THE WAVE CATALYST: The New Standard in Lightweight Support

By: The Mizuno Shoe Guy



Ever since the Wave Elixir disappeared from the Mizuno line three years ago, there’s been a subsequent hole for a lightweight support shoe. Enter, the new Mizuno Wave Catalyst to fill that vacancy.

Like the Wave Elixir, the Wave Catalyst is a different type of running footwear from what the rest of the market offers. There are plenty of lightweight shoes on the market today, but many runners can’t afford to sacrifice cushioning and support for a lighter ride.

With the Wave Catalyst, runners don’t have to give up the cushioning and support they might need in exchange for lightness.

“The Wave Elixir developed a large following among runners who loved the lightweight feel of a training shoe which could also be used for marathoning,” said Zach Gray, Mizuno’s Product Testing Coordinator. “Quite frankly, our customers have missed that shoe and have made their feelings clear that we develop a shoe similar to the Elixir.”

Can those same runners expect the Wave Catalyst to be a clone of the departed Wave Elixir?

“The Wave Catalyst is a different, more contemporary shoe than the Wave Elixir was. Although the Wave Catalyst will stand on its own merit, it’s still is a fast shoe with a smooth, quick transition just like the Wave Elixir was.”

Make no mistake though, the Wave Catalyst is not just the Wave Elixir 2.0. Here’s how it’s different:


  • Cushioning. The Wave Catalyst’s midsole is entirely made of the U4ic material which is lighter, cushier and more durable than the Wave Elixir’s. The Wave Elixir’s forefoot was very firm, but the Wave Catalyst has much better cushioning.


  • Durability. While the Wave Elixir was not a high-mileage shoe, the Wave Catalyst is.



  • Outsole. As part of its cushier appeal, the outsole of the Wave Catalyst in the forefoot has blown rubber which is softer than the carbon outsole of the Wave Elixir.



  • Offset/heel-to-toe drop. This is the standard measurement of the drop from the raised heel to the lower toe. The Wave Elixir had a 12 mm drop; the Wave Catalyst is 10 mm. This means the Wave Catalyst might give you a little more speed than the Wave Elixir did, as it is built closer to the ground.


  • Weight. Although both the Wave Elixir and Wave Catalyst are light go-fast shoes, the Wave Elixir 9 weighed slightly less (about a half ounce) than the Wave Catalyst does due to the increase in cushioning.



  • Price. It’s rare in this day and age of new materials that the price for a new shoe goes down. But, the Wave Catalyst ($110) is actually less expensive than the Wave Elixir ($115) was.



Which type of runner is best suited for the Wave Catalyst?

Just like Wave Elixir fans, the Wave Catalyst is primarily a shoe for runners who like a fast, versatile shoe with a bit of added support. It’s an ideal lightweight shoe for daily training, fast-paced workouts and yet has the cushioning and support of conventional shoes. Also like the Wave Elixir, the Wave Catalyst will find a following among runners who demand a light shoe for races—especially marathons–and yet can’t sacrifice the cushioning and support they get from their daily trainers.

Because of its conventional support and cushioning, the Wave Catalyst is the perfect race day companion for Wave Inspire wearers. It isn’t quite as supportive or as cushioned as the Wave Inspire, but the Wave Catalyst offers enough that you can race or go to the track and feel secure in it.


Available Sizes (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11. Weight: (m) 9.4 oz.; (w) 8 oz.