The Mizuno Mezamashii Project has one purpose: to get more people running in Mizuno shoes. As part of the project, I was given the opportunity to select any pair of shoes. I selected their new Wave Ascend 7 trail runners.

Mizuno Ascend 7 Features:

  • Mizuno Wave Technology disperses impact forces
  • SmoothRide Engineering
  • Dynamotion Fit
  • Weight: 11.4 oz
  • MSRP: $104.99

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7 Review

As a Mizuno first-timer, my first challenge was deciding on the proper sizing. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate a more roomy toebox, but sometimes my narrow feet don’t cooperate with sizing up. In the case of the Ascend 7’s, I opted for the size 11 and they have been perfect. Well, the toebox is a bit bigger than I’d typically choose, but that extra room has been fantastic.

The Ascend 7’s are a new shoe that features Mizuno’s renowned Wave technology. This midsole plate disperses impact forces just like a wave ripples on the water. And, unlike other shock absorbing designs, the Wave platform reportedly doesn’t break down over time.

Of all the features of the Ascend 7’s, the one that got me right off the bat was the comfort. These are definitely not minimalist, and at 11.4 oz, they can’t really even be considered lightweight. But the uppers comfortably cradle your feet so well that the extra weight is dispersed and isn’t felt. Wearing them, I’d never guess they were an 11.4 oz shoe as they feel much lighter than that on the trail.

Continuing on the uppers, Mizuno’s Dynamotion Fit construction allows your feet and these shoes to act as a single unit. The standard lacing pattern allows for pinpoint fit adjustments and locks your heels in place. I will say that the laces are quite long. So much so that I had to tuck them in or risk a tripping hazard.

Moving beyond the uppers, the aggressive outsoles offer fantastic traction in both wet and dry terrain. When the trails get very dry, loose and rocky, no shoes excel, but these do a better job than most. Where these also shine is in overall stability. Off-camber terrain was always met with a solid and stable platform.

As a mid/forefoot striker, these shoes roll really well and have been comfortable going up and down. I will say that the roomy toebox did create a little bit of a gap below the balls of my feet while running downhill. Trail protection is spot-on and effectively walks the line between protection and trail feel.

Finishing these off, I have been very impressed with both the breathability and weather protection provided by the Ascend 7’s. Ultra-hot days were comfortable and cold/wet days were equally comfortable.

Good Ascend 7

  • Very breathable
  • Moldable midsole that really cradle your feet
  • No hot spots or trouble areas right out of the box
  • Just the right amount of protection and trail feel
  • Toe guards keep your feet protected
  • Rolls well for a mid/forefoot stride
  • Great wet traction

Bad Ascend 7

  • Traction could be a little better in loose/dry hardpack
  • Laces are¬†extraordinarily¬†long
  • Doesn’t crossover to pavement as well as some trail shoes

Bottom Line: Mizuno Ascend 7 Trail Runners

With fantastic comfort right out-of-the-box, the Ascend 7’s have won me over. Following that, the outsole has superb traction and stability for when the trails get rough. Topping it all off with breathable uppers that also fend off the elements and you’ve got a great trail shoe that has easily earned it’s place as my current shoe-of-choice.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


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  2. So you opted for a size 11. That tells me nothing. What is your foot size for reference? Did you stay true to size or did you size up?

    • Sorry about that lack of clarity. I’m typically a 10.5 and could likely wear a 10.5 in these as well since the 11’s are very generous. I do like the extra wiggle room of the 11’s though and would likely have chosen them still had I actually tried them on first.

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