gear.

Nick ran his first marathon in 2016 after six weeks of training for a magazine feature and subsequently became obsessed with the sport. He now has PBs of 2hr 27min for the marathon and 15min 30sec for 5K, and has run 13 marathons in total, as well as a 50-mile ultramarathon.

He runs 50-80 miles a week and races regularly with his club, which gives him a lot of opportunity to test out running gear: he has tested and reviewed hundreds of pairs of running shoes, as well as fitness trackers, running watches, sports headphones, treadmills, and all manner of other kit. Nick is also a qualified Run Leader in the UK.